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News

Private contractor loses home office data

Lumension Security : 25 August, 2008  (Technical Article)
USB memory protection necessary to avoid continued loss of high profile sensitive data
In the latest data loss fiasco, the Home Office has announced that private details of 84,000 UK prisoners have been lost by private contractor PA Consulting. David Smith, Deputy Commissioner in the Information Commissioner's Office called the incident "deeply worrying" and said the department will "decide what further action may be appropriate" once a report has been submitted, according to media reports.

Andrew Clarke, Senior Vice President, International, Lumension Security comments: "Data loss on USB sticks is becoming more and more prolific. The worrying thing is what data is out there on USB sticks that we haven't discovered yet. Protecting data is not just about encrypting the data on the stick it is about controlling who can get their hands on it in the first place and for what purpose.
"Whilst human error or malicious intent is always a possibility, the only way to prevent data loss from removable devices is to take control of inbound and outbound data from all endpoints, and encrypt all data during transmission. It is about putting the eyes of the management team on people's PCs. After all, if people know they are being watch, they are more likely to think again.

"Where extremely sensitive data is at stake, the Government needs to put in place procedures to ensure a comprehensive audit trail of all data is implemented, regardless of whether data is been moved by internal or external staff. It is imperative that device control policies are established that enforce assigned permissions to individuals and devices."
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