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What a week it's been - and not just for Alistair Darling. HMRC's catastrophic loss of 25 million child benefit records will have the government on the defensive for some time yet. But what was the cause? So far we have the government pinning the blame on a rogue junior employee and the Tories putting it down to incompetence, penny-pinching and plenty else besides.

And then there is world-renowned ex-fraudster Frank Abagnale's take on events: those discs weren't lost but stolen, he insists.

But one thing seems certain. IT security risks have been ignored at HMRC and the culture and systems need to change there fast.

Read our extensive coverage of the entire debacle.

For more detail on these stories, and all this week's news for IT directors and managers, check out ComputerworldUK.com. Share your views with us. Why not download the latest white papers from our comprehensive library of over 3,000 papers and explore the latest opinions on the Computerworld UK site?

Editor's highlights

Microsoft struggling to convince about Vista

Another survey highlights business concern about migration

Nokia: Ringing the changes

Why embracing social networking sites is good for business

HMRC data loss was theft, claims ex-con Frank Abagnale

And breach shows UK ID cards is a bad idea

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How IT departments can learn to say yes to end users

And the hidden benefits of this approach

Child Support Agency tries again to fix core systems

Tackling defective IT will cost up to £320m

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Thin vs. Fat: Google's plan to kill Microsoft Office

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"While encrypting local data can be a solution, ensuring that all sensitive data is properly encrypted can be difficult. Moreover, proving that all such data has been encrypted after a laptop has been lost or stolen is practically impossible. A much better solution is to simply store all data on central servers at the datacentre, and access them remotely via server-based computing."

From: Lose an unencrypted laptop and 'face criminal action'

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The HMRC data breach: read all our coverage

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