Data centres are typically located in generic buildings with minimal or no exterior marking to prevent snooping.
The intangible assets protected here include, but are not limited to, private and/or proprietary information, trade secrets, and the secret encryption keys that underpin all interactions between websites and their users. A common data center's security architecture has been compared to an onion, with the inner layers being more impenetrable than the ones that came before.
The facility itself consists of distinct levels, such as the outside wall, the actual structure, the data centre, and the cabinets. Barriers, badges, biometrics, and video monitoring are just some of the many security systems that should be available in different combinations throughout the various sections of the building. In a cloud computing world and virtualization, security measures may not be at the forefront of one's mind, but this does not mean it should be ignored or undervalued.
A data center's security relies heavily on the ability to regulate who has access to the facility and to the servers housed within. If you take a step back and examine the building as a whole, you can see how an integrator can best serve a customer and expand their data centre user access company.
It is possible for a data centre to be either an enterprise operation, in which the data of a single firm is kept and maintained, or a co-location facility, in which the data of multiple companies is stored (colo). The centre is rented out by a number of different companies for the storage of their data. Both need strong protection, yet their respective difficulties arise from different directions. Making different levels of security available depending on who requires access would improve management and safeguard against careless workers.
The initial line of defence in any security system, perimeter protection serves to repel intruders and buy time. There needs to be fencing, a gate for cars, a turnstile outside for people, and cameras all over. The ability to detect items, count individuals, and recognise licence plates is just the beginning of what can be accomplished when motion detection & video content analytics are combined.
There are other ways to direct traffic away from the entrances of a commercial property. However, because employees from several different businesses need to enter the building, co-location always results in higher foot traffic.
The number of entrances should be restricted while exits are left unrestricted. A positive aspect is that only the main gate and the loading dock need to be guarded. According to building codes, many data centres have exit doors that do not have exterior handles.
Security measures at the entrance should require visitors to verify their identities at least three times before being allowed inside. The main entrance to the facility would require visitors to scan their badges and then communicate with a busser as well as intercom system inside. It is recommended that visitors be issued badges that communicate with an access control system. Security rotating doors equipped with anti-piggybacking & anti-tailing sensor systems are a convenient and secure way to enter a data centre or other type of colocation facility.
Having three separate authentication factors is ideal. The access-control system must support photo ID badges, video monitoring, and various biometric authentication methods. The system may take advantage of both present and future technological needs with an IP-based solution.
Checking a user's credentials to see if they're allowed into a secure facility's restricted regions is only part of maintaining a high level of security there. It is imperative that the maximum possible level of isolation and privacy be established. Maintaining command is essential. Co-location spaces were being divided up as much as possible so that only those who needed access were granted entry.
The Data Centre
The computer room, often known as the data centre, is typically the most secure area of the structure. To prevent piggybacking, anti-piggybacking measures are essential. Personal interlocks linked to the building's security system and security revolvers (revolving doors) are also available. Contact mats, scales (sensors to identify and avoid tailgating and piggybacking), and internal monitoring are all possible additions to a security revolver. There are a few other configurations available, such as mobile units including an emergency escape or a nighttime shutdown. There is also the option of purchasing a bulletproof variant.
Using a card or biometric verification to gain access through a border fence is the recommended first step. The maximum level of protection will once again be provided via card, PIN, and biometrics. The unit's sophisticated sensor network will put an end to hitchhiking and tailgating. A personal interlock, often known as a "mantrap," only lets one individual through at a time, effectively putting a stop to tailgating and piggybacking. After a successful login, the unit's exterior door will open and the occupant can enter. When they exit, the inner door will unlock, providing entry to the data center's lower level.
The department utilises the driver's body weight, sensors, or a second point of identification at the heart of the interlock. The interlock may include sensors, contact mats, scales, or internal monitoring, all of which are dependent on the specifics.
Bulletproof casings and biometric authentication within the interlock are two other available features. After going through all of these checkpoints, a valid user is allowed into the room where the action takes place. The computers and other essential IT infrastructure are physically housed here, making this the data centre proper. The racks and cabinets themselves must be secured once inside the space, especially in co-location scenarios. Access control to the stands should be badge-based, with an audit report detailing who entered and for how long.
Systems integrators have a great chance to make a sale by highlighting the value of a component of the security plan that is often overlooked: cabinet control. The majority of today's systems can be solved mechanically. Shelves can be secured either independently or collectively via an elevator control circuit for a treasury of servers, which functions as an auxiliary of the access-control system. Although datacentre security is intricate, there is a fresh and intriguing market opportunity for the astute systems integrator who can decipher the location type they are dealing with and the alternatives for each degree of protection.
