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Data centre security – the Amito way

Published 2nd September 2020

As data centres become increasingly complex environments, it’s essential that physical security is stepped up to meet the demands. With a keen focus on cyber security, is there a tendency to neglect defences when it comes to physical threats?  Cyberattacks, break-ins and even terrorism can all expose and make your data centre – and business – vulnerable. Here’s how we developed Amito’s industry-leading approach to security.

Physical security is intrinsic to data centre design

First off, physical security has to be intrinsic to how you build your data centre. We’ve always innovated through data centre design, investing heavily in building both security and resilience into our infrastructure from the outset. Today, security is well-defined in terms of individual physical components, from palisade fencing and CCTV through to access controlled doors with biometrics.

For many data centres, it’s how you tie your security strategy into something coherent that can be challenging. While many data centres are attempting to modernise and eliminate paperwork, some still manage their security through spreadsheets and profiles created at security desks.  In 2020, there’s no reason not to tie your approach together. Amito’s created a cohesive security system that includes employees, clients and staff, with electronic profiles all integrated into a central portal. As well as giving our customers peace of mind, it enhances the user experience for our people and partners coming onsite.

Build physical security into your culture – respectfully

We work collaboratively and in partnership with our customers. So, from day one we needed a system that allowed clients to visit the site: access was fundamental to how we built our security.  Each person has defined access to services or building locations and the profile is automatically built from those; which doors, which rooms, and so on. Sign in, including biometrics, is all controlled through touch screen interfaces, directly into the central system.  Our approach is to control access down to each room dependent on the individual needs, defining who can go where, whether it’s technical staff accessing certain racks or the sales team offering data centre tours. At the same time, communicating access and being respectful to team questions around security and access has always been built into our culture.

Automate to innovate

We automate ID at every level, which means there’s no room for human error, and because each security tag is unique, it tracks every single person in the business and is integrated centrally. This means clients can book access as well as have an audit trail to all their physical assets – essentially they can manage their own access too which is gives them real control. From our perspective, integrated security systems are the future for data centre security.  Developing security strategies around surveillance and backups with in-built redundancy has also been important. For example, if the data centre loses power, the disconnected door retains the memory of the tag so will still operate, providing an alert to flag the door is no longer under central control.

Physical security goes far beyond a sophisticated welcome system for data centres; it’s built into and backed-up by every process across the organisation. If you’d like to find out more about how Amito’s developed its world class approach feel free to contact us.

Author: Simon Utting, COO