Morrisons secures critical infrastructure sites

Posted On 27 Mar 2014
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Wm Morrisons Supermarket’s” farm to fork” business strategy is getting extra security over 40 critical sites, after Express Data upgraded its facilities security and management using Mobotix HD IP-video security systems. The UK food retailer has over 500 stores across Britain and subsidiaries including Farmers Boy, a manufacturer and distributor of food products; Woodhead Bros, a meat processing business; FlowerWorld, a wholesale flower business and other business interests including multi-channel online retailing. In 2008, Morrison’s Data Centre Services Manager, Darryl Shears, began a program to strengthen the resilience and security around its critical IT infrastructure as part of a wider software migration from legacy systems to a unified Oracle based platform. ” We have sites that range from northern Scotland to Bridgwater in the South West and Sittingbourne in the South East. Managing this estate from a centralised team in Bradford is a logistics challenge,” says Shears,” We need to be able to monitor key comms rooms and IT equipment remotely both proactively to stop any issues from escalating and to react quickly to ensure any problems are dealt with efficiently.” To this end, Morrisons decided upon a strategy to upgrade each of these IT and communications rooms with environmental monitoring, remote surveillance and remote access control technology. Following an evaluation programme and based on a number of reference site examples, the supermarket group selected a solution including Mobotix CCTV cameras, Panduit environmental monitoring and access control technology.” The Mobotix solution, especially the hemispheric technology, allows us to use just one or two cameras to cover single or multiple rooms with the resolution and reliability we required,” explains Shears,” In addition, the built-in flash storage support means that we can still record the site even if we have a network connectivity issue.” The team based in Bradford can use the Mobotix cameras to view anybody requiring access to a safe room and remotely open doors and monitor any activity within the room. The system has the option for fully bi-directional audio and requires only 5W per camera, which aligns with the company’s stated aim to use low energy technologies across its operations. Over the last 24 months, Express Data has worked with Shears and his team to implement upgrades at an additional eleven sites and created a standard blueprint for the resilience and security at each of the critical sites. The build includes power redundancy and best practice access procedures with full visual audit trail. The supermarket has deployed over 140 cameras across its sites.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.