Governments Lack In Protecting Portable Citizen Information

The hot topic during the government funded Privacy Awareness Week in Australia was portable storage devices. The Privacy Commissioner issued a statement to all government agencies to switch to secure USB sticks. At the same time a report with staggering statistics on portable security was released.

Policies are left in the drawer to gather dust

Over two-thirds of the agencies in the study had policies in place regarding portable storage security and procedures when transferring records to external parties. 58% had experienced a breach of a agency issued device the past 12 months only half of these featured any security precautions.
The full report can be downloaded here

What has lead to the action from the Privacy Commisioner are concerns after multiple incidents in the UK regarding lack of security for USB storage. The breaches are ranging over the full spectrum of goverment organizations. The UK is well known for having an attitude of publishing and high-lighting breaches, more so than many countries.

Some of the latest high-profile USB breach incidents in UK

UK police lose USB stick with terrorist intelligence data
Council loses data on children on USB key lacking password protection and encryption
Data on 5000 prisoners are lost on unsecure USB flash drive

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