This time with payroll data of ten thousand NHS staff on. The machine had a password on it but no other security information was disclosed, I suspect the data wasn't encrypted, therefore the thief only needs to put the hard drive into another machine to access the data.
The amount of stolen laptops with personal information on is getting ridiculous, and this is where BitLocker and a TPM can help.
BitLocker ensures that data stored on a computer running Windows Vista remains encrypted even if the computer is tampered with when the operating system is not running. This helps protect against "offline attacks," attacks made by disabling or circumventing the installed operating system, or made by physically removing the hard drive to attack the data separately.
With the NHS spending billions of pounds on an IT overhaul, it is obvious that steps like these need to be taken to secure personal information, especially when on mobile machines which are easily lost or stolen.
Many NHS Trusts have already looked at deploying BitLocker technology, I think it the wake of this it is the obvious solution and that it should be rapidly deployed.
This of course goes for all private companies that think it is a good idea to store tens of millions of customers' credit card information unprotected on laptops, from a quick Google search it looks like the highest number stolen on a single laptop has been 45.6 million.
The technologies exist to help resolve this problem and they should be deployed, I fear the private sector will, unlike the NHS, drag their feet for years perhaps even a decade to come and millions more items of personal information will gradually leak out wrecking more people's lives.