In order to store, process, and distribute data and applications, an organization’s shared IT operations and hardware are centralized in a data center. These data centers are essential to the continuity of everyday operations because they store the most important and proprietary assets of a business. This makes the security and protection of data service centers indispensably critical and should never be overlooked.
Data centers may vary in size, functions, and other features, but they all have common grounds when it comes to security and protective measures. Explore this article to understand better data center security and learn how to secure your own.
What is Data Center?
A data center is a structure that offers shared access to applications and data through a sophisticated network, computing, and storage infrastructure. Industry standards are offered to help with developing, building, and maintaining data center facilities and infrastructures that guarantee all data are highly available and safe.
There are also different types of data centers that we organizations can work with depending on circumstances, practices, and investments, but they all play the same roles. These are:
- Enterprise data centers
For their own internal uses, enterprise data centers are typically built and operated by a single business. Technology behemoths frequently have these.
- Colocation data centers
When people are willing to rent a data center’s space and resources, they are able to do so through colocation data centers, which operate as a type of rental property.
- Managed service data centers
In order to directly serve consumers, managed service data centers provide services including computing, data storage, and other services.
- Cloud data centers
With the aid of an outside managed service provider, cloud data centers are occasionally made available to consumers in a distributed fashion.
Truly, the modern data center has changed from being a building with an on-premises architecture to one that integrates on-premises systems with cloud infrastructures where networks, applications, and workloads are virtualized in various private and public clouds.
What is Data Center Security?
Data center security pertains to the physical procedures and digital tools used to safeguard a data center against outside threats and attacks. A data center is a place where huge volumes of data are organized, processed, and stored. A data center has IT infrastructure, which consists of networked computers and storage. Data centers lower the cost of running their own centralized computing networks and servers for private enterprises migrating to the cloud. Data centers offer services like data management, networking, backup and recovery, and storage.
Data centers must be both digitally and physically secured since they house sensitive or proprietary information, such as customer data or intellectual property.
How Can You Protect Data Center?
Data centers are intricate structures that require independent consideration of security elements while still adhering to a single, comprehensive security policy. Physical security and software security are two categories of security. Physical security refers to a broad range of procedures and tactics intended to thwart intrusion from the outside. Cybercriminals are prevented from accessing the network by using software or virtual security to circumvent firewalls, break passwords, or access it through other vulnerabilities.
Generally, data center security can be broken down into two streams of protection, namely: Physical security and Digital security. Each stream of protection encompasses a myriad of protective measures.
1. Physical security
Data centers need to be secured against external physical threats to their internal parts. A data center facility is kept secure by physical security measures like a secure location, the building’s physical access restrictions, and monitoring systems.
Data center IT infrastructures need a full zero trust analysis built into any data center architecture in addition to the physical security mechanisms installed inside a data center (cameras, sensors, locks, etc.). It’s crucial to comprehend the security precautions and Service Level Agreements that firms have put in place as they transfer their on-premises IT systems to cloud data storage, cloud service providers, cloud infrastructures, and cloud apps.
In order to create buffer zones that are made up of a combination of landscaping and crash-proof barriers, data center buildings are typically constructed away from main roadways.
Secure Environment and Location
Data centers should be situated in a safe area that includes:
- a place resistant to quakes, fires, and other natural disasters.
- a nondescript exterior facade that lacks brand logos.
- physical barriers that deter unauthorized entry.
- restricted entranceways
Controls for Physical Access
Defense in depth is one of the security best practices for physical access restrictions for data center security. This entails creating numerous separation levels and establishing access constraints for each one. Photo sticks expand your phone’s memory for photos and videos, saving you from the dreaded “low storage” notifications. Unfortunately, most phones don’t have enough storage to keep up with our constant content creation, so we need handy photostick storage devices to offload our photos, videos, documents, and other media files.
For instance, initial access could rely on biometric scanners, followed by security personnel’s sign-in verification. Equipment will be divided into various zones inside the data center, with access to each zone being verified. In addition, all of the facility’s secure areas are under video monitoring.
