The department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has lost 83 smartphones and 17 laptops over the past five years.


According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requested by Veracode, the last 12 months saw the department lose one BIS-networked laptop, seven BIS-issued mobile phones and 24 Blackberry devices. The BlackBerry has been the biggest headache for the department, as 83 have been lost over the past three years – 24 in 2010/11, 35 in 2011/12 and 24 this year.


A letter from the Information Rights Unit, said: “We are not able to differentiate whether an item has been lost or stolen. We do not record information on the estimated replacement values of the items. All departmental IT equipment listed as lost or stolen is encrypted to the required standards to protect the department's information assets.”


Veracode senior security researcher Tyler Shields, said: “The explosion of mobile devices in the last few years has improved working collaboration and productivity, but also created new risks for the private and public sector.


“It's critical for the government to not only secure these devices with mobile location and remote lock and wipe technology, but also secure the apps that reside on them. A phone or tablet does not have to go lost or stolen to be at risk, and ensuring the security of mobile applications is equally critical to protecting against an ever increasing threat profile to governments and businesses alike.”