Most of the data breaches you hear about in the news are from external hackers infiltrating a network and stealing credit cards, personal data or intellectual property. You don’t always hear about the oops or mistake that caused the same problem from a trusted insider. This past week Heathrow Airport and London’s Metropolitan Police were scrambling to find out how security plans for the airport that included those related to Queen Elizabeth wound up on a USB stick found on a London street.
The USB memory stick had about 2.5 GB of unencrypted data, including details of the route used to convey Queen Elizabeth to the airport, details of every type of identification required to access restricted areas, a timetable of patrols around the airport perimeter and a map of CCTV cameras, tunnels and escape shafts. Heathrow and the London Metropolitan Police launched an investigation to discover how this information ended up on a street.