NHS Laptops with sensitive data go missing

It looks as if eight laptops being stored by the medical research unit, London Health Programmes at a NHS storeroom at the NHS North Central London Health Authority, have gone missing. They were part of a set of twenty laptops being used for research purposes, but more worrying is the news that one of these laptops contains the personal and medical records of 8.63 million people.

The disappearance of these laptops is being investigated by the Police and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). However, this still does not help the matter that the data on the machines was not encrypted either!

According to Chris McIntosh who is the CEO of ViaSat UK,

“When a machine contains highly sensitive information on literally millions of patients, not securing the data on it by any means possible isn’t just careless: it’s sheer negligence. With the value of the data on such a machine in the tens of thousands of pounds, spending a little extra on security should be a no-brainer”

He finished off by saying,

“It is to be hoped that the ICO acts swiftly and decisively to pass a strong message in this case and that, more importantly, the data on the laptop itself doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. If it does, innocent members of the public could find extremely sensitive, personal information that should have been strictly confidential being used against them”

Source [Info Security Magazine]