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What Is Data Center Security?

Updated on March 11, 2022
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With the accelerating digital transformation and data centralization, data centers become one of the most important parts of an organization’s IT infrastructure. In recent years, data centers' scale continues to grow, which brings efficiency and convenience but increases potential threats due to the unparalleled value of more centralized data. Any attacks on data centers will bring huge economic losses to the enterprise. It's essential to learn widespread threats to data center security and how to defend them.

Data Center Threats

Many important elements for data centers, including data storage, highly-connected networks, and cloud infrastructure support, highly increase potential security threats. To avoid irreparable loss, organizations should manage effectively these potential threats, such as internal attacks, IoT attacks, and physical risks.

Internal Attacks

There is no denying that internal employees pose a significant threat to data center security. Various personnel are responsible for the operation and management of data centers and can access the most important equipment and data. Even minor operational errors by employees can cause the loss of critical data or damage data center infrastructure. What's more, some employees can abuse the access to steal and sell customer data or confidential company documents for their personal gain, inflicting serious financial loss and reputation damage to the organization.

IoT Attacks

With the increasing use of smart devices in homes and organizations in recent years, many unreliable connections bring unforeseen threats to enterprise data centers. Smart devices with limited security can be easily exploited by hackers to infiltrate business networks, causing significant business losses. Some hackers have even used malware to blackmail organizations into paying large sums of money in exchange for data security.

Physical Risks

In addition to cyberattacks, physical issues can also cause serious damage to data centers, including utility failure, cooling system equipment failure, fire, air quality issues, and natural disasters. Most of the time, these physical risks are isolated and contained, not resulting in serious data center losses. However, these preparations are sometimes foiled due to sudden threats.

Data Center Threats

What Is Data Center Security?

Every year, businesses suffer substantial losses of money, customers, and reputation due to various attacks. A variety of potential threats, including internal attacks, IoT attacks, and physical attacks, can cause significant damage to enterprise's data centers. For self-protection, organizations are putting more emphasis on data center security. But what is data center security?

Data center security refers to the practices and preparation that keep a data center secure from threats, attacks, and unauthorized access. Data center security involves physical security, requiring control systems to limit physical break-ins and prevent disaster, and virtual security, where IT engineers install firewalls and anti-malware programs to prevent breaches.

Who Needs Data Center Security?

Nowadays, a majority of businesses have made the transition from paper to digital, relying on on-premise data centers or cloud data centers to protect data from loss, malicious manipulation, and theft. Companies with an on-premise data center should have multiple physical and network security measures against potential threats. Data center providers that host cloud services for customers must ensure comprehensive security protocols, procedures, and redundancy resources.

How to Secure Data Center?

As mentioned above, data centers must physically safeguard the infrastructure and protect against various threats. The most effective security solutions for data centers include both physical and virtual security measures.

Physical Security

Data centers are often located far from areas frequented by natural disasters, eliminating many physical threats. Additionally, data centers should have various security systems to avoid natural events and attacks that can disrupt access to services, including uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), fire suppression systems, climate control, and building security systems.

Virtual Security

To avoid many of the common malware and virtual attacks, data centers enforce policies via tools such as firewalls, access control lists, and intrusion detection systems. To further keep data secure and private, data encryption, data privacy regulations, and comprehensive monitoring of traffic are a must. Security software used in data centers should not only keep unauthorized users from viewing or stealing sensitive data but also back up the information in the data center, protecting it from loss.

Closing Thoughts

Data centers hold sensitive information of companies, so data center security is critical for companies' success. Although the complexity of IT security can be overwhelming, it is essential to recognize widespread data center threats and take a variety of effective measures to prevent them.

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