Cabinet Office admits to losing nearly 800 devices

08 June 2022

The Cabinet Office, the UK governmental body responsible for supporting the prime minister and cabinet, has reported almost 800 electronic devices lost or stolen in the past three years, according to official figures.

Data retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act and analysed by niche litigation firm Griffin Law, observed the number of electronic devices reported lost or stolen each year for the past three financial years, FY 19-20 to FY 21-22.

In total, the Cabinet Office reported 791 laptops, mobiles, Mifi wireless routers, and other devices either lost or stolen, 61% of which 479 were mobile phones.
Laptops accounted for 28%, 219, of the devices whilst Mifi’s made up 38 devices and a further 55 ‘other’ devices were reported missing.

The news comes after Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney exposed a number of government departments for misplacing devices, labelling it as “deeply worrying.”

Cybersecurity expert Achi Lewis, Area VP EMEA, Absolute Software, said:
“It is a tricky task for large organisations, including the Cabinet Office, to manage a vast workforce of staff and devices, especially through unprecedented circumstances like the pandemic. These organisations represent an example for many businesses and as such need to ensure they have the proper cybersecurity solutions and protocols in place to both prevent and manage the loss of devices.”

The financial year 2019-20 saw the most devices lost or stolen with 435 devices, as organisations transitioned from their offices to remote working as a result of the pandemic.