Welsh Assembly publishes data loss statistics

The Welsh Assembly has released details of the data losses which have been caused by employees losing portable storage devices between 2008 and 2010, after a request was put in for the figures under the Freedom of Information act.

The total cost of the lost and stolen devices is said to amount to around 21,000 and the list includes 24 laptops and more than 30 mobile phones and PDAs. This has led to severe criticism of the Welsh Assembly by security experts.

Only three of the laptops were ever recovered by the authorities and four of the portable phones found their way back. The Welsh Assembly is responsible for over five thousand laptops and mobile devices capable of storing data, but even the small proportion which went missing or were stolen raised concerns.

Mobile encryption expert Dr Bjoern Rupp said that because the power and flexibility of portable devices is being harnessed by many organisations and local authorities, it ‘s impossible to prevent every single resulting loss or theft of such technology.

Dr Rupp advises that the Welsh Assembly and other departments of the UK government should take steps to ensure that portable devices are equipped with encryption that protects even the most basic data that can be stored on a smartphone, such as contact information and user schedules.

The private sector is seen by Dr Rupp as presenting a slightly better track record when it comes to adoption thorough data encryption across internal systems and portable devices or removable storage.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Assembly said that current policy requires its staff to immediately report any data loss which occurs as a result of a misplaced or stolen portable device. The high cost incurred as a result of having to replace lost equipment does not come out of the pockets of the workers responsible but from the taxpayer, according to the spokesperson.

The fact that a freedom of information request was used to leverage the publication of these details is pertinent in the current climate, following Tony Blair’s comments about the act’s impracticality within government.

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal