MoD lost over 200 computers in the last year

The Ministry of Defence had 206 computers stolen in the past year, along with a number of BlackBerry phones and other mobile devices, department figures have revealed.

As well as the loss of computers, 34 BlackBerry devices went missing during the financial year 2011-12, as well as 24 other mobile devices.

The number of PCs and laptops being lost or stolen from the department is lower than the previous year, when 371 hardware items went missing.  There was an increase in the number of mobiles that were unaccounted for, including BlackBerry devices used by civil servants and Ministers for departmental business.  

MoD minister Mark Francois said in a statement that the department is looking at new ways to prevent the theft or loss of devices.

“The Ministry of Defence takes any theft of, loss of, attacks on, or misuse of, its information, networks and associated media storage devices very seriously and has robust procedures in place to mitigate against and investigate such occurrences,” the Conservative MP said. 
“Furthermore, new processes, instructions and technological aids are continually being implemented to mitigate human errors and raise the awareness of every individual in the Department.”

TechEye has approached the MoD to find out whether this includes the use of device tracking software, but is yet to receive a reply.   

Francois added that there has been no reason to believe that any sensitive information has been accessed as a result of the theft or loss of IT equipment.

“Following thorough investigations, the Joint Security Co-ordination Centre has not received any evidence that demonstrates that the information has been compromised,”  he said.

“A significant number of the incidents involve information that had been encrypted to government standards and, while the data was lost, the chance of compromise of encrypted information is deemed to be minimal,” Francois said.