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back to article 'Spend police USB stick data loss mega-fine on IT lessons for cops'

A six-figure fine levelled against police for losing a USB stick of drug probe suspects' details should be spent on training cops to take better care of sensitive data. That's the view of a candidate standing in today's police commissioner election in Greater Manchester. Last month the county's police force was fined £120,000 …

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Its easy to be smart and pick holes in peoples actions after the event.......sounds like he should run for parliament

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Sounds like revenge...

... for them making us do 'speed awareness' courses

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Re: Sounds like revenge...

They didn't make you do speed awareness courses - you opted to do those after breaking the law; they were an "easy option", else you'd have chosen the other punishment available.

I don't necessarily see a problem with this - we all want the police to be properly funded. But the IT dept need a good kicking if they aren't mandating crypto keys...

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Re: Sounds like revenge...

@John Robson,

It's only a joke, and I actually think it's that courses, both ways round, are a good idea.

BTW I've never had to do a speed awareness course, as I prefer mpg to mph.

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I can't help but agree here, and the same goes for the NHS.

They're underfunded, so they have to cut corners on certain areas, generally going the classic contractor route of "cheapest option who claims they can get the job done" which nomally equates to "Cheapest option because they're cutting even more corners"

This leads to stupid mistakes, like stolen memory sticks, records being left in the open etc unencrypted. The public bodies get fined for making mistakes

Now they're short another £120,000 in this case, which means they'll have to cut more costs, more corners, and make more mistakes.

I agree whole heartedly that the fines should be put back into training so although the money was lost, something actually came of it.

Lets put in a parenting analogy. I forget where I heard this. But here goes

A child is being looked after by a babysitter he's mostly a good kid but one day he's out playing in the middle of the road. The babysitter yells at him and tells him not to play in the road.

The next day the same thing happens again, and the day after that, and the day after that.

Eventually she says "You're a good kid, so why don't you listen to me when I tell you not to play in the road!" to which the child replies "What's a road?"

That's what we're doing right now, we're yelling at the police, we're taking away their toys (money) but they keep making the same mistake because they don't know what a road is (or in this case IT security). If we actually sat down and explained to them what a road is (or how to encrypt files) then they will be less likely to keep on doing it.

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Holmes

Disagree

Given the media coverage of data loss (from NHS to Schools to Local Govt) over the last few years you'd have to be pretty dense for that not to have filtered through now.

These things happen, not down to lack of training (though it's easy to blame that) but because after hours of lecturing on best practises tired and busy people take the easy way out.

(I need to take this data home but if i speak to IT I'll just get bogged down in paperwork and questions)

Experience? Working with a small finance company - where everyone was lectured regularly on the importance of FSA and Data Protection regs. Didn't stop people on Friday evening from dumping stuff onto their laptops before heading out the door.

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Facepalm

dude I think the police know what the road is. I mean they drive around in police cars so they wouldn't get very far in the policing business not knowing what a road is! also with IT security be careful you don't end up wasting police time with your mad ideas. the police are busy trying to catch jimmy savile's henchmen before they strike again they dont have time for IT security. Isnt the security of children more important??

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Anonymous Coward

Disagree too needs to be punishment in there.

Why the fuck should public organizations get off lightly? Sure spend the fine on training, but then you have to do that for everyone like banks too.

Fine individuals a bit too, but that doesn't help much either if they are ignorant and stupid and just in a rush.

whats good for the goose is good for the gander...

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M 6

This news title...

no make sense!

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WTF?

Great idea! - not

What is the bloody point of fining the police? Or, for that matter a hospital. Or the fire brigade?

How does this in any way help anything or anyone that these organizations serve?

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Re: Great idea! - not

Quite right the money should go to the suspects.

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FAIL

Did the cop get fired?

Blaming the police force is only part of the issue. Far greater way of making sure this doesn't happen is to have very public dismissal of staff involved, followed by prosecution and huge home-losing fines for data theft.

Crap like this is nearly always the fault of middle managers who are somehow a 'can I just' exception. See recent BOFH.

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FAIL

Why bother?

Why bother to make sure things are done right?

Spend available money on anything you fancy then, when there's a cock-up, you'll get extra cash.

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Unfortunately, A politician will have to suffer before they take this kind of thing seriously.

Hopefully, more than one.

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Anonymous Coward

tipoff

they're onto you, Dave.

someone blabbed your name bigtime

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Unhappy

However, bear in mind, UK public policy

is rather than fix the potholes, pay for the punctures.

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FAIL

Encrypted USB sticks are all well and good, but where are you going with that sensitive data. Secure network to encrypted usb drive to....Home, Costas, the library, where?

Don't feckin think so, put it back. Just another thing that legitimises bad practice.

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Anonymous Coward

Not really

My encrypted USB stick only talks to a machine at home (also locked down - both CSEG certified) that can handle the encryption. Sure, losing it would be silly and require a formal security report, but still one can be relatively relaxed at restricted level data being transported on it

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Question

Who funds the police service in the UK?

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FAIL

Why not fine the company that put the system in place which allowed the cop to put that data on a thumb drive?

I am absolutely amazed that any of this data has to be taken home. Aren't they supposed to have secure lines into some sort of general case system?

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