Data Center Physical Security

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December 9, 2019
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December 13, 2019
Data Center Security Caging

Data Center Physical Security

Cyber is Not the Only
Threat to Data

Data Center Security CagingData is the new gold, and data center security has reached new heights in recent years. Today, the design of a new data center echoes the engineering that goes into government embassies, military installations, and, yes, even the U.S. Mint and Fort Knox.

We most often hear of the threats to data as cyber attacks from bad guys in remote locations using Internet connections to break into bank accounts, credit cards, and personal ID.

But data centers represent rich and far more diverse targets. The high-end networking equipment, servers, and computers used in a data center represent on average tens of millions of dollars in value. Even a relatively minor burglary can mean a loss of $100,00 in equipment, let alone the liability cost of lost customer data.

Theft is not the only threat. Data centers must now be concerned with the potential of terrorism. When damaging or destroying a physical facility can disrupt many thousands of businesses, the potential for terrorist attack must be recognized.

Assaults from nature cannot be ignored, as flooding, fire, and earthquakes can damage data as effectively as any other threat.

Key Physical Protections

What are some critical considerations in the physical security of data centers:

  • Address: a location safe from severe weather, subsidence, and earthquake, at least 100 feet from the main road and away from airports, chemical facilities, and power plants.
  • Identification: skip the “Data Center” sign. Keep the facility low key.
  • Utilities: Power, water, and Internet connectivity must be redundant. Supply lines should be underground.
  • External Barriers: Bollards and fencing can be used to establish a 100-foot buffer zone around the facility. Manned guard stations, gates, and crash barriers should be considered.
  • Architecture: The physical structure must be secure and bomb proof. Foot-thick concrete and Kevlar lined walls is one option.
  • Windows: Avoid windows except in break areas or administrative offices. Server areas should more closely resemble a secure warehouse than an office space.
  • Security Cameras: Low-light, high-res digital cameras should be everywhere around the perimeter, with special attention to facility access points.

How Security Caging Can Help

At Security Caging, we deliver custom wire caging and wire partition solutions for a variety of industries. Our depth of experience in working with data centers includes:

  • Exterior protective caging for generators, environmental systems, and uninterruptible power supplies.
  • Wire caging to secure server racks or separate servers in collocation facilities.
  • Protecting access points with wire caging used to separate computer processing rooms from visitor areas.

Wire caging is more versatile than any other type of barrier. It allows for uniform lighting, provides visibility, and does not impede fire suppression systems. Wire partitions direct and separate foot traffic, while keeping all personnel and visitors in the range of security cameras.

Want to learn more?  Visit our web pages on Data Centers and Server Farms, and on our International Vault website, the page on SecurCast, the modular building panels that can deliver new building construction quickly and securely.

Call us at 919-742-3132 or visit our Contact us page today.