The Four Layers of Data Center Security

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, September 4th 2013 — Categories: Colocation , Colocation, Data Center Design, Security

Although digital security is paramount to keeping your business data safe within our data center, and for meeting compliance standards, the physical security measures are just as important. For example, our HIPAA infographic shows how many data breaches result from stolen equipment. These threats are largely internal in nature, which is why four layers of security—physical facility security, that is—help ensure the safety of equipment and information stored in our facility.

The traditional four layers of building security are environmental design, access control, intrusion detection and personnel identification. For data centers, they can be mapped from the outside in as well, starting with perimeter security, facility controls, white space access and finally cabinet access.

The Green House Data Cheyenne data center is fenced on all sides and designed to withstand the tests of physical wear, complete with reinforced walls and bulletproof glass. Concrete bollards (posts) and landscaping are strategically placed to stop any runaway vehicles (or the very unlikely event of a vehicular attack).

There are only two doors that allow access to the data center, in accordance with best practices—the front door and loading bay. Fire doors are exit only and equipped with hardwired alarms. All data center employees and visitors must check in at the front desk when entering. There is a provisioning process for individuals requesting access and temporary badges for visitors who will enter secured areas.

The entire exterior and interior of the facility is under surveillance from CCTV security cameras which are monitored 24/7. Once inside the building, access to various parts of the data center is controlled as well. A limited number of employees have access to the data center floor, which is controlled via Electronic Access Control (EAC) keycards. Our east coast and west coast facilities also boast biometric identification. The entrance to the white space is behind a double mantrap entry, a type of security measure in which you must enter one door, let it shut, and then open a second door in order to pass into the facility. Both doors require authentication.

All visitors must be escorted by an authorized employee when they are on the data center floor. For colocation clients, cages are locked and individual keys are issued. Each server pod requires PIN code access.

Besides access controls to cabinets and the data center floor, other security features include our preaction fire prevention system that detects fires before they start and extinguishes them with a gas that does not damage equipment or the environment. Background checks are mandatory for all employees as well. All together, a layered security system helps keep the physical location of your data safe, whether you are a colocation client or a cloud user.

Posted By: Joe Kozlowicz