Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

MoD Data and Device Losses Soar 300%

Total losses of data and devices by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) have risen by nearly 300% over the past two years, according to official figures.

The figure jumped from 117 incidents in 2017-18 to 463 in 2018-19, according to the MoD’s annual report.

Within that figure, “loss of inadequately protected electronic equipment, devices or paper documents from secured government premises” jumped over 180%, from 22 to 62.

There were fewer losses of that type from outside secured government premises: just 21 in 2018-19, up from 11 over the previous two years.

However, “unauthorized disclosure” incidents soared from 73 to 352 over the period.

“It’s very concerning to see sensitive documents or equipment go missing from secure locations, particularly as the UK faces a growing range of threats,” said shadow defense secretary, Nia Griffith.

“The new secretary of state must ensure his department does everything it can to trace these devices and prevent future security breaches.”

Andy Harcup of data security firm Absolute Software, also argued that rising thefts of mobiles and laptops pose a serious security risk.

“Each device contains a goldmine of confidential data which could be exploited by hackers, foreign states or even a rogue employee,” he added.

“It’s vital all government organizations ensure devices are properly protected with endpoint security, so they can track, secure and freeze them if they fall into the wrong hands.”

This isn’t the first time the MoD has been found wanting over cybersecurity. Last year reports emerged that there were 37 recorded breaches of security protocol over the previous 12 months.

These include: sending sensitive information unprotected over the internet, connecting mobile devices to ministry networks without checking first for malware and devices, documents and rooms left unsecured.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?