MoD breach puts more data at risk

MoD breach puts more data at risk

Breach of security protocol at Ministry of Defence allowed access to soldiers' personal details

Human error has put hundreds of personal details kept by the Ministry of Defence at risk, according to a report out today.

The personal details of more than 200 soldiers were lost in the incident, as well as the names of their wives and children, after an army officer left his laptop in a pub, according to a report in the Sun newspaper.

In response to the lost laptop, a MoD spokesman said, “We take all security breaches extremely seriously and the MoD and Army will be investigating this incident as a matter of urgency.”

The allegedly unprotected information was reported to contain data on soldiers' movements, military exercises and weapons store locations, as well as recommendations for promotions.

Commenting on the incident, Philip Wicks of consultancy firm Morse said, “Sir Gus O’Donnell recently issued strict guidelines banning all laptops with unprotected information leaving government offices. These were good guidelines, but human error means they won’t always be followed.”

Although the laptop was handed into the Sun by an anonymous individual, and will soon be returned to the MoD, Wicks highlighted the risk to reputation the numerous data losses are causing the government.

“This isn’t rocket science. Any organisation that has sensitive information on laptops should be pulling them in and getting the data encrypted,” he said.