Physical Security Tips for Data Centers
There was once a time when the worlds of cyber and physical security never merged. Those times are long gone and today we recognize the value of layering security– especially when it comes to protecting data centers.
Insider Facts of a Data Breach
The ramifications of a data breach can be devastating to companies of any size. The loss of the confidence of your customers, business partners, and vendors can be significant but the direct financial impact and legal fallout can damage your business beyond repair. Surveys show that:
- Negligent insiders account for 39% of root causes of data breaches.
- Malicious or criminal attack account for approximately 37% of total breaches.
Viruses, spyware, and network threats get most of the attention, but many failures and breaches are caused by those with unauthorized access to high-risk areas such as data centers. In addition to cybersecurity measures, companies should also implement proper physical security measures to protect data centers, including:
- Set up the use of 24/7 video surveillance and monitoring, both inside and outside of data centers.
- Implement access control to protect your high-security area. Access should be limited to individuals required to support the environmental and network infrastructure. It is also best practice to employ dual identity authentication or enhanced identify authentication, i.e. biometric, for high security areas.
Environmental Threats Are Just as Devastating
Environmental factors pose another huge threat to data centers. Every data center or server room is filled with highly sensitive equipment, susceptible to heat, moisture, and dust. The servers all generate high-heat and the room must be kept cool to avoid overheating, condensation, and malfunction.
- An increase from 68℉ to 86℉ can reduce the long-term reliability of electronic equipment by 50%.
- An increase in temperature can make components more susceptible to failure over time.
- Smoke conditions can trigger an emergency power down of the air condition unit and lead to serious equipment damage if personnel cannot remediate the problem promptly.
No company is immune to the damage environmental threats cause, regardless of size. While a large company might have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in data center equipment, a small company can be impacted by failures that are just as detrimental to a business operations and to the bottom line. For example, a smaller company may have a significant reliance on website communications and transactions and downtime can mean significant profit loss. A small business may also find it difficult to replace expensive equipment as quickly as a larger one. However, there are many ways to protect your equipment, no matter the size of the business, and avoid catastrophic failures.
- Implement adequate monitored smoke and fire detection and suppression systems and have the systems checked regularly.
- Use environmental monitoring, with reporting, to monitor a wide range of conditions including temperature, smoke, fire, moisture/humidity, leaks, airflow, and power status or variance.
Physical security of your Data Center is just as important as cyber security. Don’t wait for an emergency to find out why. Call ATS 414-476-4200 to learn more!