I’m not sure if this is a case of “IT department losing stuff” or “someone ganking government laptops” but it looks like the Department of Commerce has lost 1,100 laptops since 2001, with 250 from the Census Bureau alone. These laptops contained sensitive information including names and Social Security numbers.
While we all know what happened – Joe Blow took his government laptop home, got fired, and now his kid is pounding out homework on our dime – there is really no excuse for this. This breach is another example of how weak most IT inventory systems really are and, more specifically, how weak IT systems in government are in real life. RFID, biometrics, and other high-end security systems are probably the only answer as well as hardcore, on-disk encryption. Unfortunately, that rarely happens in the real world and this is what you get.
1,100 Laptops Missing From Commerce Dept. [Washington Post]