Department for Business, Innovation and Skills loses more than 100 devices in three years

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has come under fire after disclosing details about the number of mobile devices it has lost over the last three years.

In a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Department revealed that 118 mobile phones and laptops have been lost or stolen over the past three years.

These include 83 BlackBerry devices, 17 laptops, 16 BIS-issued mobile phones, as well as one personal laptop and BlackBerry.

Tyler Shields, senior researcher at security vendor Veracode, said the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace has bolstered productivity, but also created new business risks.

"It's critical for the Government to not only secure these devices with mobile location and remote lock and wipe technology, but also secure the apps that reside on them," said Shields.

"A phone or tablet does not have to [be] lost or stolen to be at risk, and ensuring the security of mobile applications is equally critical to protecting against an ever increasing threat profile to governments and businesses alike."

Earlier this year, it was revealed that over 2,000 pieces of IT equipment were lost or stolen from Government departments between 2011 and 2012, with the Ministry of Defence accounting for more than half of those lost.

IT Pro contacted for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for a comment, but was still awaiting a response as this story went to press.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.