30/07/2013 09:17 BST | Updated 28/09/2013 06:12 BST

Baby Breach


When it comes to babies, there are plenty of secrets to be kept before the little bundle of joy arrives into the world; the agonising first three months when you're desperate to share the news, choosing whether to find out and share the baby's gender, and then there's the choice of name and when to reveal it.

With a royal baby the pressure must increase tenfold, as does the risk of discovery. On Tuesday 22nd July 2013, the world waited eagerly for any scrap of information about the newest royal, we all wanted to know the sex, the weight, the name and who it would most look like. The biggest information leak of the week came from an unlikely source: A policeman, standing vigilant outside the hospital inadvertently revealed a confidential briefing note containing details of the security protocol when he unwittingly shared it with the world's media.

Fortunately, for both the new prince and the unfortunate policeman, whose gaffe was recorded across numerous news sites during the slow wait for information, the details were not compromising.

The incident illustrates just how easy it can be to reveal sensitive information in a momentary lapse of judgement. This incident is an interesting reminder not to forget the paper when it comes to information security. With today's focus on digital communications, and the potential for confidential information to be shared online or lost on a mobile device, it's not surprising that organisations turn first to the IT department to manage their information security. Indeed, research from Iron Mountain revealed that 35 per cent of organisations continue to view data protection solely as an IT issue. As this incident has shown, however, it's all too easy to forget about the risk posed by paper and people. Paper is easy to transport and easy to mislay, meaning that anyone who handles paper documents needs to assume responsibility for their protection.

Of course, incidents like this are often inconsequential, but it does highlight a lack of awareness for the value of information. Fortunately for most of us, our lapses of judgement aren't captured by the world's media, but they could still have consequences. What might the outcome be if on a Friday you lost the briefcase full of confidential documents that you had intended to read over the weekend, or if you inadvertently revealed your company's next big strategic move while working on the train, or if copies of sensitive customer files found their way into your rubbish bin?

With all the excitement surrounding the royal baby, and with new pieces of tantalising information being released every day, data protection is unlikely to be at the forefront of the public's mind. However, for our future king, protecting his privacy and personal information will become increasingly important as he makes his way in the world with the eyes of the nation on him.