Portable devices like lap tops and USB sticks offer greater practicality and flexibility than desktop devices, but what are the associated risks?
If you provide USB sticks and lap tops to your employees to enable them to perform their work outside the office environment, then you face the challenge to secure the information that is stored on these devices.
Failure to encrypt confidential data, stored on USB sticks and laptops, is a breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA).
In 2011 a report from Big Brother Watch uncovered more than 1,000 data loss incidents across local authorities. A total of 435 of these cases involved the loss or theft of unencrypted USB sticks, laptops or mobile devices.
The Information Commissioner’s Office position on encryption is clear:
“All personal information – the loss of which is liable to cause individuals damage and distress – must be encrypted. This is one of the most basic security measures and is not expensive to put in place – yet we continue to see incidents being reported to us. This type of breach is inexcusable and is putting people’s personal information at risk unnecessarily”. Sally-Anne Poole, Enforcement Group Manager.
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