Foreign Office reveals it lost one PC every six weeks in last three years but claims robust defences mean ‘they do not pose a security risk’
Response to FOI request also reveals that department spends £66m a year on IT
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office lost 26 computers over the past three years but has asserted that the technology and processes it has in place mean that the losses “do not pose a security risk”.
In response to a Freedom of Information request made last year, the department has published figures revealing that, during the three-year period to the end of August 2017, it lost 25 laptops and one desktop computer. This equates to the unexplained disappearance of one machine every six weeks.
But the devices in question did not require a high security classification, an FCO spokesperson indicated, and any threat created by their loss was entirely mitigated by the security systems and practices the department has in place.
- Foreign Office launches £350m project to connect embassies in 170 countries
- National Cyber Security Centre to publish rankings for departmental email security
- Foreign Office works with GDS to revamp digital services for UK citizens abroad
“The security protection on our devices ensure that, in the unfortunate event of them being lost, they do not pose a security risk,” the spokesperson added. “These devices are at a low classification level, and we have robust measures in place to manage to any risk.”
The FOI response also revealed that the FCO spends around £66m a year on IT hardware, software, and labour costs. Across 2015 its IT spending totalled a fraction over £66m, while in 2016 this rose to almost £66.8m. For the first eight months of last year its IT outlay came in at £44.4m – equating to an annual figure of £66.6m on a pro rata basis.
The FCO also revealed that it has disposed of close to 200 PCs in the last four years. In 2014 it disposed of 11 desktops and one laptop, while the following year the tally was 34 desktops and no laptops. Its 2016 disposals consisted of 129 desktops and four laptops, while the first eight months of 2017 saw the department dispose of six desktops and six laptops.
Erik Silfversten and Nathan Ryan of RAND Europe discuss why built-in cybersecurity is as important a safety concern as any for manufacturers and legislators involved in the autonomous-vehicle...
Commissioner Tony Porter tells PublicTechnology about continued efforts to get the Home Office to recognise the need for a surveillance camera code of practice that applies to NHS and...
Organisation building centralised team to help Whitehall manage the digital implications of leaving the EU while maintaining longer-term transformation goals
PublicTechnology talks to the think tank’s digital and data specialist Eleonora Harwich about how AI could help eradicate disparity in the quality of healthcare and why GDS needs to focus...
BT's Amy Lemberger argues that having the right security in place to protect your organisation is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.
BT brought together some their top security experts and CIOs from well known UK organisations to discuss digital transformation and the impact that it’s having on organisations