We live in a data-driven world, and your network is full of valuable information that attracts criminals of all types. As a society, we spend billions every year to keep our business and personal data out of the hands of cyber-criminals, but information thieves don’t only exist in “the cloud,” so physical data center security is equally important.

Virtual Data Security vs. Physical Data Security

Ideally, any network or database, whether it’s physical or virtual, should have many security layers that are well-maintained on a regular basis after being initialized. Even putting aside the crackdown on compliance requirements from regulatory agencies, once you consider the consequences of a data breach, you’ll likely realize that there’s too much at stake to ignore additional security measures. The repercussions of having a database breached are well-documented; the global average cost of a data breach is over $3.8 million per year according to IBM Security.

Unfortunately, it’s just not enough anymore to have only virtual and digital security and encryption for your data network; the level of security on your physical data is extremely important as well. In fact, according to the most recent Threat Intelligence Index, “inadvertent insiders”, otherwise known as careless or unwitting employees, may actually pose the biggest threat to the security of an organization. Did you know that 71% of security attacks in the financial industries are actually carried out or instigated by insiders? Regardless of their intent, malicious or not, your physical data center is at risk.

Physical Data Center Security Measures

If your facility utilizes access control systems and devices to keep a lid on the amount of traffic entering and exiting your buildings and/or certain areas of your facility, you’re already on the right track. Creating a barrier to entry, even if it’s just a minor one, can deter a lot of problems. However, for many business centers, access to any part of the building is granted to all who enter; all they need to do is open a door. Even in facilities that have done a diligent job of restricting access to different areas, floors, and/or departments sometimes find that it’s all too easy for someone to access the necessary credentials or gain access to secure areas by closely following someone who is permitted to be in that area.

When it comes to data centers, there is typically a steady flow of technicians who legitimately need admittance to that part of the facility regularly. Whether they’re repairing communications hardware, performing maintenance on electrical systems, or managing the upgrade and expansion of a server, the bustling energy of an efficient data center can be a security nightmare. Despite best efforts, there’s still a lot of security risks posed by everyone coming and going, which is why multiple layers of security is so critical.

The Last Line of Defense

The endpoint of physical security for your data is the server rack, so putting forth a consistent diligent effort is not only logical, but wise. Implementing the same access control solutions that you’ve hopefully already established at every other point of entry is, quite literally, your physical data center’s last line of defense.

There are many options for implementing rack-level access control, but electronic access solutions are by far the best and most popular option for this type of application. Electronic access solutions are modular security devices, like electronic latches or locking mechanisms, that are specifically designed for easy installation into pre-existing server rack enclosures. Engineered for integration with other DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) systems, tools, and devices, server rack electronic access solutions supplies maximum physical security without putting your server room under construction.

The most important part of an electronic access system isn’t the lock, but the intelligence behind the lock; the system responsible for validating the credentials of a person trying to gain entry. Credentials can be validated through a variety of methods like biometric devices, key card or key fob readers, and digital keypads.

Even more useful is the ability to use Bluetooth devices, such as smartphones, to take access control to a new level by allowing data center managers to authorize and grant one-time temporary access to a single access control device for a specified amount of time. Generating the access credentials is quick and easy, and is sent to their smartphone device, which will grant them a predetermined access for a predetermined time frame. An added benefit to the use of Bluetooth-enabled access control systems is that the virtual “key” sent to the user’s phone can also send a data trail of audit report details back to the data center manager wirelessly.

There are different types of server rack access control solutions available to suit many different data center applications, so if you have hundreds of cabinet doors that would each need an electronic access device, don’t worry; there’s bound to be a cost-effective solution that fits your budget and your data center!

Whether the right system for you is self-contained and simple, or full-featured and fully integrated with your existing systems, a server rack access control system is truly the best way to provide truly comprehensive end-to-end security for your physical data center.

 

 

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