The UK government has been urged to adopt a “new approach” to data security by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The spending watchdog found that “too many bodies” within government have “overlapping responsibilities” for information security matters and that insufficiently clear information is collected by the government on the way it performs in protecting data or the costs involved.

“For the centre of government to take strategic decisions on protecting information, and departments to take a risk-based approach to protecting their information, detailed figures on expenditure and the benefits of current activities and projects are required,” the NAO said in a new report (47-page / 383KB PDF). “We found no single body responsible for this and no central set of management information covering this area. The costs of protecting information across government are therefore unclear.”

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