A freedom of information request has revealed that Defra and the Environment Agency have lost 540 laptops, mobile phones and tablet computers in the last three years.
The findings showed Defra lost 100 of the devices, while the Environment Agency misplaced the other 440.
Defra reportedly recorded a 43 per cent increase in lost devices over the three financial years, up from 28 in 2016-17 to 40 in 2018-19.
Software specialists Absolute Software said the losses represented a security risk, with ’every single lost device a potential goldmine of confidential information’.
The Environment Agency said it employed more than 10,000 staff across the country and due to the nature of the role, operational staff often work in the field ‘to protect the environment and support [our] incident response capabilities’.
A spokesperson added: “Because of this, there is always a risk that exposure to threats concerning mobile technology will be increased.
“All staff are required to work in accordance with our IT and security policies so that we continue to work toward minimising losses and risk associated with losses.”