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Security Measures In Colocation Data Centers

Security Measures In Colocation Data Centers

Here is a straightforward guide to the key physical security measures and cybersecurity protocols you can expect to find in colocation data centers.

Physical security

Here are 10 physical security measures commonly used in colocation data centers.

Perimeter barriers: Fences or walls at the external perimeter of a data center are the first line of defense against unauthorized entry. In addition to being highly robust, they are usually reinforced with anti-climbing features and surveillance technology.

Secure access points: Gates are generally the preferred choice for as they are highly effective against all forms of traffic. Electric gates can also be operated remotely and/or automatically. Other types of barriers may be used for specific needs. For example, turnstiles are a good choice for controlling pedestrian traffic.

Containment areas: Containment areas (often known as mantraps) are secure vestibules (chambers). They are usually designed to hold only a few people at a time, often only one. Containment areas are used to force people to stay in place until they are robustly identified and authenticated.

Biometric authentication systems: Biometric authentication systems utilize distinctive physical or behavioral attributes for identity verification. In the context of colocation data centers, this would typically mean fingerprints, retina scans, or facial recognition. Biometric authentication systems may be used on their own for low-sensitivity areas. In more sensitive areas, however, they are generally combined with existing authentication tools.

Key card access control: Key card access control systems use electronic key cards to manage and monitor entry to secure areas. These systems allow for efficient access management and provide an audit trail for tracking personnel movement within the data center.

Surveillance cameras: Surveillance cameras are generally used both externally and internally. Regular cameras need to have a reliable source of light at all times to work effectively. There are, however, night-vision cameras that can operate in the dark. Surveillance cameras are often linked to other systems such as motion sensors, remote monitoring tools, and recording tools.

Intrusion detection systems: Intrusion detection systems are essentially networks of sensors connected to alarms and/or remote monitoring tools. They can be used externally and internally.

Fire suppression systems: Fire is one of the key threats to data center security. Not only can it cause serious damage, but it can also be used as a cover for malicious activities. It’s therefore vital to prevent it as much as possible and to respond quickly if it does happen.

Secure server racks and cabinets: Server racks and cabinets can be equipped with advanced locking mechanisms and integrated with access control systems. These provide a strong defense against unauthorized access and, hence, tampering.

Trained security personnel: Automated tools are hugely useful and have genuinely revolutionized security. That said, they work best under human oversight. Humans are also needed for many response actions.

Cybersecurity protocols

Here are 7 cybersecurity protocols commonly used in colocation data centers.

Network firewalls: Network firewalls perform much the same role as perimeter fences and gates in the real world. They create robust boundaries that separate internal networks (intranets) from external networks (e.g. the internet). All traffic attempting to pass through those boundaries is analyzed. It is then treated in accordance with predetermined security policies.

Intrusion prevention systems (IPSs): IPSs perform essentially the same role as firewalls. There are, however, two key differences between IPSs and firewalls. Firstly, the IPS generally sits within an internal network. That means it only analyzes internal traffic and/or traffic that has already been through the firewall. Secondly, an IPS can usually go beyond just applying predetermined security policies.

Intrusion detection systems (IDSs): The key difference between an IDS and an IPS is that an IDS only raises an alert if it detects a potential threat. It does not take autonomous action. This means that an IDS can work off copies of data rather than live data. IDSs are, therefore, generally used for the more in-depth analysis required to detect the most sophisticated threats.

Encryption (for data in transit and at rest): Encryption safeguards data integrity by converting information into a secure format. The data needs to be decrypted before it can be read. This requires a secure key. Robust encryption therefore provides a high level of protection against unauthorized data access and, hence, safeguards data confidentiality.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Multi-factor authentication enhances access security by requiring multiple forms of identification. Typically combining passwords, biometrics, or tokens, MFA reduces the risk of unauthorized access, fortifying data center protection against identity-related security threats.

Access controls and permissions management tools: Access controls and permissions management tools determine who can access specific resources within a data center. By regulating user permissions, these measures ensure that only authorized personnel can access critical information, mitigating the risk of data breaches.

Endpoint protection solutions: Endpoint protection solutions protect individual devices connected to a network. They typically include antivirus and antimalware solutions and endpoint firewalls. There are, however, many other tools that can be used to enhance the security of endpoints.


Related Resources:

Best Practices for Data Center Network Security

Bare Metal Cloud Security: Ensuring Data Protection and Compliance

Security Considerations For Big Data In Data Centers

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