Loss of MoD memory stick criticised

News by Dan Raywood

Reports of an MoD memory stick that contains details of troop movements has been criticised.

Reports of an MoD memory stick that contains details of troop movements has come under fire.


According to a report on the BBC website, the USB stick was found in a Cornish nightclub and contained details on training for 70 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. It contained times, locations and travel and accommodation details for the troops, the MoD said it was carrying out a full forensic examination on the stick after it was found and handed it in to a national newspaper.


It was reported that more than 120 USB sticks, some containing secret information, have been lost or stolen from the Ministry of Defence since 2004.


Paul Davie, founder of Secerno said: “This incident of more lost data is once again another embarrassing example of sheer incompetence. It is imperative to manage all sensitive data effectively, whether in transit, at rest or in back-up.


“The whole life cycle of the data needs to be examined and appropriate measures taken to protect against all threats, originating from potential outsider attacks, insider abuse and simple accidental losses. The question needs to asked, why such sensitive data is ever kept on USB memory sticks, which are so easy to lose! It is ridiculous.


“When you think about what these troops do for their country, surely the least the Government can do is ensure we keep information like this secure – at the end of the day the safety of these men and women should be the highest priority.


“The most recent data breach figures that have been reported by HMRC cite that 1,993 security breaches occurred between the end of October 2008 and the end of April 2008. This means security breach figures have actually increased in this period; from eight to ten breaches a day – no one seems to be responding to the threats to data loss.


“We are calling on the Government to take action; to implement comprehensive data security policies, to communicate them to all staff – and most importantly, to enforce them.”

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