Data center lessons from large corporations

There have been a lot of recent worries about data center security within the United States. PC Magazine's Security Watch blog said that the data centers operated by companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo may be insecure due to the large amount of data they collect from users, which demands a great level of protection. However, a recent infographic from Hostwinds showed that these centers may be more secure than many think. PCMag's Luke Siuty wrote on the blog that these servers are "fortress-like" and help provide adequate protection against a wide variety of attacks.

"Google's 300,000 square feet data centers, located in multiple US states as well as Taiwan, China, Belgium and more, never stop running, letting the company index 20 billion pages a day," he wrote, summing up the Hostwinds infographic. "Tours are not allowed, and all vehicles have to pass restricted checkpoints. Even authorized personnel must check in at an access control desk, use badges that are very difficult to replicate, and sometimes go through an iris scan. Moreover, cameras frequently supplied with thermal imaging keep up a constant surveillance, analyzing for anomalies."

Google also has multiple data center locations and hard drives where encrypted data is stored. Facebook's data centers in Oregon each contain more than 1,500 tons of steel with large stone walls in front. these examples illustrate how difficult it is to break into one of these data centers to steal information.

Using new technology to safeguard the data center
David Grubbs, director of regulatory affairs for the municipality of Garland, Texas, told Data Center Journal there are plenty of new efforts and technology that can be used to protect assets. Systems such as key card access, electronic padlocks and video monitoring have all started to play more important roles in security. However, businesses need to be careful about how they are providing server location access and who they are showing data to when dealing with sensitive information.

"The most common ways of entering a system are by social engineering," he told the journal. "Asking innocent-sounding questions, a hyperlink in an email that appears to be from your boss, or getting someone to plug in a USB drive or CD are the easiest way to get into a secure system. A second source of lost information is a lost laptop or the USB drive that contains sensitive information."

Data Security News from by Trend Micro.

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