Over one year on from the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it is reported companies are still not doing enough to protect their data. This has been proven with data breaches still making headlines one year on. On 5th July 2019 it was announced that top secret files from chemical warfare base Porton Down ‘found dumped in a rubbish bin’.
Secret documents from Britain’s chemical warfare base Porton Down have reportedly been found dumped in a London bin. According to an exclusive report in the Daily Star the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched an investigation after it was told thousands of pages of sensitive information were found discarded. A member of the public is said to have made the discovery of the files in wheelie bins in a car park in London, which reportedly date from the early 1980s to the end of 2017.
Information on the papers included details of equipment carried by guards at the top-secret Wiltshire site, according to the newspaper. Details about the responsibilities of specialised police who patrol the base and the password to computer systems were also reportedly found.
A spokesman for the MoD confirmed an investigation into the incident was under way. He said: “We take the protection of personal data very seriously and we have a range of procedures in place to do so, including complying with the Data Protection Act. We also expect third parties who legitimately hold our data to apply similar strict protections. We can confirm that an investigation has been launched into the alleged incident.”
Source: Sean Morrison, Evening Standard
5 steps to prevent a data breach
Topwood shredding offer 5 practical steps that will prevent a data breach, such as the one at Porton Down, and protect the personal data of your staff and customers.
- Provide secure lockable containers for the easy and safe disposal of unwanted information which are placed in a secured location.
- Adopt a clear desk policy within the workplace. With increased sharing of office space a clear desk policy will help ensure sensitive information is not left around for prying eyes to view.
- Shred all documents as soon as possible once they are obsolete. Enforcing a shred-all policy means all papers and information is securely disposed of and there is no room for error.
- Shredding on-site is by far the safest option. Many organisations rely on their own staff to shred their own documents using their own ‘industrial shredders’. In reality this can create huge security gaps and put your data information at risk – see why office shredders are risky?
- When engaging a professional shredding company ensure they have security vetted personnel (to at least the BS7858) and industry accreditation to ensure that sensitive material is destroyed in accordance with legislation and to the agreed standards using the best technology – for example use a company that cross cut shreds.
Topwood is a specialist data management company that provides guidance and services to minimise the risk of a data security breach within all private and public sector organisations.
Any enquiry into this particular security breach will surely make numerous suggestions for future improvements.
If you would like any information on our high security shredding services, please don’t hesitate to get in contact via email, online chat or telephone.