From Appenzell to Vaud and Ticino: RAILplus represents metre-gauge railways all over the country. In order to counter the increased risk situation, the regional transport companies are now increasingly arming themselves against the growing dangers of the modern digital world - with a focus on cyber security and data protection. For this, expert advice is valuable: RAILplus trusts in ELCA, an experienced IT specialist.
Today, informatics permeates all areas of railway industry. Progressive automation brings numerous advantages for operators and passengers, but the high complexity and networking of systems also comes with a new sensitivity. RAILplus, the joint venture of the Swiss metre-gauge railways, has recognized the resulting necessity and continues to upgrade in the area of cyber security while advancing digitalization. Although the current 20 member railways - from "Rhätische Bahn" to "Berner Oberland-Bahn" to "Ferrovie Luganesi" - use individual IT systems with different handling, but all of them are working for the same goal: to protect the integrity and digital availability of the railway systems even better.
Kick-off for a digital security upgrade
In order to achieve this goal, RAILplus chose a consultancy mandate from the Swiss IT company ELCA because of its best price/performance ratio among more than 20 providers. The deciding factors for the selection were ELCA's experience in the field of cyber security, its presence throughout Switzerland with offices in Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Bern and Zurich, as well as its practical experience in the public transport sector. With ELCA's support, RAILplus will further promote cyber security among its member railways and additionally intensify internal communication and exchange with external suppliers and partners. In this way, economies of scale will be achieved in the design and implementation of joint measures. The cooperation between ELCA and RAILplus, which is expected to last for many years, started in June last year.
Not daring, still winning
Urs Siegenthaler manages the RAILplus IT working group. He is convinced that safety must be promoted in the digitalisation of the railway industry: " There is the risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take", he quotes the late US economist Peter F. Drucker. Drucker is considered one of the most influential pioneers of modern management theory - according to him, a conscious, contemporary management of digital risks is essential nowadays.