How to Physically Secure Your Data Center Now and in the Future

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This is an excerpt from the new The Essential Guide to the Data Center Facility of the Future.

One of the biggest trends in data center operations that we have observed over the last several years is the shift from enterprise owned-and-operated data centers to multi-tenant and hosted facilities. Even though this trend is driving down costs for many organizations, it also creates a need for greater security, as multiple stakeholders share the physical and network infrastructure resources in these environments.

Many data center managers focus on cyber security and overlook their facility’s physical security. Cyber security helps keep your data safe from malicious attacks on the logical layer elements of the data center, but it’s not enough to protect you from insider threats on the data center’s physical assets.

Because authorized personnel and employees are often the source of an organization’s security breaches, improving your data center’s physical security not only prevents unauthorized access but also keeps your tenants’ data in compliance with their respective industry regulations.

The first step in securing your data center is to use a multilayer approach to make sure that only authorized personnel have access, but also that there are auditing controls in place. This means securing everything from the perimeter of your building, the facility itself, the data center and potentially the individual cabinets.

Additionally, you should have a technology migration strategy for your security system. Physical security technology is moving from more traditional analog to IP-based systems. If you’re making this shift, you must decide if you want to keep your existing analog systems, use a hybrid solution that integrates these analog systems within the network or use a fully integrated IP-enabled security system that integrates all your physical security systems together. The Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) is developing interoperability standards that will allow you to seamlessly integrate multi-manufacturer systems. In addition, your access control systems should meet your organization’s audit trail and compliance requirements.

Another security consideration is proper camera selection. Look for high-resolution cameras that operate in low-light conditions that are common in data center environments.

And finally, select the right security integrator partner. Your partner should know how to deploy both analog and IP-based technologies efficiently.

To learn more about the data center of the future, get your copy of The Essential Guide to the Data Center Facility of the Future.

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