How to Secure Your Data Center

By Zachary Amos •  Updated: 12/25/22 •  5 min read

Data centers require highly sophisticated cybersecurity measures to protect the systems, hardware, and sensitive customer information contained within. However, just because they’re built to handle cybercrime attacks doesn’t mean these centers are impenetrable.

As cloud computing technologies and online applications drive our virtual infrastructure forward, it’s adding complexity with advanced needs for IT security. Here are some problems facing data centers today and solutions for creating a secure defense.

Data Centers Face Serious Security Problems

Cyber attackers are savvier than ever, frequently breaching security and wreaking havoc on internal systems. Even with some of the best security solutions on the market, data centers can always find room for improvement.

It’s worth noting that securing your data center demands physical security just as much as cybersecurity. Anyone with access to the data center poses a risk of physical harm to the system. The physical structure must also be safe from intrusion or natural disasters like leaks and fires.

A consistent power source is equally important. Many data centers rely on the power grid, which is outdated and frequently unreliable. About 43% of data centers endure long-lasting power outages, while IT software errors and a failed network each represent 14% of the causes of system outages.

It’s also critical to maintaining the system, including equipment, lighting, and servers. For example, data centers utilize cooling towers and chillers to absorb heat around the servers. However, operators will need to upgrade these cooling systems when they become worn, clogged, or have reduced efficiency.

Of course, phishing and other more sophisticated cyberattacks cause significant damage. They also underscore the importance of a whole-system approach to security – from cyber to physical – to guard your data center.

6 Ways to Secure Your Business’s Data Center

Data security is a serious business – but you can protect your data center using these six effective strategies.

1.   Home Your Data Correctly

Your data center’s physical security involves its location, building, and utilities. To ensure your data is homed correctly, you’ll want to pick a site that isn’t susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes, extreme rain, and fire. It should also be a safe distance from chemical refineries and electrical substations.

2.   Secure Physical Points of Access

Only authorized personnel should have access to your data center. Set up secure access points to enhance protections. Whether it’s digital software systems or the data center structure, you must prevent malicious attackers from infiltrating the data.

For example, consider reinforcing the building’s walls and doors, including any other potential entry points through the roof, ducts, and sewer systems.

Additionally, depending on each person’s granted access, using multi-layered equipment security – smart cards, facial recognition, and fingerprint or iris scan biometrics – will ensure only the proper technicians are allowed at specific entry points.

3.   Set Up IT Security Management

Setting up robust IT management that includes two-factor authentication and complex security software can offer the protection your data center needs.

Cloud security, artificial intelligence (AI), and biometrics are all effective preventive measures that boost cybersecurity. Additionally, vulnerability testing can deliver automated scanning and compliance reports for teams to determine risk factors and develop solutions immediately.

Especially since the pandemic moved many operations off-site, companies must protect their data centers amid the growing remote work environment.

4.   Ensure Reliable Power

Data centers need a constant power source, so installing secondary on-site electricity generation is critical to backing up data during an outage.

Consider a renewable energy source like solar or wind power with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery packs. These alternatives will prove efficient when the grid fails to supply the necessary power to your data center.

A raised-floor design in your data center is also essential for increasing wire accessibility and decreasing the heat loads surrounding your server.

5.   Determine Privacy Laws

The best way to handle your data center’s information is by determining what privacy laws you must follow for optimal data protection.

Are you storing medical information? Then HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and other laws will dictate what your security measures must account for.

The same goes for sensitive government data. Reports indicate 822 government data breaches affected 174,963,934 records between 2014 and October 2022. To prevent further damage, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) assesses U.S. agencies’ systems to ensure sufficient safeguards.

6.   Develop Best Practices

Of course, developing a series of best practices to manage data center security risks helps your business maintain systems and prevent potential breaches. Issuing regular maintenance and vulnerability checks is ideal for screening hazards.

Meanwhile, providing additional security training to employees will ensure teams know how to respond to potential threats effectively. As more people access company data remotely from home, learning to log in safely and practice due diligence will be the ticket to more robust cybersecurity.

Highly Secure Measures to Protect Your Data Center

Almost nothing is more critical than securing industrial data centers. Data breaches could cost companies millions of dollars in damages and ruin their reputation. Protect your data center by deploying highly secure, proactive, and vigilant security measures.

Zachary Amos

Zachary is a tech writer and the features editor of ReHack Magazine where he covers cybersecurity and all things technology.