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The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes any loss and theft of Communications and Information Systems (CIS) and associated media storage devices very seriously. We have robust procedures in place to mitigate against such occurrences and to manage such losses when they do occur. This is reflected in the level of detail we record, and our policy of including in our figures incidents when equipment may have been securely disposed of without the correct records being kept, where missing items are subsequently located and where incidents involve the loss of contractors' equipment which was being used to process Defence information.
The size and complexity of the MOD, more than 250,000 individuals operating all round the world, from permanent bases and in theatre and with frequent movement of kit between locations in support of operations, means it is almost inevitable that equipment will go missing. Our challenge remains to reduce the number of such incidents and minimise the risk of any incident resulting in the loss of information by ensuring that devices are encrypted or where this is not possible that additional security measures are in place. Processes, instructions and technological aids are being continually reviewed, revised and implemented to mitigate human errors and further raise the awareness of every individual in the Department of their vital role protecting MOD information and assets.
The following table details how many computers, mobile phones, BlackBerrys and other IT equipment have been reported lost or stolen since May 2010.
|Removable hard disk drives||72|
|USB memory sticks||73|
|(1) Includes 21 laptops stolen in one incident during transit in Germany and 20 laptops reported lost in another incident which have subsequently been recovered. (2) Includes 80 legacy backup tapes unaccounted for in one incident. (3 )The majority of the “Other” category refers to USB tokens but it also includes radios, 3G cards, cameras, keyboards and monitors.|
For comparison, using laptops as an example, 326 were lost in 2008 and 129 in 2009.