As if the oil spill which hit the US's Gulf Coast last year causing significant environmental damage and economic hardship for home and business owners wasn't bad enough, it has today been revealed that the details of 13,000 of the victims of the disaster have been lost by BP.
According to a report published on the Info Security website, full details are still emerging of exactly how the data loss occured but it appears likely that it happened following the loss of a company laptop. Rather than encrypting the details of the 13,000 people whose information was held on the laptop, it appears that the computer was only protected with an easy-to-circumvent Windows password. In specific, the laptop contained the details of those who had made claims to the company for financial compensation.
Sadly, cases like this are all too common - be they the loss of personal medical information by the NHS at one end, or the compromising of the data of 7 million users of the Play.com website. It is absolutely crucial that, in order to avoid mass data losses such as this, that information held on USB sticks or laptops is fully encypted so as to render it useless in the event is is stolen or misplaced.
You can view the whole story here.