The BBC has reported the theft of 105 electrical devices from its premises over the last two years, according to data obtained following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by litigation firm Griffin Law. The findings have raised fears that confidential information contained in these devices will have fallen into the hands of malicious actors.
A total of 35 mobile phones were stolen over the two years from the premises of the UK’s public service broadcaster: 19 during 2019 and 16 in 2020. Additionally, 17 laptops and MacBooks were taken over this time, 11 in 2019 and six in 2020, and two tablet computers were stolen last year.
Other electrical devices reported as stolen in the two-year period were 36 individual microphones, four hard drives, one camcorder and one firestick.
In response, the BBC said in a statement: “The BBC takes incidents of crime seriously and we are constantly implementing and reviewing measures to reduce crime and recover lost and stolen items.”
Experts believe that the difficulties in preventing theft of such equipment within large mobile workforces highlight the importance of having stringent cybersecurity controls in electrical devices to keep sensitive data safe.
Edward Blake, area vice-president, Absolute Software UK&I, commented: “One of the biggest challenges facing organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic has been successfully securing and managing key devices like laptops from loss, theft and rising cyber-risks. You can’t protect what you cannot see. With so many people either working remotely or on the move, large organizations like the BBC will inevitably see devices go missing, some of which will contain confidential data.
“With many businesses now requiring their employees to work from home, corporations can no longer be solely reliant on network-based security; they need to increase their focus on securing the actual endpoint devices. This means ensuring they have an unbreakable digital tether to all devices, capable of delivering complete visibility and control, enabling real-time insights into the state of those devices, and allowing them to self-heal security controls and productivity tools.”