Building management systems should be secure
Every entry point into the data center must be protected. This comprises:
- Using MFA to protect access from remote technicians who maintain the building, allowing them access only when it’s necessary for them to do their jobs, and checking that their device is secure before authorizing access.
- securing the building’s control systems, such as elevators, Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets, and related systems.
- separating Wi-Fi networks and building systems from production networks to stop lateral movement
- continually checking the network for the presence of unfamiliar or new wireless access points or IoT devices
2. Digital security
Data centers need security that is focused on digital threats in addition to physical measures. Among other things, this entails putting in place access restrictions for data center IT security and choosing security programs that are specific to data center requirements.
Layering security into the data center can be accomplished by establishing protected areas inside the network.
Prior to the deployment of security apps and code, various tools may be employed to check for exploitable flaws, offer metrics, and enable remediation. To look for buffer overflows or other vulnerabilities, you can run a scanner across the code. Since malware may be hidden inside of otherwise valid communications, visibility into data flows is essential given the rise of cloud computing.
IT Security Access Controls for Data Centers
The protection of the servers is the major objective of data center security. This entails putting in place the following security measures:
- Only turn on services as necessary.
- Services should be accessible based on business requirements.
- Update systems with the most recent security fixes.
- Use secure password protection.
- Use safe protocols, such as HTTPS or SSH.
For network-level security, data centers should additionally use firewalls, including:
- firewalls at border locations are used to macrosegment north and southbound traffic.
- Between servers connected to the same network, there is microsegment east/west traffic.
- where necessary, encrypting communications in transit.
Data center security solutions must: in order to prevent security from becoming a bottleneck.
- Support security at network speeds of 10, 25, 40, and 100 Gbps and higher.
- meet the capacity needs of the data center.
- Scale when networks experience seasonal traffic spikes from e-commerce web servers, for example, or from hyper-scale security.
- Create backup systems that can be updated without affecting the operation of the data center.
Utilize the appropriate software and security tools for the task.
Different systems call for various security measures. For instance, client protection is the goal of perimeter-focused security solutions, whereas server protection is the focus of data center security.
Since enterprise clients frequently have access to the entire Internet, they require security measures to guard against risks in web and email as well as application management to stop the use of dangerous apps. Client-focused safeguards consist of:
- isolation of remote browsers (RBI)
- EDR (endpoint detection and response) technology or forensics
- CDR (Content Disarm & Reconstruction) (Content Disarm & Reconstruction)
Since servers make up data centers instead of user devices, the same security procedures do not apply to them. The following security features are necessary for data center networks:
- Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS): IPS are used to identify and stop network-based attacks on weak systems. IPS can also be used as a virtual patching solution to stop exploits until patches can be applied when systems cannot be patched.
- Zero-trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a secure means to link any user from any device to any corporate application. ZTNA is often referred to as software-defined perimeter (SDP).
- Web security: Traffic to and from web applications is inspected by the web application firewall (WAF) and its contemporary cloud cousin, web application, and API protection (WAAP), which are both placed on the network edge.
7 Data Center Security Best Practices
Although physical security and cybersecurity are both important components of data center security, this section focuses on the cybersecurity features of data center security.
In general, both on-premises and cloud environments must have uniform security policies that are deployed and enforced. Solutions that scale with the business and are in line with its objectives are also necessary, given the quick speed of corporate evolution.
Deep visibility across environments is provided by effective data center security, and zero-trust security principles are enforced. A number of security best practices must be followed to secure hybrid data centers.
1. Determine and Manage Data
An organization relinquishes control over portions of its infrastructure when switching to an as-a-service model. The platform, operating system, and other resources may be in the control of the cloud provider, but he or she does not grant access to them or sight into them. Organizations must come up with plans for retaining control over their data while working within the limitations imposed by the cloud service provider. Make sure there are strategies in place for keeping the data under control. Set up backup or disaster recovery plans and resilient, redundant systems.
2. Sort Sensitive Information
Organizations must identify sensitive data before transferring to the cloud. This aids in creating safeguards for this data and making sure it is protected in accordance with existing laws.
According to its sensitivity, its nature, and the business unit that controls it, every data needs to be labeled. This labeling provides guidance for regulatory compliance procedures and guarantees that data critical to particular business units is accessible and available in accordance with SLAs.
