10 ways to build physical security into your data center

build physical security

Datacenter Security management is a top priority for data center professionals looking to keep up with the complexities of current industry regulations and compliance requirements.

Data centers continuously get exposed to security because of the consistently large amount of data stored and processed. Of course, taking extra precautions to ensure data safety can be expensive.

But that’s part of the requirements of building a secure data center that can withstand different classes of a disaster such as terrorist threats, invasions, or natural disasters.

How To Build Physical Security Into Your Data Center

build physical security

Pick The Right Location To Build Your Datacenter

Station your data center in a different location from business headquarters and a reasonable distance from the main roads, chemical facilities, and power plants.

Have Minimum Exit and Entry Points

You can further reduce the chances of physical break-ins by strictly controlling access to the building access and limiting the number of entry and exit points. Also, you can implement security checkpoints for staff and divide rooms with floor-to-ceiling turnstiles. If fire codes require you to install exits, you can install exit-only doors that people cannot open outside.

You can also further put alarms off when the doors open to alert the security. Increase security by installing retractable barriers to manage access to the parking lot and loading docks.

You can use green lights and raised gates as visual cues to signal that the driver can pass. You can have the barriers lifted to open or close only when someone gets allowed to enter or leave the premises.

Have Redundant Utility Services

A data center must have two sources for utilities, such as water, electricity, voice, and data. You can have two separate substations supplying electricity. Also, the water supply can trace back to two distinct lines.

Doing this ensures a constant supply of utilities in case one line fails. You can rely on the other. You can also use the expected power usage as leverage for persuading the electricity company to accommodate the data center’s unique needs.

Background Checks For Associates

Many security threats get initiated by data center employees themselves. So, you cannot be too careful concerning the people that work in your data center. You must conduct pre-employment background checks on your employees and the vendor employees that have access to your business’ data.

Role-based permissions

A more significant portion of data center security threats is internal attacks, and mitigating vulnerabilities from the inside is crucial. You can secure control over teams’ access to data center data utilities. 

Use the administrative rights in your data center management solution to manage how employees access different areas of your data center, including the devices and features they can use. Grant specific permissions to different users to prevent unauthorized data management and changes. Leverage privileges such as viewer, editor, contributor, and other administrative role-based permissions to ensure that particular viewers can view and edit data. In contrast, others may only be able to view.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Sensitive areas of your datacentre must have extra security levels, such as biometric identification using fingerprint scanners or hand geometry. Also, you can complement this by implementing cost-effective access cards where applicable.

Electronic Door Locks and Card Access

Ensure to secure the mechanical area of the data center housing environmental systems and power supplies off-limits. Keep your servers and other data center assets behind doors, locked with physical keys.

A very effective method of maintaining security regarding data center assets involves enclosing them in cabinets or well-structured containment areas and securing the entrances with biometrics or RFID cards.

Data Center Infrastructure Management Software helps boost security by giving you real-time updates when someone tries to access the doors. It also highlights who is accessing the door and uses contact-closure sensors to signal opening and closing.

Pay Attention To Walls

You can use concrete walls and gates to secure specific assets such as generators if they are outside. Also, ensure that a team member accompanies all contractors and repair crews when they come and do routine maintenance.

Foot-thick concrete offers cost-effective protection against some natural elements and explosives. For enhanced security, you can line your walls using Kevlar and limit windows to administrative areas and ensure to use bomb-resistant glass.

Staff Entry and Exit Procedures

Implement an exit procedure to manage accessibility when a team member with access privileges leaves the data center facilities. The security administration should have strict controls over data access and keep track of who enters or leaves the building.

You can enhance security for data centers keeping sensitive information by using mirrors and bomb-sniffing dogs or devices to check vehicles for explosives. The list can include all staff vehicles, visitors, contractors, and delivery trucks.

Don’t forget to include separate bathrooms and waiting rooms for visitors, contractors, and delivery people. Not everyone must have access to the secure parts of the data center.

Video Surveillance and On-Site Security Staff

Video surveillance is a valuable, cost-efficient method of enhancing data center security and reducing threats. Visual imaging cameras help improve area observation and intruder detection, whereas infrared cameras are ideal for low-light facilities.

You can improve the efficiency by using DCIM tools add multiple feeds from different areas to your dashboards.

You can complement surveillance and security checkpoints by ensuring security staff is on-site 24x7x365. Their presence increases response times and scares potential threats. They should conduct routine patrols to remind potential intruders that your data center remains protected around the clock.

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