Ministry of Defence data breaches and lost devices jump by 300%

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sheen a sharp rise in data breaches and device losses, according to official figures released today. The findings reveal a 300% rise in serious incidents of data and device loss as well as paper records.

by Patrick Sullivan, Political Editor on 29 July 2019 08:26


Security chiefs have issued a stark warning after The Ministry of Defence (MoD) disclosed a major increase in data breaches and device losses.The findings, contained in the MoD’s annual report, reveal that total losses of data and devices have rise by from 117 to 463 in the two most recent financial years. 

This represented an increase of 296 per cent over the period. In the most recent full financial year there were a staggering 352 ‘unauthorised disclosures’, up from 73 in the year before.

Additionally, there were 62 losses of electronic devices or paper records in FY 18-19, up from 22 the year before.

The figures were compiled while Gavin Williamson – recently appointed Education Secretary – was in charge at the department of Defence.

Andy Harcup, of data security firm Absolute Software said: “Rising thefts of mobiles and laptops pose a serious security risk. Each device contains a goldmine of confidential data which could be exploited by hackers, foreign states or even a rogue employee. “It’s vital all government organisations ensure devices are properly protected with end-point security, so they can track, secure and freeze them if they fall into the wrong hands.”

Nia Griffith MP, the Labour Party’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “It’s very concerning to see sensitive documents or equipment go missing from secure locations, particularly as the UK faces a growing range of threats. “The new Secretary of State must ensure his department does everything it can to trace these devices and prevent future security breaches.”

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