When it comes to data server security, there is no such thing as a second chance. Once a computer server is compromised, the damage is done. And resulting problems can reverberate for months or even years to come. That’s why it’s so critical to head off security problems before they have a chance to happen. TechRack Systems (www.techrack.com) believes that the best way to do that is to arm your company with a two-pronged, integrated approach to securing your data servers from every angle—inside and out.
When we think of protecting data servers, enclosures, and racks, the first part that comes to mind is protection of the tangible pieces of equipment, the physical computer hardware and assets. But that’s just half the story—the virtual, intangible side of the server, the software, data, and the network, are equally as important. Both need strong protection at all times, and a breach of one side adversely affects the other. Companies may have the best of intentions to secure their physical and virtual assets as tightly as possible, but having multiple sites, a lack of funds and little time for planning means that they might choose the simplest approach, which might actually afford very little protection. This is exactly what leaves data servers more vulnerable to intrusions and theft—securing both is the most effective long-term approach.
Whether you have a large data center or small business office, adopting the following security practices can ensure all parts of your data server assets are as safe as they can be:
Block Access to Your Equipment—Period
Saving a few bucks to get a cheaper server cabinet or rack that doesn’t properly block access can be the worst investment you would ever make—especially if equipment gets stolen or compromised in any way. In fact, in the medical and financial industries, there are government regulations mandating computers and servers containing sensitive data are to be locked at all times. As an example, HIPAA regulations require that data must be in a secured room or in a protected computer cabinet. Regardless of industry, though, using locking server racks and cabinets is the easiest and best way to keep unauthorized users out of the area, reduce tampering, and eliminate opportunities to take equipment altogether. There are many types of locking cabinets that have doors and sides that lock, and are available in a range of sizes, designs, and secure mounting configurations for different types of data server equipment and environments, such as:
Get Hands on Protection
Another effective method to keep out unauthorized use is with a more high tech approach: Biometric Identification. More common in larger data centers, biometric feedback uses hand and eye geometry or fingerprint scanners to identify the person accessing the server, and keeps others locked out. Various configurations are available; including types designed to require access to individual server cabinets, or by a keypad that controls a row of servers and designates which cabinets can be unlocked. (Note: while TechRack Systems does not provide the biometrics equipment, as a service to its customers, TechRack can furnish customized door cut-outs on orders of 5 or more units for biometric or other security mechanisms for data server cabinets.)
Put Data Under “Lock and Key”: Literally and Figuratively
While locking server cabinets and biometrics can ensure your computer hardware devices are safe, software and data housed in the computer or network are still vulnerable and need maximum protection too. A proven method is the USB port lock. These are available in two categories: physical locks that block access the port, or software that restricts USB port access. Physical USB port locks provided by TechRack work by restricting access to the USB port so unauthorized parties attempting to get data can’t use a USB stick in the port. Port locks come in different forms and sizes but their functionality is the same. Similarly, software is available from various vendors that restricts the use of USB ports and acts as a “virtual” barrier to the port. For that extra measure of security, consider using both physical and software-based USB port locks as a back up.
Lock Down Your Server and Data Today
Whatever methods you choose to secure your data servers, approaching it from a holistic view will ensure a comprehensive, long-term strategy, and also help you sleep easier at night.
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