Data Center Security: What It Is and How to Choose the Best Tools
What is Data Center Security?
Data center security refers to the physical and digital support systems that protect data center operations, data, and applications from any threats. Data centers provide shared access to data and critical applications through a complex network, storage, and compute infrastructure. To ensure data security and high availability, industry standards are used to guide the design, construction, and maintenance of data centers.
Physical Data Center Security
Data centers should be protected from physical threats to their components. Physical security measures include a secure location and physical access controls. Monitoring systems are also used to keep data centers secure.
A data center must have physical security systems (cameras, locks, etc.). Data center IT infrastructures must be thoroughly analyzed before any design can take place. It is important to fully understand the Service Level Agreements and security measures in place as companies move from on-premises IT systems to cloud service providers, cloud data storage, and cloud applications.
Data centers must be located in a safe location. This includes:
- A region that is not vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, or fires.
- A nondescript exterior facade, free of company logos.
- To prevent forced entry, physical barriers are used.
- Entry points are limited
Physical Access Controls
Implementing defense in depth is one of the best security practices for physical access control for data center security. This means that multiple layers of separations are created and each layer must be subject to access control.
One example is that initial entry might be based on biometric scanners and then sign-in verification by security personnel. Once you are inside the data center, the equipment will be divided into zones that can be accessed by security personnel. Video surveillance is also installed to monitor all areas that are protected.
Secure Building Management Systems
Each point of access to the data center must be protected. This includes:
- Remote technicians maintaining the building with MFA can only have access to certain areas. Before granting access, they must ensure that their device is safe and secure.
- Secure the building’s systems, including HVAC, elevators, Internet of Things devices (IoT), and other similar solutions.
- Segmenting of building systems and Wi-Fi networks from production networks in order to prevent lateral movement
- Continuously monitor the network to determine if there are any new IoT devices or wireless access point additions.
Digital Data Center Security
Data centers require security that is focused on digital threats, in addition to physical protections. This includes setting up data center IT security access controls and choosing security solutions that are tailored to data centers’ needs.
Data Center IT Security Access Controls
Data center security has the main objective of protecting servers. These security measures include:
- Only allow services when they are needed.
- Access services that are tailored to your business needs.
- Make sure your systems are up-to-date with the most recent security patches
- Use strong password controls.
- Secure protocols like HTTPS or SSH should be used.
Data centers should also use firewalls to ensure network-level security.
- Use firewalls as boundary points for macrosegment north/south.
- Traffic flows between microsegment east/west servers within the same network.
- When necessary, encryption of communications during transit
Data center security solutions should be to ensure security is not a bottleneck
- Support security up to 10, 25, 40, and 100 Gbps network speeds or higher
- You must meet the requirements for data center capacity.
- Scale is when networks experience seasonal surges of traffic like eCommerce web servers, e.g. hyper-scale security.
- You should have secondary systems that can be upgraded without affecting data center operations.
Choose the best security tool for your work
Different systems need different security solutions. Perimeter-focused security solutions protect clients while data center security protects servers.
Enterprise clients have access to the entire Internet. Therefore, they require protections that protect email and the web from threats, as well as application control to stop the use of potentially dangerous applications. Protecting clients is as easy as:
- Remote browser isolation (ROI)
- CDR (Content Desarming & Reconstruction).
- Forensics and EDR (endpoint discovery and response) technologies
Data centers, which consist of servers and not user devices, do not require the same security measures. These security features are required for data center networks:
- Intrusion Prevention Systems: IPS detects, prevents, and stops network-based attacks against vulnerable systems. IPS can be used to prevent exploits from being applied until systems can be patched.
- Zero trust Network Access (ZTNA): ZTNA is also known as Software-defined Perimeter (SDP). It’s a secure way for any user to connect from any device to any corporate software.
- Web Security: The web app firewall ( WAF ) and its modern cloud counterpart, web application protection (WAAP), are installed at the edge of the network to monitor traffic between web applications.
Implement security for data center
Cloud infrastructures are costing companies about the same as on-premises data center infrastructures. It is important that companies maintain the same level of security as they move their IT assets to the cloud. This requires security that is compatible with cloud-native APIs and virtual environments. It also integrates with the latest data center advances in networking, such as VXLAN or software-defined networking (SDN).