EGLV versiondog Case Study

Improving IT Security for Critical Infrastructure with versiondog Change Management Software

EGLV is the first water association in Germany. They use versiondog to improve IT security and adhere to critical infrastructure requirements for documentation.

EGLV logoFounded in 1899, Emschergenossenschaft was the first German water association. A series of water associations were shaped after them, including Lippeverband in 1926. The two together, known as EGLV, have worked in close cooperation from the very beginning and operate under a common organizational structure. They operate 59 sewage treatment plants, 344 pumping stations, and 411 drain and rainwater treatment facilities and detention basins.

Why did EGLV need a data management software like versiondog?

Over the years, EGLV has developed a diverse range of automation and IT equipment to maintain its infrastructure. Although much of it is centralized, maintenance and IT security is still no easy task.

EGLV versiondog case study image of critical infrastructure security

On top of typical maintenance requirements, German water associations also need to fulfill the requirements of the IT Security Act for critical infrastructure. Companies must demonstrate that their security measures and standards are in place and suitably robust. One of the things they are required to show is the ability to resume operations quickly after a disruption. For example, they need to be able to reload the software of any crashed PLC in any control unit with the correct version quickly and with certainty. Other standards that need to be considered include BSI data security standards and the set of risk management rules produced by the German Association of Transport Sciences (DVWG) for water service providers.

The team at EGLV was spending a lot of time and effort to align versions of the control software programs on different pieces of equipment. They quickly realized they did not have the time or the bandwidth to do this themselves, so they used subcontractors. Because the processes were not put in place internally, there was very little attention on automated backups or ongoing data management processes.

What critical requirements did versiondog need to meet?

  • Automated backups
  • Disaster recovery by quickly locating and loading the correct version of any control unit
  • Documentation to fulfill critical infrastructure requirements

How does the versiondog data management software solve potential problems for EGLV?

EGLV versiondog case study production at night

versiondog now manages all control devices used in EGLV facilities. Currently, the total number of automated control device projects is around 3,500. The total number of versiondog components is around 5,000 with frequency converters, pressure sensors, and level sensors added. Work is currently underway for versiondog to monitor every single piece of automation equipment at EGLV.

According to the head of the maintenance department, Ralf Hellmann, versiondog offers all that is needed to attain the required level of quality for critical infrastructure organizations. EGLV uses the versiondog software for data management of all digitized data, from complete PLC programs down to the parameter lists of individual components. For networked installations, a series of around 120 snapshots are made each day. Automated backups are made every day to prevent IT security issues and speed disaster recovery efforts if needed.

The bottom line for the EGLV versiondog case study – has the versiondog data management software saved them money?

Ask Ralf Hellmann if versiondog has saved the association money and he answers with a categorical ‘yes.’

"It's difficult to say exactly how much money we have saved in total, but the amount is so high that the precise figure isn't really important."

- Ralf Hellmann, Head of Maintenance at EGLV

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