Kara Manon Data Center Dictionary: Access Control

May 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

How to Achieve Security in a Data Center

In the “A” installment  of our data center dictionary series, we will cover security and access control. Your most valuable IT assets need to be protected and kept behind several layers of diverse security measures. In a data center, we call these levels of protection access control.

What is Access Control?

An access control system is the method of authorization to enforce selective access to a secure location. There are different types of access control systems, but to securely shield your IT infrastructure, security measures should include physical access control and network security.

Data center security measures cover four different layers:

  • External perimeter security
  • Interior facility controls
  • Room controls
  • Server cabinet controls

External Perimeter Security

The perimeter security layer protects physical security of the building. A data center with strong access control should have barriers to deter unwanted vehicles and people from entering the property. The location should promote security.

  • Does the data center have fences and landscaping to limit access to and visibility of the facility?
  • Does the building have a single, limited entry point onto the property?
  • Are there surveillance cameras outside the building to monitor activity?
  • Is the facility at least 100 feet away from a main road?
  • If you need colocation, is the facility at least 20 miles from your headquarters? If you need disaster recovery, is the data center at least 50 miles away?
  • Is the facility safe for personnel at all hours of the day?

Internal Facility Controls

Internal security measures are equally as important as exterior security controls. These allow for protection from those who are able to enter the building.

  • Are security cameras positioned at all access points around the facility to record activity?
  • Does the facility require ID verification for entry?
  • Do doors require key card scans for entry?
  • Is there biometric scanning at various points?
  • Are visitors without authorized access escorted at all times?
  • Are critical components like power and network cabling out of reach? And air conditioners, Power Distribution Units and critical supporting infrastructure in secure maintenance areas?

Room Controls

The next layer of access control covers the rooms in which your servers are housed. At Data Cave, we abandoned the less secure, traditional, open floor layout for a more secure floor plan with data suites.

  • Does the data center have one server room or several individual data suites with controlled access?
  • Are there additional entry requirements for each server cage or room?
  • Is access restricted to a specific group of people?
  • Are there at least three different ways to authenticate access, like PIN number/password, key/card access, biometric scanner?

Cabinet Controls

The most granular level of security is at the cabinet level. These security measures lock servers, provide protection within the server rooms, and minimize any potential inside threats, malicious, accidental, or otherwise.

  • Is access to all server cabinets limited and restricted to authorized personnel?
  • Are there reliable electronic locking systems in place?
  • Is traffic to cages, suites and cabinets video recorded, logged and periodically reviewed?

Access Control at Data Cave

As a purpose-built, privately owned data center, Data Cave maintains state-of-the-art access control. We have a door controller system, an IP-based system of security cameras, required biometric hand scans, entrance and exit reporting, restricted suite access, and a visual “muster” screen to see who is present in the building at all times. Want to learn more about Data Cave’s security and access control? Read more here.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Data Center Dictionary series:

business continuity  colocation  disaster recovery

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