Morrison Utility Services Halts Device and Data Loss with Absolute
Headquartered in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Morrison Utility Services is the UK’s leading utility service provider. It works with utility companies across the UK, supporting the renewal, refurbishment and maintenance of their infrastructure and networks.
Morrison Utility Services has 3,500 employees based at around 90 locations across the UK. The IT team is responsible for managing and securing over 1,500 computers, laptops and rugged tablets—many of which are mobile and used in the field.
Morrison Utility Services has a number of security systems and policies in place to ensure endpoint protection, but none were as comprehensive as Absolute. Because many of their devices lived in vans and spend time on the road, they were highly exposed to the risk of theft. After many devices went missing in the field, Graeme Cross, Head of Business Systems and Development at Morrison Utility Services, began researching security solutions to mitigate this risk and protect their devices and data.
Morrison Utility Services looked at other security solutions, but the key feature that stood out about Absolute was the fact that Persistence technology was embedded in the core of devices, so that even if the disk is wiped, the Absolute software agent self-heals so IT can maintain a connection.
Morrison Utility Services tested Absolute on 100 of its Lenovo laptops. During the trial period, a laptop was stolen and the loss was reported to the police and the Absolute Investigations team. Working with the police, the team was able to pinpoint the laptop’s location and recover it. Cross says, “At first, it sounded too good to be true, the fact that Absolute could recover a device and even track it down to within a few meters of its actual location.”
When it was returned, Morrison Utility Services found that it had been completely wiped, removing the operating system and all the data. Cross says, “In the past, when a device was stolen the hard disk would be wiped and that would be it. Because Persistence technology is built into the core and is able to send information to Absolute, it was possible to locate the device and recover it.”
Following the success of the trial, Morrison Utility Services deployed Absolute on 800 laptops and 100 high-spec rugged tablets used in the field.
Morrison Utility Services also uses the alerting capabilities of Absolute. If the operating system changes or the device starts broadcasting from an unknown IP address, the Absolute agent will send an alert that something unusual has happened to the device. It means Morrison Utility Services is able to spot signs that a device might have been stolen, possibly even before the user realizes it is missing.
“This sort of capability is terrific for us because in the past we‘ve gone looking for a device, but often so much time has passed that people can‘t remember where the device was left. But Absolute helps you find out pretty much straight away that it‘s gone and where it‘s broadcasting from and then it‘s much easier to find.”
“Absolute is incredibly important to our business. As with other security products and systems, you don‘t fully appreciate how valuable it is until you have it. And once you see what Absolute can do, you don‘t want to be without it. We could have gone on for another year or two without Absolute, carried on losing kit and being frustrated by our inability to respond quickly or recover it. Now I‘ve had the taste of actually being able to get something back and better manage our assets I wouldn‘t want to be without Absolute,” says Cross.