Why It’s Important to Address Human Error When It Comes to Physical Security Threats

In an ever more complicated world, data — whether it be personal or related to business — is key to security. Fortifying the data centers where a firm’s information is stored is a crucial facet of modern physical and cyber security.

A recent article in DataCenter Knowledge offers an important industry perspective on some of the risks that data centers face: oftentimes human error can leave significant physical security vulnerabilities.

“For an enterprise to build its own dedicated data center requires a lot of resources, space, and money. As a result, many businesses are hosting applications and storing data in collocated data centers, which have shared access. In this instance, physical security becomes more important than ever, as businesses work to keep their business-critical data safe in the event of accidental breaches,” reads the article.

One of the main vulnerabilities highlighted in the piece are internal threats. For instance, those who enter these data storage facilities may accidentally cause security breaches. They state that servers should be secured at the cabinet level, with access granted to only authorized, high-level personnel. They outline two traditional ways to do this:

  • Traditional lock-and-key systems: This is what it sounds like — make sure only the highest level individuals with security training and access are in possession of the keys.
  • Locks and key codes: This hybrid model combines the traditional lock system with modern technology.

While these are tried and true methods, the article states that it’s difficult to track access remotely.

As a result, they recommend “electronic access-based solutions” that embed tracking and monitoring capabilities into these data securing systems. This can “help to alleviate unauthorized access and concerns surrounding data security.” Electronic access solutions involve the generation of digital signatures to control and monitor the security system remotely and track it in real time.

“As data center threats continue to increase, solutions like these will become even more in demand, as business owners continue to protect their business-critical data from growing physical threats,” the article states. “Therefore, security systems need to become more intelligent and integrated to afford business owners peace of mind over the protection of their data. The industry has a growing need for access solutions which combine protection and monitoring functionality with intuitive installation.”

Finding ways to be on top of who is entering a facility and who has access and clearance to use the security measures is important for 21st century data storage centers.

Published by Peter Cavicchia

Peter Cavicchia is a retired U.S. Secret Service Senior Executive, now Chairman of the security consulting firm Strategic Services International LLC. https://petecavicchia.com/

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