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ICO's Freedom of Information act report shows no let-up in data loss incidents

Origin Storage : 29 October, 2009  (Technical Article)
Origin Storage comments on the increasing trend towards sensitive data losses despite the increasing availability of high capacity secure removable storage devices
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Reports that UK chief information officers reported a whacking 356 data loss incidents in the last 12 months - approaching double that of the year previous - should sent shivers down the spine of any self- respecting IT security professional, says Andy Cordial, managing director of Origin Storage, the storage systems integration specialist.

'If you research into the figures, which were released by the Information Commissioners Office under the Freedom of Information Act, you discover that 127 devices such as laptops were stolen and 71 incidents involved memory sticks, CDs and other data storage devices,' he said.

'And, incredibly, despite the infamous high-profile HMRC disk loss incident in March, 2007, the data reveals that there were 24 incidents of data lost in transit via courier servers in the year to September 2009,' he added.

Cordial went on to say that, when you realise this compares with 'just' 190 incidents a year earlier, you begin to realise the scale of data security losses in corporate Britain today.

If you said that UK PLC's IT systems were leaking data like a sieve, you wouldn't be far wrong, especially when you realise these incidents involved organisations whose CIOs was prepared to come clean on their problems, he explained.

The probability of many more CIOs loving in blissful ignorance of their underlings quietly sweeping their data mistakes under a very deep pile carpet is also extraordinarily high, he went on to say.

'Words like `fiasco' and `disgrace' spring to mind, but in some ways I feel quite sorry for the organisations whose IT systems have been shown to be about as secure as a paper bag on a windy day,' he said.

'And with highly secure PIN-enabled AES-encrypted drives up to one terabyte in size now available in the market, there really is no excuse for this situation. The affected CIOs should be ashamed of their staff,' he added.
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