By: Danny Garrido, President, Traka USA
Protecting Data Centers provides a unique challenge for security professionals. Access control to these areas is important because they house highly sensitive business information.
Data is growing at an exponential rate, which means Data Centers and security surrounding that data is growing alongside with it. As companies in all sectors—including health care, retail, finance, and government—build these infrastructures, there are many standards to choose from when it comes to how to best secure that data and the facility that houses it. Yet as data centers continue to grow to keep up with the demand, seemingly, the security measures to protect companies’ most sensitive information are not receiving the same priority.
This isn’t just access to the building or protecting the data from hacking; critical server access, limited data center access, and visitors/contractors access is all part of the process to ensure the physical security of a data center is in line with customer expectations and business requirements. This of course includes a lot of hardware, software, wires, and complicated technology that must continue to run to ensure their customers don’t see the problems associated with a disruption in service.
These facilities house redundant utilities and various security devices. Things like HIPPA, PCI, and SOX compliance play a major role in planning a data center. You can imagine what happens if any of these services go down. Going down for a day or more hits the bottom line of profits. You can easily lose customers. At a minimum, your business brand looks negatively impacted to current and future customers and your reputation sours.
Protecting a data center and its contents is critical to the bottom line of any modern business. That means controlling access, not only knowing who goes in and out of the area but also tracking the types of activities taking place inside. Security companies need to think about several issues in these types of installations. For example, one of the first steps to consider in protecting these facilities is understanding the challenges. Data Centers have server rack keys, highly sensitive facility keys, and vendor badges to control. Providing access and the ability to audit movement in and out of the area must be part of the solution. Because a variety of employees must go in and out of this sensitive area, protecting and tracking access, as well as protecting and tracking the use of keys inside, is critical to the security considerations. More importantly, the ability to ensure those keys do not leave the facility is proving invaluable.
Installers may want to consider things such as key curfews that include software notifications via email or text message when a key has not been returned by curfew (out too long). While this does not prevent someone from leaving a facility or area with an important key or asset, it does provide a level of control and notification so the business knows when the key has not been returned. This allows an organization to be proactive and potentially prevent a major disruption rather than being reactive the next time someone needs that key.
This type of key management solution can also be integrated into the existing access control system. It prevents an employee from “badging out” until they have returned their key or asset safely.
This type of security feature/installation is called anti-pass-back. Simply put, it means preventing someone from leaving a facility or area based on the status of a particular key or asset. The individual’s badge access can be granted or revoked ensuring they cannot pass through the access point without properly returning keys. This not only ensures only authorized personnel gets in and out; but equally as important, it drives the appropriate process to ensure risk is mitigated and a tired, vengeful, or forgetful employee isn’t the reason for a disruption in service or workflow.
More than ever, business and government organizations are scrutinizing data centers to a higher degree in areas such as security, availability, environmental impact, and adherence to standards. With so many of these centers housing an endless amount of valuable assets with critical information, essential security is always a vital need and focus. In addition, things like key management and the corresponding processes present security challenges for the installer/integrator, as the use of conventional key rings and access control systems can be both vulnerable and costly. IT operations are a crucial aspect of most organizations around the world and it is necessary to provide a reliable infrastructure for IT operations in order to minimize any chance of disruption. Information security is also a concern, and for this reason a data center has to offer a secure environment which minimizes the chances of any type of security breach. Security installers/integrators can help ensure data centers keep high standards for assuring the integrity and functionality of its hosted computer environment by protecting the assets through a quality electronic key management program.
Danny Garrido has been President of TRAKA, USA since 2013. He has been in the security industry for 15 years, both as an integrator and as a corporate executive, heading up Brink’s Home Security and Broadview Security Dealer program, before joining ADT Security as Director after the acquisition of Broadview Security.
Traka is the leading global specialist in intelligent key and asset management solutions. We manufacture secure systems that allow you to control and audit who has access to sensitive areas of your facility and assets (such as data racks), keeping them out of the wrong hands.
Traka’s key management systems are intelligent solutions that allow you to restrict rack access to authorized users only. Furthermore, it allows you to maintain a full audit of who has accessed a rack, and when. Traka’s innovation goes one step further through integration into your existing access control system, ensuring personnel with keys do not leave a facility until those particular keys are returned.