Case Study: STW Quedlinburg GmbH

STW Quedlinburg is a power and water supplier owned by the city of Quedlinburg in the state Sachsen-Anhalt in Germany. Using ERP systems, STW Quedlinburg communicates with several other actors in the market. The communication is done using email and the widely adopted EDIFACT standard.

Challenges

German regulations require that business to business communication is secure. The recommended way to secure the communication is to use cryptography to encrypt and digitally sign each message. If a company does not follow these recommendations, the company is regarded as less trustworthy and this can potentially limit the company's success. Further, if the company's ERP systems can't receive the secure message that business partners are sending, then this can potentially hinder doing business together.

Most ERP systems have not included support for this secure message communication. The German customers of those ERP systems then have the option to not use secure messages and potentially lose business, change to another ERP system (generally a very costly and with large impact on the day to day business) or find a third party system that can secure the communication.

Solution

By using vSEC:MAIL Server, STW Quedlinburg are now able to secure the outgoing emails and receive incoming secure messages, without changes in the ERP system.

vSEC:MAIL is getting all incoming mails, performs the crypto processing and saves the emails together with a status into a folder that is shared with the ERP system. Outgoing messages the ERP system will drop into a shared folder together with processing information (e.g. receiver address), vSEC:MAIL takes the messages from the shared folder and performs the crypto and sends the emails.

Implementation

Herr Brinksmeier, IT Manager at STW Quedlinburg, says: "The implementation of vSEC:MAIL Server from Versasec was fast and very straight forward. Not only does vSEC:MAIL enable us to communicate securely, it also has improved performance in the system because of vSEC:MAIL's flexible filter handling."

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