5 considerations for securing your data center

5 considerations for securing your data center

If you manage your own data center or colocation facility, then you know how important security is. It is essential that you safeguard information from hacking, data breaches and human error. When thinking about your options for a robust security system, there are a number of things to consider. Fortunately, much has already been written about this topic, but this article will help you strengthen your security strategy going forward. Accordingly, here are 5 considerations that will help you protect your data center:

1. Identify your weak points and determine your need
The first thing you need to do is figure out is where your vulnerabilities are. Data Center Knowledge pointed out that it is never a good idea to build a data center against outside walls as this increases the chances of unwelcome intrusion. You should also pay attention to what is housed above and below your data center. By securing these weak points, you can eliminate the most obvious threat – someone breaking in. Organizations that opt to build their own center, in particular, tend to have highly sensitive data that they don't want in a colocation facility. However, that means the data center may be located in a multi-floor building. If this describes your data center, you should consider installing physical barriers, cameras and access control systems. Additionally, it is important to examine your operational processes so that visitors and contractors are not let inside your server room accidentally.

"You should regularly monitor your access logs and perform audit checks."

2. Keep track of all your workflow processes
It is critical that you keep track of your operations and compliance-related activities. You want to limit access to your data center to IT staff and organizational stakeholders. As such, you should regularly monitor your access logs and perform audit checks. Keep track of peripherals, servers and datacenter management software, looking for any suspicious activity. Especially for high traffic areas, it doesn't hurt to hire an outside firm to assess the facility with a new perspective. If your data center is in a colocation facility, and you have a trusted provider, most likely your assets are safe and well-maintained. However, a more prudent strategy should involve regular audits, regardless of where the center is housed. Remember that data is one of your most valuable assets and it should be treated as such. 

3. Watch out for human error
The most common form of data breach is that committed by insiders. That is why it is important to protect yourself from inside and outside dangers. Data Center Knowledge explained that danger comes in the form of poor engineering, carelessness, or corporate espionage, but in all cases, people working in your facility pose the biggest risk. Accordingly, it is necessary that you implement strong security policies that hold personnel accountable for their access permissions. It is advisable that you pair access cards with biometric security, such as fingerprint scans, for the best possible defense. Biometric security is safer than passwords and much harder to replicate or steal. Employees will be deterred from lending each other access cards, and if one is stolen, it will be useless to the individual who tries to access your server room. It is important to understand that access should never be shared in an organization.

4. Educate your people on security policies 
A big part of having a strong security system is staff member training. You should explain to staff members why they should not lend each other access cards and instruct them to report any suspicious activity. Additionally, let them understand that for compliance purposes, workflow processes are strictly segregated and monitored. Often, regulatory agencies will want to see who access which piece of information and when. Eliminating duplication of access means that you are able to adhere to compliance standards with greater ease.

5. Ask your business stakeholders for their feedback
Once you have a security system fully in place, the next thing for you to do is discuss your policies with staff members. Ask them if they agree your assets are secure. Are they accessing data with ease? What are some potential vulnerabilities? It is also a good idea to talk to your IT staff and get their opinion on the matter.

Ultimately, as data becomes more central to business, enterprises will look for better ways to secure data. Biometric access control systems allow companies that manage data centers, colocation facilities and server rooms to maintain better control of perimeter doors, interior rooms, cages and server racks – with one integrated platform. These sophisticated solutions help organizations prevent data breaches, hacking and problems related to human error. Additionally, these solutions reduce costs and simplify the authentication process for entry to secured locations.  

Posted by cmarsden

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