8 Key Tips for Data Center Security

Everyone uses data differently, making the data centers that support it an integral part of modern life. Keeping these in-demand facilities safe isn’t always as easy as it sounds, though. Here are eight key tips for data center security.

1. Choose a Location Carefully

Location, location, location! It might be a tagline for choosing a dream home, but it also applies to building a data center and ensuring its security.

Choosing a location for a data center is almost as important as the information it holds. Opt for a site that’s free of most natural disasters. The U.S. Gulf Coast, with its frequent hurricanes, would not be a good choice.

It’s not possible to avoid every natural disaster, but taking all necessary steps to reduce the risks they could present to the data center is essential.

2. Backups Upon Backups

Most homes have a singular input for electricity, water, and internet utilities. This setup isn’t recommended for data centers. Backups are essential to keep things running if the primary utility fails.

Plan to implement backups upon backups, including at least two sources of electricity, water, and internet. Keep them separate. If one fails due to a natural disaster or a million other potential problems, the backup can keep the lights on until the primary is functioning again.

3. Go Underground

Instead of constructing a data center above the ground, underground construction is gaining popularity. In addition to providing additional security by reducing the number of entrance and exit points, underground construction makes it easier to keep the server rooms cool and prevent the tech from overheating.

This course does have some downsides, such as more complex ventilation requirements and unconventional configurations. However, where security is concerned, the benefits may outweigh the risks.

4. Limit Entry and Exit Points

Each extra entry or exit point in a data center creates a potential security risk. It’s essential to have just enough exits that the team can evacuate in case of emergency, but no more.

Limiting these points of ingress or egress also makes it easier to track who is allowed into the building and who is currently working within. It also reduces the number of security staff members necessary to maintain the facility and the overall cost of identification technology like RFID chips or biometric scanners.

5. Segment the Network

Physical security isn’t the only thing data center operators need to be concerned about. Hackers are always looking for ways to get into data hubs to steal information or use the processing power for more nefarious purposes. Don’t make it easy for them to take over the whole center.

Segmenting the network means that even if they manage to take over one part of the data center, they must work harder to reach the next segment. Even this tiny delay can make it easier for data center operators to identify the breach and eject the hacker from the system as quickly as possible.

6. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a simple tool but one that should not be overlooked, because it readily applies to data center security.

Requiring multi-factor authentication for everyone who has access to the data center can reduce the chances that hackers could breach the network by using a compromised user account.

7. Keep the Software Updated

Old software might be familiar, but it can create a security risk once it outlives its usefulness. Utilizing older operating systems – especially those no longer supported or updated by their creators – is no different than leaving the door open for thieves to walk in.

Up-to-date software provides better security because it’s constantly receiving patches when programmers identify new threats or vulnerabilities. Once those patches stop, the holes are left behind and hackers can waltz right through.

8. Be Ready for Attacks

They say the universe will respond by creating a better fool if you create something foolproof. The same logic applies to data center security. The best security precautions in the world can’t protect a data center from every attack.

It’s essential to be ready in the event of a breach. Have protocols in place for both physical and cybersecurity violations. On-site security will usually have all the skills and protocols necessary for physical breaches. A separate IT team will be essential for cyberattacks.

Data Center Security Is Essential

Setting up a data center requires a lot of foresight and preparation to ensure the information is protected from physical and cyberattacks. These tips can streamline the process and ensure that breaches, when they do happen, are few and far between.


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