How Do You Define Data Centre Security?
Information is often stored on servers in a facility known as a data centre. It may exist locally, off-site, or under the care of a third party provider. It doesn't matter where in the world the datacentre is physically situated; stringent security measures are required to prevent data theft or compromise.
Hackers frequently target data centres since they store all the company's sensitive information. Controls are used to restrict entry to the datacentre in order to prevent unauthorised intrusions. The data center's physical location and any associated devices are protected by these safeguards.
Security measures for a data centre should cover everything from physical locks and keys to administrative oversight. However, a risk evaluation should be carried out before a corporation begins restricting datacentre access and implementing the proper powers.
A threat assessment is a useful tool for ensuring that firms meet the requirements of applicable cybersecurity laws and regulations. And it will aid businesses in spotting both long-term risks and acute dangers to their data centres. The following are some instances of typical dangers encountered by data centres:
- Assault designed to prevent access to a service.
- Previously protected information has been compromised.
- Identification fraud
- Informational thievery or tampering.
- The unauthorised use of a computer system's or network's resources.
A risk assessment will not only reveal potential dangers, but it'll also reveal weak spots that hackers might exploit. Some typical flaws in data centre protection include,
- The implementation of the software and the security mechanisms was flawed.
- System, application, software, etc., preliminary testing.
- Incorrect setting of data systems.
- Poor security architecture.
- Inadequate controls on access to the physical environment.
- Having only one working copy of essential systems is not enough.
Organizations can lessen their vulnerability to cyberattacks by putting in place a variety of access controls. It will be simpler to implement the necessary safeguards if you are aware of the vulnerabilities.
Methods for Securing Data Centers
Access restrictions should take the datacentre tier into account before being implemented. Companies are categorised in this way according to the volume of data they process. Typically, Tier 3 and Tier 4 companies have more moving parts and are more sophisticated. Their infrastructure is more robust and failsafe than that of smaller businesses. Thus, more advanced methods of data management and security are required of organisations in the upper echelons.
While the level of security required for a data centre changes with its capacity, several forms of access control are universal across all industries.
Measures for Cybersecurity That Build in Depth
The security of a data centre relies on several moving parts, each of which must work in tandem with the others. This will create an elaborate defence mechanism that is harder for hackers to penetrate. When information is protected across multiple layers, it becomes much more difficult for hackers to gain access. If a hacker manages to bypass one layer of defence, it's likely that other layers will still be able to stop them.
There needs to be an automatic process in place for compiling a list of authorised data handlers. Any company, even one that outsources its data storage needs to a separate facility, is nevertheless subject to this rule. Even at a remote location, some employees may be able to get by without seeing the files.
When it comes to cybersecurity, every company should have a "zero trust" policy. The term "zero trust" describes the system accurately. Anything that has to do with a company's proprietary information ought to be treated with suspicion. All data transfers and changes are included in this definition.
It is imperative that the permissions lists are routinely updated. Workers come and go on a regular basis. Inaccuracies and breaches involving non-public personal information (NPPI) can be avoided by using up-to-date staff authorisation lists.
The benefits of video monitoring are being recognised by an increasing number of businesses. The ability to keep constant watch over the data centre will detect and deter many potential security breaches. All possible entry points, both external and internal, should be monitored by CCTV cameras. Cameras with tilt, zoom, and pan capabilities are a must. The footage must be saved and stored digitally.
Secure APs (Access Points)
All data centre entry points need more than just locks and cameras for security. When the datacentre is unattended, the gates can be locked completely. However, even at busy times, security issues may arise.
Security checkpoints that prohibit an authorised employee from reusing their credentials and manned security checkpoints will work together to keep unwanted visitors out. Although these precautions will increase costs, they are necessary for any data centre.
Only enterprises operating at tier 3 or 4 with significant off-premises data centres should implement such access controls. The data centre should have monitoring at all entry/exit locations and on the floor. In general, the number of inadvertent, unauthorised accesses at datacentres with regular security patrols is lower than that at data centres without such patrols.
Using radio frequency identification (RFID), digital information can be encoded onto tags. It is much simpler for datacentres to keep tabs on and manage their possessions in real time with the use of these tags or id labels. In addition to storing information, RFID labels can be programmed to immediately notify administrators of any changes made to that information. Workers at the data centre may now rapidly react to any security concerns.
