Seqwater now gives Water Treatment Operators a secure single identity on a centralised system that spans 50 geographically diverse and technically firewalled sites - all managed from Head Office.
Seqwater is the Queensland Government statutory authority responsible for providing a safe, secure and cost-effective bulk drinking water supply for 3.1 million people across South East Queensland. The organisation also provides essential flood mitigation services, manage catchment health, offer community recreation facilities and provide water for irrigation to about 1,200 farmers across seven water supply schemes.
With the most geographically spread and diverse asset base of any capital city water authority, the merger of a number of different tech applications, coupled with the obvious need to maintain extremely high levels of security, Seqwater knew that when it came time to upgrade their control systems, it would be no small task.
The extreme levels of security required to manage the water treatment plants meant that systems were extremely siloed, making it hard for the corporate IT teams to manage users and teams across the various open and closed network environments.
Because of a the number of varying systems, Water Treatment Operators needed to be set up with a number of profiles across different platforms, and specific permissions and access requirements allocated. The Operators would need to be physically present in locations to troubleshoot any problems that might arise. Where the right Operator was not available, others would need to travel from other sites to login with their credentials that were pre-authorised on that specific network or device, increasing time taken to troubleshoot issues.
So that Operators could have the ability to work wherever they need to, when they are required to, Seqwater needed a centralised accreditation system for the management of user accounts, and a way to create, update and maintain user permissions and authorisations at a moment’s notice - all from Head Office. This would be a big job, spanning across their geographically diverse and technically firewalled site networks, physical devices located at around 50 secured sites, so they engaged MOQdigital to help.
MOQdigital kicked off the Control Domain Project by designing the Directory Services that would manage user permissions and authorisations across the secured site network. The group membership hierarchy was defined across the central southern and northern regions, with all sites and their corresponding servers, permission groups and authorisations allocated accordingly.
The team then built the central layer of infrastructure in the data centre, including two domain controllers, licensing server, administration server, SQL server, and McAfee virus protection server. To prove that each site could stand alone and still run where the communications link was lost, MOQdigital ran a pilot to bring sites online across the network and test the infrastructure.
The team then defined a service model that determined how the devices on the network would receive regular technical updates, and required integrations, while remaining disconnected from the internet and secure from malware.
Travelling to all physical sites alongside the Seqwater team, MOQdigital implemented a central virus control server that distributes updates and reports on viruses, as well as provides centralised Microsoft licencing management. All updates to the servers were conducted as a one-way deployment to help maintain the secure network.
Now with a single identity, Water Treatment Operators can be onboarded and offboarded quickly and easily with centralised systems. Role based administration for maintenance staff now enables common and efficient IT administration practices for Seqwater.
Machines are now accessible by the Operator from any workstation, with the appropriate permissions applied to their user, ensuring security standards are adhered to and greater visibility over login session activity, providing better reporting and management, and greater security of their systems.