UK Home Secretary apologizes for violating IT security regulations

UK Home Secretary apologizes for violating IT security regulations

The UK’s Home Secretary, the official in charge of policing and internal security, has been compelled to apologize for violating official IT security regulations.

Suella Braverman, who had previously resigned due to the violation, has been reinstated in the United Kingdom’s government. She wrote to the head of the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Committee to explain her conduct and how she plans to avoid future violations.

She forwarded ministerial material to her personal Gmail account six times, according to the letter. She claimed on several occasions that she needed to do so to examine papers while participating in a Microsoft Teams videoconference on her professional phone.

The incident

In her letter, Braverman describes that on October 19, she was travelling and didn’t have access to her professional phone, leaving only a personal phone and email available to do work.

She requested that her special advisor send papers to her private email account to be able to examine and update a written Ministerial Statement while travelling.

She then forwarded the papers to Sir John Hayes MP, a former security minister and Intelligence and Security Committee member who’s part of a group of formal sovereign advisors.

Trained and reappointed

When the chief whip and the Prime Minister became involved, Braverman resigned spectacularly just before the resignation of former Prime Minister Liz Truss. According to the letter, many people were surprised when Braverman was reappointed as Home Secretary after intensive IT training.

Braverman’s admission of an unsafe approach to IT security while being in a government position comes after the start of an inquiry into the usage of WhatsApp among officials , raising concerns about judgment without record-keeping or monitoring. The Information Commissioner’s Office committed to investigating the “systemic risks” prevalent in private communication channels in July.

Tip: IBM chief: less red tape post-Brexit will spur London’s tech growth