Conducting Background Checks on Employees
If the data centre in question is responsible for the data management of a large corporation, it is likely to be a very busy site. Companies often employ outside contractors in addition to full-time workers, all of whom must pass the same rigors screening process. In addition to thwarting data theft, thorough background checks reassure customers that they may put their trust in a business with access to sensitive information.
Exit Protocol Implementation
A number of workers will go, while others may see their responsibilities shift. Organizations need a way out in case this happens so that customer information may be protected. Procedures for letting employees go should involve collecting their keys, revising their permissions to enter the data centre, and erasing their biometric data. A successful data security strategy must ensure that information remains protected even after permission has been revoked or altered.
Multi-Factor Authentication Must Be Used
To comply with the "zero trusts" policy that businesses should already be implementing, multi-factor identification is needed to gain access to data centres. This is an extremely important access control when it relates to the safe operation of a data centre. Even often updated strong passwords are vulnerable to cracking. Authorized users were often asked to show other forms of i.d., such as an employment badge, face recognition software or even fingerprint.
Verify and Maintain Current User Access Lists
Datacenters store and process sensitive information, therefore it's important to establish rules for who is allowed in the facility and on what kinds of devices. When a business colocates its resources with a datacentre, it must specify which employees are authorised to use the servers and other equipment housed there. Third-party vendors, including managed service providers (MSPs), who execute specific IT tasks on a contractual basis, may also be included on such lists. As few persons as possible should have access to reduce security risks and the likelihood of human mistake.
Regular updates to these listings are also crucial. When employees move up or down the corporate ladder, their access requirements may alter. Additionally, if former workers or 3rd-party vendors are not deleted from the access list, they might pose a significant security risk when they leave the organisation or are replaced. To ensure that only those with authorised business purposes have access to colocated assets, businesses must regularly review their access lists.
Multi-Factor Authentication Is Key
Multi-factor authentication is a cornerstone of data centre security practises. In order to gain access to these networks, visitors must present multiple credentials that confirm their identity and purposeful presence. Accessing critical IT resources should require more than just supplying credentials somewhat like ID badge or even a password. The more authentication steps there are before access is granted, the harder it is for an unauthorised user to lie about who they are or why they need to enter.
Biometric authentication has become an integral part of multi-factor systems at many data centres. Retinal scans, voice patterns, and fingerprints are all forms of biometric identification that are far more secure than key fobs or magnetized card keys since they cannot be easily duplicated or stolen. Yet, biometric authentication access should only be one part of multi-factor authentication. Additional verification, such as a photo ID, a passcode, or a work order detailing the need for access, should be required of anyone attempting to get access to co - located resources in a data centre.
Take on the Philosophy of “Zero Trust”
It is important to strike a balance between the two goals when designing an access control system for a data centre. Even though a company's employees may prefer to skip the reception area and head straight for the server room, it is the colocation facility's responsibility to protect the property of every customer. Systems must be in place to ensure that unauthorised individuals within the data centre cannot gain access to sensitive regions.
The "trust, but verify" principle of network security is transferred to the domain of physical security in a "zero trust" approach. Authorization should be required at every point of entry within a data centre, and in many circumstances, visitors should be led through the facility. This eliminates the possibility of someone presenting their credentials once and then wandering freely throughout the building.
Checkpoints With Interlocks
Personal interlocks (also known as "mantraps") are an essential part of any physical security system, as they make it impossible for unauthorised people to "tailgate" or "piggyback" on the back of someone who has credentials to enter a building. The system is similar to an airlock in that only one person at a time can pass through each door. No one can give their credentials to another visitor and have them accepted, as they are all kept separate and the exterior and inner entrances cannot be opened at the same time.
Multiple methods exist for keeping tabs on private interlock mantras. Some establishments provide safety via CCTV or a guard shack. Other people utilise biometric security access inside the mantrap, while others have touch sensors that monitor body weight.
The ability to control who enters and exits a data centre is crucial to the safety of the facility. There are a wide variety of security measures in place, including barriers, badges, biometrics, and video surveillance. Integrators gain insight into how their company can better serve customers and grow by providing access to data centres. Exits should be unrestricted while the number of entrances is limited. The only entrances that require security are the main gate and the loading dock.
A data centre can be entered quickly and safely through security rotating doors fitted with anti-piggybacking and anti-tailing sensor systems. Systems integrators can increase their chances of making a sale by drawing attention to the importance of an often-overlooked part of the security strategy. Badges and an audit report detailing who entered and for how long should be used to control access to the stands. Most modern problems have mechanical solutions. If businesses want to make sure they are in compliance with cybersecurity laws and regulations, a risk assessment is a helpful tool.
