Laptop theft hits Met police staff
One man arrested in London after three laptops go missing from LogicaCMG office
Thieves stole three laptops containing details of the Metropolitan Police payroll, Scotland Yard confirmed.
The laptops were stolen last Thursday from the offices of LogicaCMG, the company responsible the Met's pay and pension services. The computers contained the pay details of half the Met's staff.
According to reports, one man has already been arrested in Southwark, South-East London. He was later bailed in connection with the burglary. A spokesman for the Met said the risk of staff becoming a victim of identity theft was "minimal". The spokesman added that the Met was in discussions with credit reference agencies, payments association APACS and fraud prevention service CIFAS to take action to prevent staff from identity theft.
Security experts said the incident was "a little embarrassing for the police".
"Organisations must have security procedures and policies in place to ensure personal data is safe in the event of laptop theft," said Donal Casey, security consultant, at IT consultancy Morse. "There are lots of things they can do to make it hard for criminals to actually access data, but also many organisations need to consider what information they are leaving on laptops."
Casey said there are lots of things organisations can do to make it hard for criminals to access data, but also many organisations need to consider what information they are leaving on laptops.
"Laptops are, by their very design, compact and lightweight making them easy targets for criminals. Far too often organisations don't even think about what sensitive information employees have on their laptops," he said.
Casey added that organisations need to ask whether laptops need to contain sensitive personal data like payroll details and if so what procedures and policies they should have in place to guard against this type of threat.
"If a criminal steals this information and uses it to commit identity fraud the implications for any organisation would be huge," he said.
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