Yes, cybersecurity is important, but is your data physically safe?

Yes, cybersecurity is important, but is your data physically safe?

In order to prevent data loss as much as possible, it is crucial for the premises of a data centre to be secure. Sienna Dzanic, Global Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager at Axis Communications, discusses the use of smart technology to physically secure server rooms, buildings, or data centres and ultimately, protect data assets.

In today’s digital information era, protecting data is of huge importance to business owners. In fact, data might be the most valuable strategic resource we have. According to a report by HFS Research, 90% of C-suite executives (who participated in the study) consider data to be a critical success factor, but only if it’s used and secured properly. 

With cyberattacks on the rise, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your data is protected internally by firewalls and Disaster Recovery systems, as well as externally by securing the data centre itself. By using smart technology to physically secure server rooms, buildings, or data centres, you make sure your site, assets, data and people are safe.  

Protecting the premises 

The first step in preventing a physical security breach is to keep unwanted or unauthorised visitors or personnel on the outside. Day or night, you need to be able to detect, verify and deter intruders if necessary. This includes securing the external perimeter with solutions such as CCTV monitoring, audio warnings, access control systems and vehicle monitoring network cameras. 

Protecting data centre premises also means securing areas within the boundary walls. This can be done with similar security features mentioned above, along with thermal cameras and radar technology that’s used to provide accurate data regarding the classification of an object. When used in tandem with something like a PTZ camera, the result is comprehensive surveillance cover.       

Protecting the structure itself

A data centre could take the form of a dedicated room inside a building, a floor in a multi-storey structure, or a standalone building on a property. No matter the size or form of a data centre, the structure’s physical security needs to be established.   

Controlling entry into the actual area provides an important layer of data centre security. Controlled and secured access points mean only authorised visitors can gain access. To achieve this, standard access control systems can be installed, including network cameras, alarm systems and restriction considerations like keypad entry systems or biometric screenings. 

Protecting the server room 

If the above steps are followed, it should mean that only authorised visitors can access your data. However, when it comes to data security, it’s always better to be over prepared, so movements and activities also need to be closely monitored. 

Consider multi-directional cameras and integrated audio systems that can alert and deter potential intruders. Controlling access to the data racks themselves is crucial. This can be done with modular camera systems to monitor cabinet doors as well as smart technology like IoT to make sure devices are connected and information about access and activity can be shared to relevant parties.  

The application of network cameras

In a data centre, it’s possible to take cameras beyond security and use them as intelligent sensors. For example, an internal heat sensor might identify a hot spot on a server rack and feed its data to a thermal camera; that camera could then relay an image containing all relevant data to a video management system, giving an engineer a true visual indicator of where the issue lies. 

Cameras are suited to various data centre monitoring roles. Infrared cameras can be used as the first port of call to detect gas leaks or smoke, while other cameras and sensors can detect leaking water or identify whether a server cabinet is open or closed. Armed with accurate information, well-informed engineers can act immediately to rectify any issues. A combination of data from a variety of sensors may, in turn, lead to greater efficiencies, such as improving cooling solutions and fine-tuning them for optimal energy use. With data and analytics such as these, you can prevent a data centre outage and the resulting downtime – one of the most critical issues that can affect a data centre. 

While cybersecurity cannot be ignored when it comes to protecting data assets, the physical security of your data centre is vital. UK insurance broker, Sutcliffe & Co, recently found that insider threats and physical threats were among the top eight most common causes of a data breach. Because companies are pushing to establish secure, efficient data centres, using modern network cameras for a wide range of applications is a shrewd move. It’s time for the truly smart, connected, protected data centre to become the norm. By making the most of cutting-edge devices and solutions, we can all look forward to a smarter, safer world.  

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