Thieves plunder 105 gadgets from BBC offices in last two years

Research from a leading law firm has revealed that the BBC has been a victim of widespread device theft, with laptops, phones, cameras and other gadgets swiped from BBC offices over the last two years

by Patrick Sullivan, Political Editor on 22 February 2021 07:26

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Thieves have robbed the BBC of a total of 105 electronic devices over the last two years, according to new research from a leading London law firm. The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act revealed an array of expensive items have been reported stolen from BBC premises, including laptops, mobiles, tablet computers, cameras, and hard drives.

Over the two-year period, a total of 35 mobile phones were pilfered, with 19 taken throughout 2019 and 16 taken throughout 2020. In addition, 36 individual microphones were swiped across the two financial years, including 10 taken in 2019 and 26 taken in 2020.

In 2019, the number of Laptops and MacBooks reported stolen was 11 and in 2020, that number decreased to six. Additionally, two tablet computers were reported stolen in 2020. Other items nicked from BBC offices included four hard drives, one camcorder and one Firestick.

In a statement, the BBC said: “The BBC takes incidents of crime seriously and we are constantly implementing and reviewing measures to reduce crime and recover lost and stolen items.”

Cyber security expert Edward Blake, Area Vice President, Absolute Software UK&I told The Commentator: “One of the biggest challenges facing organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic has been successfully securing and managing key devices like laptops from loss, theft and rising cyber risks. You can’t protect, what you cannot see. With so many people either working remotely or on the move, large organisations like the BBC will inevitably see devices go missing, some of which will contain confidential data.

Blake continued, "With many businesses now requiring their employees to work from home, corporations can no longer be solely reliant on network-based security; they need to increase their focus on securing the actual endpoint devices. This means ensuring they have an unbreakable digital tether to all devices, capable of delivering complete visibility and control, enabling real-time insights into the state of those devices, and allowing them to self-heal security controls and productivity tools.”

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