SOURCE: AEP Networks

November 06, 2007 03:00 ET

Remote Access System Helps 'Fast Track' Railway Engineering Projects

AEP Netilla Security Platform Provides Secure Remote Access to Critical Design and Planning Systems at First Engineering

LONDON--(Marketwire - November 6, 2007) - Secure remote access technology is helping First Engineering, the UK rail services company, to mobilise project management teams up to 100 times faster for nationwide engineering and maintenance projects.

The AEP Netilla Security Platform (NSP) from AEP Networks provides First Engineering's project engineers and project managers stationed around the country with secure remote access to critical design and planning systems and site and safety documentation residing on the organisation's Glasgow corporate network.

"Before we installed NSP, we didn't have a reliable, easy to use system for staff to access resources when working on site from client and partner premises or while on the move. This inevitably led to lengthy delays at the start of projects, while project managers collated all the documentation and information they might need. It also meant staff lacked an effective way of collaborating and staying in touch during the course of projects," said Alan Roberton, IT Manager at First Engineering, which provides total solutions to the rail industry including communications, power systems, signalling, track renewals and specialist construction work.

The NSP appliance, an independent device that manages all aspects of remote access, sits on First Engineering's LAN which covers 40 sites. It works with Windows Terminal Server to provide 'thin' Web-based access to corporate systems, including the organisation's Primavera P3 project management software, AutoCad design system and IFS Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. A quarter of the first Engineering's workforce, 500 employees, are currently authorised to use NSP. The system was installed and rolled out with the help of leading systems integrator, Enforce Technology.

"It's becoming increasingly important for us to work closely together in client and partner offices and the NSP allows us to access all of our core systems rapidly," explained Roberton. "In one recent example, the system's remote access facilities meant we were able to set up a project team in Lichfield within hours, instead of what could have been weeks, when we were engaged by Network Rail to work on the high profile project to widen the existing railway between Armitage with Handsacre and Tamworth as part of the West Coast Mainline upgrade."

NSP integrates with First Engineering's Windows Active Directory and uses the VASCO two-factor authentication system for effective security. The VASCO key fobs, which are given to all authorised remote workers, generate a security code which has to be entered to enable the workers to log on to the system.

The NSP is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution which relies on the standard SSL web protocol designed for server authentication, data encryption and message integrity over internet links. It is specifically targeted at providing easy access to Windows Terminal Server applications via the Internet through an embedded thin client technology.

Alan Roberton commented: "The NSP was chosen due to the seamless integration with Windows Terminal Server and the ability to use two-factor authentication out of the box. Remote access is now simple for the end user, through Web-based access to the NSP menu system; no messing about with dial-up settings, VPN clients or modem cables."

About First Engineering

First Engineering provides a complete range of rail infrastructure services and is one of the largest firms in the UK operating in its market sector. Our focus on multi-disciplinary rail infrastructure work makes First Engineering unique and provides us with an in-depth understanding of the sectors in which we operate. We are committed to providing customers with a high quality integrated infrastructure design, renewal and maintenance service at the most cost-effective price -- with safety as the paramount objective -- and our ability to integrate the full range of diverse disciplines and services involved enables us to deliver a consistently high level of performance. Regional offices are located in London, York, Birmingham, Manchester and Hamilton, supported by depots throughout the UK.

About Enforce Technology

Enforce Technology are a specialist IT Security Integrator providing security solutions for both Governmental and Commercial organisations. In addition to providing network perimeter security for organisations, email, policy management, IDS/IPS & virus protection solutions can also be provided. The company also provides vendor independent consultancy and support.

About AEP Networks

AEP Networks offers a comprehensive Policy Networking solution that provides complete security starting at the endpoints and working throughout a network -- from the edge to the core. AEP's integrated portfolio of security products includes network admission control enforcement points, identity-based application security gateways, SSL VPNs, high assurance IPSec-based VPN encryptors, and hardware security modules for key management. Our products address the most demanding security requirements of public-sector organizations and commercial enterprises internationally. The company is headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, with offices worldwide.

AEP Networks, the AEP Networks logo, and NACpoint are trademarks of AEP Networks, Inc., with registration pending in the United States. Netilla, SmartGate, SmartPass and SmartAdmin are registered trademarks of AEP Networks, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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