First Engineering mobilises to improve the railway

First Engineering mobilises to improve the railway

Secure remote access technology will support nationwide maintenance projects

First Engineering is in a better position to win new contracts thanks to secure remote access technology that allows it to set up project management teams at client sites in a day rather than weeks.

The UK rail services company mobilises its staff using the Netilla Security Platform (NSP) from AEP Networks to allow secure access to company systems, such as enterprise resource planning, design and planning, and safety documentation on its Glasgow corporate network.

First Engineering undertakes nationwide engineering and maintenance projects and is working on the Trent Valley project to increase the number of railway lines from two to four to upgrade the West Coast Main Line.

“It is the first big project we have undertaken using the remote access system. We were able to get mobilised by the next day with the system rather than having to wait for up to four weeks. Previously we would have to get structure cabling, a wide area network link and kit to a client site,” said Alan Roberton, IT manager at First Engineering.

“Now we can log onto all our systems using client or partner equipment as all we need is access to a web browser.”

NSP is a secure sockets layer (SSL) virtual private network (VPN) which sits on First Engineering’s local area network and integrates with Windows Terminal Server to provide thin web-based access to corporate systems.

It uses the Vasco two-factor authentication system with key fobs issued to all authorised remote workers generating a security code to log on to the system.

“Security is a priority as it is very important to access commercially sensitive information on the corporate network securely,” said Roberton.

In the future, fast mobilisation of project teams will help First Engineering win business, he says.

“It will be recognised that we can go in and get up and running quickly which will help us win business. It helps us with the planning phase as there is always a certain amount of upfront time in planning for the job,” he said.

“Having secure remote access can improve the quality of our work and enable us to get the job done quicker. We will be much more flexible in taking on work.”