Chief information officers from the public and private sectors have reported over 350 incidents of data loss to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the past year, it has been revealed.
A Freedom of Information request made to the ICO by business software vendor Software AG turned up 356 separate incidents, over 150 more than occurred in the previous 12-month period.
Most of the incidents involved portable computing devices, including 71 lost memory sticks and CDs, 127 stolen devices including laptops, and 24 incidents of data lost in transit by couriers, according to Software AG.
A further 78 incidents were characterised as "data disclosed in error", which could include misaddressed packages.
"Organisations are failing to learn from previous examples. They continue to gamble with sensitive data via risky transfers rather than implementing a robust infrastructure to ensure that information is moved securely," said Tim Holyoake, lead technologist at Software AG.
"Few data losses have occurred where organisations have invested in secure, electronic data transfer technologies. This begs the question of why chief information officers are not insisting on greater use of these solutions."
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