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For most organizations, data centers play a pivotal role in operations. It is a place where all core processes take place. Be it sharing files, processing large datasets, or keeping computing resources, it is the data center that is responsible for conducting all these functions.
In fact, security is the prime reason why all major companies consider hosting their data in the data centers that opt for an in-house setup. Since the companies are trusting you with their mission-critical data, it is your responsibility to ensure that your data center is immune to any cyber-attack or security breach.
So if you are a data center owner, you must check if your organization has all the data center security checklist and compliance in place to prevent security breaches.
But before we move on to the data security compliance checklist, let’s first understand what Data Security levels are and why it is important.
Data centers handle the organization’s customers’ data in a secure manner. Data outages and breaches can decimate a business that depends on the data. However, they can also cause serious damage to a data center.
A compliance strategy is essential to protecting any data center that handles sensitive information. The compliance strategy increases long-term customer satisfaction by making service delivery highly available.
Often, data centers have a network operations center (NOC), which is a secure area that contains automated systems that continuously monitor server activity, Web traffic, and network performance and alert engineers to any very slight deviation. Data centers serve as the main facility for processing data in an organization.
To help you out, below we are providing you with the data center checklist to ensure optimum security. This checklist will help you find a reliable and trustworthy data center in India.
Below we are listing the most important data center security checklist:
No matter what you think, the location of your data center is as crucial as its security. Since it will house billions of crucial pieces of equipment, you must pay keen attention to the location and ensure that it is safe and secure.
Here are the key factors that can help you pick the location of your data center wisely:
Firstly, it is important that you check the geographical factors like climate protection, seismic activities, etc. It has to be located in a place where it stays protected from natural disasters like tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc.
Secondly, you must choose a data center location where there are chances of man-made disasters. The site must also not be close to prisons, airports, freeways, pipelines, stadiums, banks, etc.
So while choosing the location of your data center, ensure that it is immune to man-made and natural disasters.
Electricity MUST be obtained from two (or more) separate substations, preferably connected to separate power plants, powering the site. The reliability of the electric supply MUST be 99.9% or better. It is advisable to have access to more than one water source at the site. For this reason, well water could be a backup option. Multiple internet access providers should be available.
Be sure to examine the data center infrastructure requirement checklist before deciding how the data center will be constructed. Moreover, it needs to be in a building you own too. It shouldn’t share walls with other office space.
Site parameters are crucial to maintaining the optimum security of the call center. The data center facility must be very well lit, free from obstruction, should have an effective surveillance system, and automatic authentication method for employees.
The data center facility must have a properly installed CCTV surveillance system that offers extensive coverage of all the areas in the facility including parking spaces and neighborhoods. Service engineers, guards, and cleaning crew vehicles should have parking permits. The employees and contractors should park in employee-only lots. Visitor vehicles should park in visitor parking lots. Vehicles that do not fit in either of these categories should be towed.
Having windows around the computer room or server room offers the chances of intrusion and can lead to a breach of confidential data security. Windows also introduce unnecessary heat to the computer rooms by casting sunlight on servers. Data centers should have computer rooms inside.
There should be some form of automatic authentication at each door on the outside of the building (e.g. a badge reader). To ensure everyone entering the facility is identified, all entrances should be covered with mantraps as well as a security kiosk, concrete barricades, and CCTV cameras. To receive a badge allowing access to the building, engineers and cleaners must produce a picture ID prior to entering.
You must mark your computer or server rooms as a restricted area and prohibit activities like eating, drinking, or smoking in the space. Also, the automated system should be installed at the entrance so that only authoritative professionals can access the space. Those who need to maintain the servers or associated equipment should have access.
It is crucial to maintain the temperatures of the computer room. Generally, the temperature of the server rooms at the data center is set between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit while the humidity level has to be between 20% & 80%. Also, in most data centers, the environmental sensors read the temperature of the room so that the concerned person can monitor it and maintain the desired temperature.
The computer rooms must be under efficient CCTV surveillance. Ensure that the airflow and cable management is in place and have proper access to cooling, and power. Opt for high ceilings as it allows proper heat dispersal. In every computer room, there should be a fire extinguisher. Each computer room should have an emergency power-off switch.
Cooling towers in your facility must be redundant. But also make sure that the cooling towers are far away from the parking lot area.
Since there will be papers with confidential or sensitive information about your clients or your organizations, you must shred them rather than dump them. Also, there are many document destruction companies that you can contact. No matter how you decide to maintain the trash, just ensure that it is monitored by CCTV.
The facility should have an effective power backup in place with adequate durations. Technically, you must also have a diesel generator as a power backup option.
You must monitor the NOC (Network Operations Center) 24*7. Also, you must have a system installed for monitoring fire, weather, humidity levels, etc. Your facility must have an effective means to communicate with the outside world.
It is the most vital thing that every data center must have in place. Ensure that your facility has an effective disaster recovery and backup plan prepared for cases of emergency.
Additionally, redundant servers should be set up in another data center. To ensure they run perfectly during disaster time, you must test them from time to time.
The cost of hosting your servers in a data center colocation facility can sometimes be higher than hosting them yourself, but the added security that a data center provides is well worth it.
Depending on an organization’s needs and available resources, it may have the following types of data centers:
An off-premises data center is a server that is hosted by a cloud provider, such as IBM Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and others. Even though these platforms are growing in popularity, there is still debate within the industry about how secure they are. However, most of these issues are on the customer side (such as misconfigurations of servers), not on the provider side.
These types of data centers are located inside your facilities, as opposed to cloud data centers. The best level of security comes with an on-premises data center, but the operational costs are much higher than those of other storage options.
In a shared data center, another company or organization shares servers with you. If your company lacks technical expertise, or you can’t afford an upfront capital investment, this is great for you. On the other hand, it’s not always the most secure solution.
A company that owns its servers and other hardware but shares space with another company operate this type of data center. As you own your equipment and are not sharing it with other companies, the Colocation data center provides more protection than managed hosting data centers.
To ensure optimum security, you must find a colocation provider who can provide you with these five exclusive data center compliance checklist standards. You must evaluate the provider on the basis of these mission-critical data center safety checklists.
You can also contact our experts at Go4hosting. We have secure data center facilities in India namely Noida, Jaipur, and Raipur. We have also partnered with other reputed data center facilities to deliver a top-notch experience to our clients. Connect to our experts at [email protected].