The Data Deluge and Data Centre Security

January 6, 2015

Today's organisations have a deluge of data to wade through. If you loaded all of the world’s digital data – photos, videos, documents, etc. – onto a bunch of iPad Air tablets, the resulting stack would reach two-thirds of the distance to the moon!

How can decision makers deal with information at such scale, whilst making sure that data centre operations continue to run securely and smoothly?

Success in managing the data deluge starts with data aggregation and analytics. This, in turn, depends upon data centre solutions that offer the reliable service, flexible connectivity, experienced managers, and the physical security with access controls and environmental monitoring that enables big data to work for you. Investing in data centre services that meet these requirements is often the difference between being overwhelmed by data, and being able to extract valuable and actionable conclusions from it.

Harnessing the data deluge for cyber security

For example, big data can enlighten organisations about their customers, inform product redesign, support risk analysis, and even enhance cyber security initiatives. In February, research firm Gartner estimated that by 2016, more than one-quarter of global companies would utilise data analytics for at least one security and fraud detection use case, up from the current 8 percent.

There will be a premium on such insight as firms look for new ways to reduce their exposure to data breaches. Recently, as we all know, there has been a string of high-profile data security incidents.

Innovations such as chip- and PIN-card technology, as well as mobile payments technologies, may shore up some of the systemic weaknesses that have caused problems for retailers. At the same time, the growing digitization of commerce - mobile payments alone could become a $90 billion market by 2017 - means that data security and analytics, both for commercial and protective purposes, deserve more attention than ever. But leaders need assurance that the data centres they utilise are reliable, and that confidence begins with physical security, which is the foundation of any effective security programme.

Physical security in the data centre: Providing peace of mind and the freedom to take on today's challenges

The importance of effective physical security in the data centre cannot be overstated. Unauthorized access, natural disasters, and outlier events, such as nearby automobile accidents, or unauthorized physical intrusion attempts, can all spell trouble for vulnerable facilities and, by extension, their customers. Without physical security, the quality of any other security protocols in place may become irrelevant.

Every dollar spent on under-secured facilities is one less dollar left to spend on network security, big data, or growing the business. Organisations need an edge in these areas in order to best serve their customers and guard against damaging breaches. So why not look for the ideal combination of physical security and economy? By selecting data centre strategies built upon the fundamentals of physical security, including physical intrusion detection, video surveillance management, and highly trained data centre and security personnel, it becomes much more practical for businesses to focus on day-to-day concerns and operations.

A robust physical security framework lets security professionals know who has access to what, and when they have this access. It implements technical, administrative, and operational controls that ensure that the perimeter is secure and that all user identifiers are securely managed. Dedicated personnel not only ensure proper stewardship of technical security systems, but also contribute to efficient everyday data centre operations, even in the event of emergencies. Overall, a top-flight data centre solution with comprehensive physical security translates into less time worrying about the fundamental integrity of data centres, and more time thinking about ways to innovate in an increasingly complex world.

In today's most sophisticated organisations, data centres are no longer considered IT cost centres, but are now viewed as strategic BT (business technology) assets and cost-reducing revenue centres.

To learn more about how data centre security can enhance your business strategy, I invite you todownload the Digital Realty white paper, "The Secure Data Centre: An Integrative Approach to Achieving Holistic Security."

We look forward to partnering with you in achieving your data centre security goals, and your business objectives.

By Gary Smith, Director of Security

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