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Laptop lost by Eden Project contained sensitive data.

Tier-3 : 18 June, 2007  (Technical Article)
Eden project data loss demonstrates requirement for policies and procedures for protecting sensitive data and achieving compliance.
The Eden Project has joined the growing ranks of organisations that have lost employee and/or customer data on a laptop.

The high-profile Cornish environmental complex, which opened in March 2001 and has become one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK, has announced the loss of a laptop from the car of an employee of Moorepay Limited, the firm's contracted payroll company.

Data lost includes employee names and addresses, plus bank details, NI numbers and salary/wage rates of around 500 employees.

Commenting on the laptop theft, Geoff Sweeney, CTO of IT security company Tier-3, said that unfortunately this loss demonstrates the risk associated with protecting sensitive data in any organisation.

'This incident highlights the need for all companies handling important data to have effective IT security policies and rigorous compliance procedures in place,' he said. 'The aggregation and storage of information assets is increasingly making them targets for criminals seeking to profit from the theft of identity details intellectual property or other sensitive information,' he said.

According to Sweeney, All organisations need to be aware of these risks and deploy appropriate security processes and systems to protect against the misappropriation of this sort of information The protection of information assets is now a key requirement of any effective IT security strategy.

In November, 2006, the Nationwide Building Society revealed a laptop containing customer data had been stolen three months earlier. Early last month, Marks & Spencer announced a laptop containing the personal details of 26,000 employees had been stolen.
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