Datacenter security: This checklist can ward off cyberattacks

Truth be told, datacenters perform the functions similar to that of the human brain for a smorgasbord of enterprises across the globe. An increasingly large number of organizations have datacenters to power their storage and computing needs. The massive amounts of data hosted in datacenters, along with the business critical nature of the applications they support, make datacenters a highly sensitive IT function and datacenter security a critical concern. Just like with everything of value, datacenters are always under threat of cyberattacks.

Not too long ago, hacking into a datacenter was a matter of pride for hackers. In the past few years, the focus has spread over to cloud applications, but even then, datacenter security continues to be a critical concern for IT leaders.

The scale of damage that a datacenter cyberattack can inflict is unimaginable, and can be a back-breaker for businesses. Also, the damage is internal (in the form of disrupted operations, data loss, application downtime), as well as external (loss of reputation in the market).

Data Security Checklist

The most paramount question, then, becomes this: Is your enterprise doing enough about datacenter security?

In this guide, we will go through the most important checks that you need to make to ramp up your business’ datacenter security and to ensure that you’re equipped with the necessary mechanisms, plans, and tools that will help you combat any cyberattacks or physical security violations.

Pay due diligence to SIEM

The contemporary enterprise’s dependency on datacenters is massive. The number of applications and processes dependent on the datacenter is huge. This means that ignorance can never be bliss as far as datacenter security is concerned. This is where the need for a strong monitoring tool that integrates security and event management into a single interface proves its worth.

cyber-attacks

When the IT team is made aware of any irregularities in the systems, any odd configuration changes, and data accesses, it can take proactive decisions to arrest the damage and foil any kind of security breach attempts. For organizations that can’t afford full-time security and monitoring teams, SIEM tools ensure that they get the benefits of automated monitoring. This helps them quickly identify issues such as outdated security patches, erroneous configurations, and a need for updating security settings.

End user education and continuous training

Oftentimes, the end user is the weakest link in an enterprise’s defense mechanisms to ward off cyberattacks on datacenters. And, your defenses are only as strong as the weakest link! The solution – constant effort toward user education about the security risks the enterprise faces.

  • Educate end users on social engineering and phishing practices that have already resulted in several security breaches across organizations.
  • Acknowledge that the enterprise systems are still growing to be able to tackle the menace of cyber-threats to datacenters, and inform them of their responsibilities to participate in basic security upkeep.
  • Organize regular training sessions to help them stay up to date with the latest best practices in datacenter security operations.

Evolving security frameworks

Take it from us, a cyberattack on your enterprise resources, datacenter included, is a matter of “when” and not “if.” Cyberattackers are getting better at their nefarious practices. Thankfully, there’s a whole force of entrepreneurial white hat hackers who are helping security-development companies develop better tools to combat the burgeoning threats. You saw this in the movie “Sneakers” back in the 90s, even though that was right in beginning of the Internet revolution. Now the threats are greater and more complex in nature. That movie was weak compared to “Blackhat,” but this is another topic.

To ensure that your datacenter remains secure, be aware of and get educated about the latest security protocols and frameworks, and have a dedicated in-house group responsible for ensuring that the implemented framework is refreshed and updated regularly.

Is your datacenter security in suitable shape?

physical security checklist

It’s easy to overlook the physical aspects of datacenter security, especially when there is so much happening on the cybersecurity front in terms of strategy. However, your datacenter is all about the server hardware that stores hundreds of gigabytes of your business data and powers dozens of applications with computing resources.

Here is a four-layered physical security checklist

Level 1: Facilities entrance

The reception area of a datacenter building is best treated as a visitor validation and acceptance area, creating the first security mechanism of ensuring zero unauthorized access to the servers. This is a basic compliance practice, which is in place at most datacenters already. Make sure you don’t miss out on it.

Level 2: Hallways and escorted areas

These are the areas that lead to the floors where the equipment is kept. A datacenter employs all kinds of technicians; this layer helps deal with potential security breaches because of internal resources. By using color-coded sign boards, colored staff uniforms, and video surveillance, you can make sure that there is no unauthorized access within the datacenter.

And speaking of “Blackhat,” don’t get outsmarted by someone like Nick Hathaway or Sadak in this regard!

Level 3: Datacenter rooms

To make sure that no compromising activities take place inside the server room, use dual-factor biometrics and real-time video monitoring. These latest security tools and mechanisms can help you monitor and control all kinds of accesses made to the server room.

Level 4: Securing datacenters’ physical assets

What makes the core of a datacenter? Well, it is the IT infrastructure, equipment, and hardware housed within datacenter racks and cabinets. Cabinet access control used to be an often-ignored aspect of physical security in datacenters. Not anymore!

More and more enterprises are investing resources in securing racks and cabinets to avoid storage theft, server thefts, power interruptions, and virus uploads. Look to implement means, mechanisms, and security devices that ensure strict access control over who gets to work with these racks and cabinets, weeding out any remote possibilities of physical security breaches.

Take control

Cybersecurity is the biggest headache for any IT leader, and for enterprises with their own datacenters, ensuring 100 percent security and continuity of datacenter operations is imperative. The guidelines discussed above will help enterprises keep things under their control.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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