Yet another case of data loss has entered the public domain following a Freedom of Information request.
The Ministry of Defence have admitted that computer disks lost at a British Royal Air Force base contained sensitive files on the private lives of senior officers. The extremely personal information had been given by servicemen for an in-depth vetting process to give them high security clearance.
It has been admitted since the files were stolen that more than 500 RAF staff have been warned of the possible consequences to them and their families after the unencrypted data – stored on the hard drives went missing.
An internal MoD memo admitted that some of the details on high-ranking officers would be “front page news” that could tarnish the reputation of the RAF.
An RAF source not affected by the loss said there was “considerable worry in the ranks” over the loss of data that could affect relationships or be used by others to compromise personnel.
With the sensitive vetting details only emerging following a Freedom of Information request that led to the release of an internal MoD memo, together with the news that any data loss may need to be made public, the security and breach of data loss has never been more critical.
Over the past couple of years we have seen a sharp increase in the use of remote, wireless and mobile devices to access computer networks.
Many people now use laptops to carry files and data from place to place and can use wireless connections to work from almost anywhere they please. But there are dangers of data loss with these new advancements.
These changes that enable businesses to be on-the-move are leaving the networks increasingly vulnerable to attack, and the data that the businesses and organisations hold, at serious risk.
There are a number of ways to help reduce the risk of data loss in and out of the work place.
Other then the obvious methods of restricting access to only those who need it, data encryption and the ability to remove data from a mobile device once it has been is lost or stolen are key.
Obviously data backup using a very secure, automated and robust solution is always essential whether it be for critical servers or remote user devices. Also the ability to remove data from a laptop that is out of an organisations control is another solution that is becoming increasingly crucial as users become more mobile.