Guidelines for Best-in-Breed Data Center Security

By CIOReview | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Data centers that are groups of network computer servers for remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data have evolved as the blood and bone of today’s organizations. With a plethora of equipments such as database servers, load balancers, storage systems, redundant power supplies, environmental controls, and security devices, data centers play a significant role in an organizations IT function.

As data centers handle most confidential information of organizations, unparalleled security is crucial. Security controls can be applied to each physical system, and systems with different levels of criticality or that contain the most sensitive data can be physically separated. However, the next-generation data centers contain a mix of physical and virtual systems and needs a highly competent security solution to withstand any cyber attacks.

Take a look at some of the best practices that can be adopted in organizations to secure data and maintain the security.

1. Security and compliance has to a significant part of the basic data center design. Moreover, make sure that there is a well planned and trained security team involved in the process from the very beginning. Security controls has to be developed and implemented for every modular component in the data center such as servers, data, storage and network.

2. Design, develop and enforce an efficient security policy that context, identity and application-aware for least complexity, and the most flexibility and scalability. The policies should be applied consistently across all the physical, cloud and virtual environments. This, along with replacing physical trust zones with secure trust zones, will provide secure user access to applications and significant resources in the data center.

3. Ensure that there is a physical access control to the data center. While considering the physical security options for a new data center, always perform the basic risk assessments about the data as well as the assets that the data center can hold. Though it is merely impossible to counter all the potential threats, risk assessment, and identification strategies can help to a better extent. However, standard surveillance and access restriction systems are mandatory aspects of primary security.   

4. Always monitor both the internal network as well as the physical resources. As all the systems are interconnected, physical, and virtual, proper monitoring is mandatory. Monitoring has to be continuous, and moreover should be capable of viewing dynamic network fabrics. Monitor for missing patches or application or configuration changes that can introduce vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

5. Location of the data center has also a vital role in its security. Before selecting the location for a data center, ensure that the location suits the requirements with lowest security threats.

6. Deploy a proper login and reporting system for all the employees and personal that enters the facility. By having a management module, managing logs and reporting becomes easier and more straightforward.

Furthermore, interoperability is a critical aspect in the entire data center security. While designing the ecosystem, prefer the solutions from manufacturers and integrators that offer seamless interoperability. These devices enable the security to be efficient during various incidents. In addition, all systems have to work in a cohesive manner for an effective and layered approach.