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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (a) database and (b) ICT system run by his Department in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement; (286554)

(2) how many successful attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (a) database and (b) ICT system run by his Department in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

The security policy framework, the data handling report and the national information assurance Strategy produced by the Cabinet Office provide a strategic framework for protecting information that Government handles and put in place a set of mandatory measures to which Departments must adhere.

It is not in the interest of the security of the department, or that of the public, to disclose detailed information relating to electronic breaches of security of departmental IT systems. Disclosing such information would carry a significant risk of enabling criminals and those who would attempt to cause disruptive threats to the department to deduce how to conduct attacks and therefore potentially enhance their capability to carry out such attacks.

To help defend against electronic attack, it is standard good information security practice not to comment on such incidents.