Information security audits are really for a company's own good. They exist to ensure that an organization is able to secure, trace and backup the data it stores so that hackers and cyber criminals cannot gain unauthorized access. While these audits might be anxiety-inducing for IT departments and management, with the right system in place, they can be a walk in the park.
In data centers, these audits are even more crucial. After all, a data center's primary responsibility is to safely house information for clients. If a center is vulnerable to attack, it isn't doing its job. Audits provide the necessary test for data centers to measure their effectiveness without undergoing an actual, live breach. As such, it's important for data centers to understand what protocols apply to them and how best to provide evidence of robust security measures.
A quick guide to data center audits
There are innumerable standards, laws, audits and reports out there. Not all of them apply to data centers, but many do. It's a good idea for a data center to be equipped with the knowledge of exactly which bars they must measure up to. Online Tech compiled a list of compliance standards for data centers, which include the following:
- Safe Harbor: This act bridges the gap between differences in U.S. and European Union data regulations to allow easy sharing between companies from different nations.
- HIPAA: The U.S. Health and Human Services Department created this law to ensure the protection of medical records and personal health information.
- PCI DSS: Companies that accept, store and transmit credit card data must comply by this regulation to maintain privacy and prevent fraud.
- SOC 1, 2 and 3: These reports measure a data center's controls as it relates to financial reporting, security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy.
- SAS 70: The original audit to validate a data center's record keeping and financial controls.
Some of these are standards that do not specifically apply to data centers – HIPAA, for example, invokes health centers and hospitals more than data centers. But centers that host data from these medical facilities must also be compliant. So it goes for a number of audit reports.
Biometrics provide catch-all solution for security
The above list does not include every single audit a data center will undergo, and already it seems daunting. How can a data center satisfy these rigorous demands? The answer lies with biometric technology.
Biometric security provides access control at any and every entry point. It is scalable and nearly impossible for intruders to bypass. That's because biometrics use unique physical characteristics from each registered individuals, like a fingerprint pattern, as the key. Without a matching print, access is denied. As a result, data centers that use biometric access control are among the best in business, trusted by everyone from mainstream industries to the federal government.
An information security auditor who encounters a data center with biometric security will likely have nothing but praise for the organization's commitment to total access control from the front door to the server cabinet.
Security remains the bottom line
As previously mentioned, the point of the audit is to make sure data centers are held to the highest security standards possible. Such measures are necessary in this day and age, when it seems every major company has had to clean up the pieces after a serious data breach, noted Data Center Knowledge. The audits are not there to scare IT teams – they exist to help usher in an age of responsible data practice and robust security. To that end, biometrics offer the best possible solution and should be an integral part of every data center.