3. Map Data Flows
Data will frequently move between on-premises and cloud environments in a hybrid data center. In order to permit normal data flows and reject questionable or malicious ones, data security requires knowledge of these data flows.
It’s crucial to depict users, networks, systems, and applications while mapping data flows. When creating and enforcing granular access controls, this offers crucial context.
4. Establish Groups
It is inefficient and unscalable to try to create and apply security policies on an individual, case-by-case basis. A preferable strategy is to establish and apply policies to groups of entities that perform comparable goals.
In order to manage a group effectively, you need clear, consistent policies. In order for the groups to be used dynamically in policy, define systems that may be used to map which group the users, devices, VMs, and applications belong to.
5. Utilizing a Scalable Security Solution to Segment Traffic Flows
Effective network security is built on network segmentation. An organization can specify limits for traffic inspection and the application of security regulations by using segmentation.
Scalability and flexibility are crucial when implementing network segmentation in a hybrid data center. Support for dynamic scalability is a requirement for a network segmentation solution. This guarantees that on-premises and cloud systems can naturally grow and shrink in accordance with the tides of business.
The specific use cases of the cloud should be taken into consideration while designing network segmentation solutions. Organizations can use this to acquire the visibility and control they need to segment and secure serverless applications in an appropriate manner.
6. Create Flexible Access Control Policies
In the cloud, an organization’s infrastructure might change quickly, so security must be able to keep up. This indicates that a hybrid data center needs policies for dynamic access control.
To obtain the essential security context and guarantee consistent security enforcement, a cloud security solution should be able to gather and analyze data from across the whole ecosystem, including on-prem and both public and private cloud environments. To ensure the best, most recent protection and policy enforcement, security policies should adapt as these environments alter and develop.
7. Conduct regular reviews and audits.
One of the most frequent reasons for cloud security mishaps is improperly configured security settings. Because businesses employ such a wide range of cloud-based services, each with its own specific security settings, cloud deployments are frequently insufficiently secured.
Cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions are crucial to securing hybrid data centers as cloud deployments become an increasingly important component of corporate IT infrastructure. A CSPM solution must offer unified security management for multi-cloud environments and give security teams the centralized insight and control they need to react swiftly and effectively to any security issues.
8. Employ Data Center Security checkpoints
Public and private cloud environments are combined with on-premises equipment in the modern data center. Automation and artificial intelligence must be used as part of a hybrid cloud security architecture to secure this infrastructure at scale. A single console that offers total visibility and control over security in both on-premises and cloud-based settings should be used to administer this architecture.
A hybrid data center security solution from Check Point aims to stop intrusions before they endanger company assets. by integrating threat prevention and policy management across the whole data center of an enterprise.
Who needs data center security?
To ensure continuing use, each data center needs to have some type of security. Numerous power sources, multiple environmental controls, and other uptime features make up some security-related components. Four categories can be used to categorize data centers; each category is linked to a particular business purpose and establishes the necessary standards for cooling, upkeep, and fault tolerance.
If your fall into the following categories of data center users, it would be in your best interest to optimize your DC security.
- Small businesses that employ non-redundant capacity components, such as single uplink and servers.
- Business that incorporates the previously mentioned category but adds redundant capacity components.
- If you employ more rigorous data centers that utilize the first and second categories and adds dual-powered equipment and multiple uplinks.
- A business that makes use of a data center with the three previous features but with components that are fully fault-tolerant, including uplinks, storage, chillers, HVAC, and more.
Secure a reliable data center management to ensure the best flow of your daily business operations and make a foolproof business process. This investment will surely garner a strong return moving onwards for your enterprise.
Optimize Data Center Security
Modern business relies heavily on data, which must be properly protected, managed, governed, and used in order for the company to be profitable. The visibility and management of sensitive data held by a company are essential for regulatory compliance and economic success.
Deploying a variety of security solutions and putting numerous best practices into effect are necessary for successfully implementing a data center security plan.
Get in touch with the Practical Solutions Public Company Limited through https://www.thepractical.co.th/ to get the best data center security practices for your company.