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Local Councils Lose, or Do Not Track, USB Devices

One council claims memory sticks are departmental responsibility, and are not tracked by asset management.

Local councils have acknowledged suffering a series of data losses due to device losses.

Following Freedom of Information Act requests by Apricorn, Kent County Council declared 734 breaches between Jan 2023 and Dec 2023, Surrey County Council amassed 665, and Norfolk Council 605. Other big losses included Warwickshire County Council (495) and East Sussex (490).

Additionally, Warwickshire County Council noted that its devices are not encrypted and the organisation relies upon the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to be able to access its systems, whether that be laptop or mobile. 

Surrey County Council said peripherals are not tracked and that memory sticks are departmental responsibility, and are not tracked by asset management.

Also, Lancashire County Council stated that it does not record/document information about lost devices.

“Failing to properly document and report lost and stolen devices not only compromises the privacy and security of individuals' information but also undermines the trust and credibility of the council,” said Jon Fielding, managing director EMEA at Apricorn.

“By implementing security tools and practices such as deploying removable storage devices with built-in hardware encryption, government departments can roll this out across the organisation, ensuring all data can be stored or moved around safely offline. Even if the device is lost or stolen, the information will be unintelligible to anyone not authorised to access.”


Dan Raywood Senior Editor SC Media UK

Dan Raywood is a seasoned B2B journalist with over 20 years of experience, specializing in cybersecurity for the past 15 years. He has extensively covered topics from Advanced Persistent Threats and nation-state hackers to major data breaches and regulatory changes. Outside work, Dan enjoys supporting Tottenham Hotspur, managing mischievous cats, and sampling craft beers.

Dan Raywood Senior Editor SC Media UK

Dan Raywood is a seasoned B2B journalist with over 20 years of experience, specializing in cybersecurity for the past 15 years. He has extensively covered topics from Advanced Persistent Threats and nation-state hackers to major data breaches and regulatory changes. Outside work, Dan enjoys supporting Tottenham Hotspur, managing mischievous cats, and sampling craft beers.

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