A USB memory stick containing the details of around 4,000 people has been lost by Leicester City Council.
The loss, which was confirmed to a local paper, has been reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who have started their own investigation into the breach. The 4000 people in question were signed up to a service called LeicesterCare, which supports vulnerable city residents. The details contained medical details and 2000 keysafe codes that allowed carers into residents homes.
A spokesperson for the council confirmed the data was encrypted. However the stick was supposed to be stored in the council offices in a locked safe each night.
The spokesperson states “We can confirm we are investigating the possible loss of a data device that contains personal details of around 4,000 LeicesterCare users. At this time we have no reason to believe this data has been removed deliberately”.
Two years ago the council suffered a similar data breach when a USB stick containing the details of a number of children went missing. At the time it was unclear if the stick was lost or stolen, however it was unencrypted. The stick went missing from a council run nursery and contained the names and addresses of the children.
Another data loss incident recently happened in Leicester City Council. The council bosses have already admitted that one computer memory stick which contained vital details about many children and their families went missing from a nursery. The council is not sure whether this data was lost or stolen.
The memory stick contained details of about 80 children, which included their names, telephone numbers, addresses, and dates of birth. The memory stick did not contain any kind of financial details. Council chief executive Sheila Lock added that they will not take this incident lightly. They also want to express their concern and apologise for this loss. They also believe this to be an unacceptable, serious breach and will investigate to take appropriate action.
Ms Lock also added that she is not willing to blame anyone before the investigation is completed. As of now, there is no evidence of the memory stick falling in wrong hands. Until the investigation is completed, no one will be sacked or suspended.
It is very important for business organisations to have an online data backup and online data storage plan. Online data storage is the easiest way to store your important data safely and securely. In any incident of data loss, it can be easily restored. This data is stored in the online data storage company’s server which is located at a remote place.
Data loss incidents seem to be never ending with new ones springing up almost everyday. Whether these are due to negligence, irresponsibility or the plain fact that data is not stored properly, these incidents are serious and have to be stopped. The latest incident in data loss is a missing memory stick from the Leicester City Council.
Sheila Lock, the chief executive, asked for an investigation into the matter as it contained names, dates of birth, addresses and telephone numbers of about 80 children on it. She also said the incident was unacceptable and grave. In response to this Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner said that councils need to take effective steps to protect data and reduce incidents like this because only then can public trust be built.
In order to reduce the number of incidents of data loss, organisations that hold vital information need to invest in securing data through online data backups. Remote backups are a great way to ensuring that data is kept safe no matter what happens. Online data backups store and encrypt important information which can be regularly updated without any trouble. This can ensure that the same data is available at another location in case the originals get lost, damaged or stolen.