Let’s be honest, how secure is your data center? You’re initial thoughts might go something like “it’s ironclad, the Fort Knox of all data centers, nothing could possibly be more secure.” And virtually, yes, you’re ready for anything. You probably have firewalls, VPN gateways, intrusion detection systems, monitoring systems, the whole nine-yards. No one will be manipulating their way into your network anytime soon. Your network is impenetrable!
But what about your data centers physical security? Sure you’ve thought about it, set up some precautions, installed a few security features, made some regulations, some rules. You’re probably thinking you’re well protected. However, you more than likely didn’t spend nearly as much time creating the master plan to protect your facility, as you did when you considered your network. Unfortunately, that is all too typical in the industry. Physical security is often placed on the back burner, largely forgotten until an unauthorized party manages to break into or sneak onto a site. So with that in mind…
It’s time to get physical- as in physically securing and protecting your data center.
As with all things, there will always be someone who takes things to the extreme. Physical Data Center Security is no exception. Iron Mountain houses four of its datacenters 22 stories underground in an old abandoned limestone mine. Google has been known to keep its server cages in complete darkness, outfitting its technical staff like miners and sending them spelunking into the cages with lights on their heads when anything needs to be updated or repaired. Visa not only has a moat, but also has a briefing room; its walls opaque like any others, but with the push of a button, they become transparent glass, revealing what’s beyond–a NASA-like command center with a 40-by-14-foot wall of screens, including Visa’s network overlaid on a world map. These, however, are rare cases. Companies like the three I listed above, store massive amounts of invaluable, irreplaceable, important data. It is understandable that they are slightly paranoid about their security.
So what can you do to protect your data center from attack you ask? Read below to find out how a fictional data center is designed to withstand everything from corporate espionage artists to terrorists to natural disasters. Sure, the extra precautions can be expensive. But they’re simply part of the cost of building a secure facility that also can keep humming through disasters.
If you would like to see some of these security measures in action, Google, interestingly enough released a video showcasing the security and data protection practices they use in their data centers. However, in true secretive Google fashion, near the end of the video there’s a reference to their use of additional security measures not shown–which can only be a reference to the sharks with friggin’ laser beams on their heads!