Last month, a study by Big Brother Watch found the local authorities in the UK had recorded 4,236 data breaches between April 2011 and April 2014. These data breaches highlighted the negligent attitudes of council workers towards protecting the confidential information of the British public.
According to the study, data was lost or stolen on 401 occasions during this period, with additional reports of 197 mobile phones, laptops or USBs containing confidential information being misplaced or taken.
Additionally, there was a report of an employee, from Thanet Council, Kent, who had been accessing benefit claim records inappropriately. This is likely to be down to the fact that data is not locked down, with access given all individuals, rather than allowing access to certain files to only the departments or individuals that need them.
These instances all highlight poor training and management, but also a lack of implementation of technology such as a hosted desktop system that can ensure data is secure and protected from breaches, both within and outside of the council.
Desktop Monster is a hosted desktop solution that can help prevent security breaches like those discovered in UK councils. Some of the features that would be of benefit include:
• Anti-virus software and intrusion detection is enabled as standard to monitor and block any unauthorized access from outside of the council.
• Each company is allocated their own storage space, separate from any other company using the data centre, ensuring that cross-company access is not allowed.
• Data is stored in a UK data centre, so there is no need to worry about it being accessed in a different country such as the USA.
• Data is stored in the cloud so in the event of an employee losing their device, or them being stolen, no data will be lost as it isn’t stored on their device.
• Restrictions and access can be set per department or per user, ensuring only people that need to access certain data can do so.