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Top 3 Physical Data Center Security Standards

How (physically) secure is your data center?

Due to the complex and dynamic nature of data centers, IT managers face a critical responsibility to keep these powerhouses safe and secure. The ongoing fear of data loss and alteration, physical tampering of sensitive systems, theft of intellectual property, and cyber crime is prevalent. As a space designated for storing an organization’s most critical systems, keeping a data center’s physical and virtual elements secure is a top priority.

As defined by the industry, data center security includes the various technologies, policies and precautions an organization should adapt to protect its IT infrastructure and network from internal and external threats. Despite the basic regulations and security policies that come with data center management, organizations continue to face challenges when identifying the proper measures to safeguard against the unexpected and protect their data as technology continues to advance in this ever-changing industry.

How can you ensure you’re keeping your data center secure? At the core, it starts with the physical elements of your IT infrastructure. Here are three best practices to consider:

1. Location. Assessing whether a data center is secure starts with its location—from the building to the structure to the surrounding area. Ideally, the building’s sole purpose is to house your data center with additional offices located off-site. Do your best to keep your data center in a remote area with few windows, bulletproof walls, airlocks between door entryways, thick fencing around the perimeter, and multiple entrances. Avoid high-risk weather zones that could attract flooding or earthquakes, and take into account future expansion when evaluating your building’s square footage. Inside your data center, ensure reliable technology is intact for preventative safety measures including 24/7 video surveillance, staffed security guards, metal detectors upon entry, and driving checkpoints at entrances and exits.

2. Access. With human error ranked as the number one threat to security, closely monitoring and restricting your data center building access will help maintain a secure and safe environment. By enforcing security protocols for every sensitive room and building entryway, you can closely monitor the access into and out of your data center property. Consider implementing the following authentications for entry to assure access is not granted to unauthorized personnel: building access cards, individual identification cards, background checks, and locking systems. Every secured area should require at least two forms of these verifications. Incorporating more innovative locking technology such as retina scans and fingerprinting can add another layer of security to each access point of your building. Maintaining ongoing video surveillance logs and running security audits and physical walkthroughs are also good practices to follow. Be sure to implement regular testing of these security procedures once they’re put in place to confirm your safety measures aren’t falling through the cracks.

3. Redundancy. You’ll want to be prepared with built-in redundancies to ensure uptime and access in case your data center experiences an unexpected power outage. When a primary power source is disrupted, it can be devastating for your data center business, resulting in a loss of time, money, and important resources. Understand what kind of network redundancies you have in place as your “insurance” against unplanned downtime. A redundant data center infrastructure typically includes:

  • Power (generators, automatic transfer switches, uninterruptible power supplies, and power distribution units)
  • Cooling (computer room air conditioners, chilled water systems, heat exchangers, and leak detection)
  • Network (routers and switches)
  • Security (biometric locking systems and video surveillance)

To provide the optimum security in this evolving industry, ensure these data center protocols are implemented, updated, and regularly tested.

When you’re ready to improve your data center connectivity from the inside out, our team at StayOnline can help identify the best options for you. From the largest in-stock selection of data center power cords to custom made-to-order solutions, we can keep your IT environment organized, colorful, and secure.