The tool will help companies detect both slow-moving and sudden threats to their data centres. To properly implement access controls to a datacenter, one must first consider the datacenter's tier. There are a lot of moving parts that contribute to a data center's security, and they all need to work together. Using accurate and up-to-date employee authorisation lists can prevent inaccuracies and breaches involving NPPI (non-public personal information). After permissions have been changed or revoked, data security must continue to keep sensitive data safe.
Establishing rules for who can use what devices in a given space is crucial. The only way to get into data centres is with a multi-factor authentication. In order to guarantee that only those with legitimate business needs have access to colocated assets, companies should conduct regular reviews of their access lists. Maintaining a schedule for updating these listings is also essential. When there are more checks to pass before a user is granted access, it becomes more difficult for an unauthorised one to fabricate their credentials.
It is the responsibility of access control systems to prevent unauthorised individuals from entering restricted areas. Anyone attempting to gain access to co-location resources should be required to provide additional verification, like a photo ID, passcode, or work order outlining the need for access.
- A data center's security relies heavily on the ability to regulate who has access to the facility and to the servers housed within.
- The number of entrances should be restricted while exits are left unrestricted.
- It is recommended that visitors be issued badges that communicate with an access control system.
- Security rotating doors equipped with anti-piggybacking & anti-tailing sensor systems are a convenient and secure way to enter a data centre or other type of colocation facility.
- The computer room, often known as the data centre, is typically the most secure area of the structure.
- Information is often stored on servers in a facility known as a data centre.
- When it comes to cybersecurity, every company should have a "zero trust" policy.
- All data centre entry points need more than just locks and cameras for security.
- In addition to thwarting data theft, thorough background checks reassure customers that they may put their trust in a business with access to sensitive information.
- Additionally, if former workers or 3rd-party vendors are not deleted from the access list, they might pose a significant security risk when they leave the organisation or are replaced.
- To ensure that only those with authorised business purposes have access to colocated assets, businesses must regularly review their access lists.
- Multi-factor authentication is a cornerstone of data centre security practises.
- Biometric authentication has become an integral part of multi-factor systems at many data centres.
- Yet, biometric authentication access should only be one part of multi-factor authentication.
- Additional verification, such as a photo ID, a passcode, or a work order detailing the need for access, should be required of anyone attempting to get access to co - located resources in a data centre.
- Take on the Philosophy of "Zero Trust"It is important to strike a balance between the two goals when designing an access control system for a data centre.
- Systems must be in place to ensure that unauthorised individuals within the data centre cannot gain access to sensitive regions.
- The "trust, but verify" principle of network security is transferred to the domain of physical security in a "zero trust" approach.
- Authorization should be required at every point of entry within a data centre, and in many circumstances, visitors should be led through the facility.
FAQs About Access Control Systems
Digital security systems that monitor who enters and exits your building through each door are called door access control systems. You may rest assured that only approved visitors will be able to enter your building.
The term "access control," or "AC" for short, refers to a set of measures taken to limit who has access to what resources. Because of the rapid development of technology in recent years, this type of security system is now an integral part of our daily life. They find extensive application in business, among other spheres of work.
IP-based access control's effectiveness and other convenient characteristics have led to a meteoric rise in its acceptance within the security sector. There are many different kinds of access control systems, and this one is just one of them. Others include mobile access control and physical access control. Implementing this kind of access control has also become relatively straightforward to execute in a variety of workplaces due to the broad availability of internet connections and IT-based firms in every region of the world.
Nowadays, this specific access control system has several applications in corporate sectors and security industry. Some of them are: Biometric access control system, Proximity access control system, and Door access control system.
IP access controllers are electronic security devices that employ Internet Protocol (IP) technology to verify the identities of anyone attempting to enter or leave restricted areas. Two or four low-end access control readers can usually be used with a standard IP access controller. It is possible for IP access controllers to have an internal web server that may be configured via a web browser or locally installed software on a host PC.
When an IP system is in place, information is sent from a resident's ID card, through the reader, and on to a server. That information could be something as basic as a PIN number or as sophisticated as live video.
IP control systems must first organise and package data according to a set of rules called protocols before sending it over the internet. IP control systems get their moniker because they rely on, among other things, the Internet Protocol. Some service providers refer to these systems as TCP/IP access control systems because TCP is another essential set of restrictions.
Voice over Internet Protocol refers to an established protocol for the transmission and reception of sound over the Internet (VoIP). VoIP is commonly used by internet-based door entry systems to provide phone entry.