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How To Improve Data Center Security in 2020

By: Kayla Matthews on March 9, 2020

As companies increasingly adopt on-site measures to keep data safe, the representatives from those brands expect the security measures to extend to the data center.

Data center security will continue to gain prominence and importance this year. Here are some actions to take to promote better data center security this year and for the foreseeable future. 

Invest in an Artificial Intelligence Tool for Threat Detection

There's a lot of buzz surrounding using artificial intelligence (AI) for data center management needs like temperature control. However, some experts believe that the greatest application for AI is in the data center. That's largely due to there being so many assets to protect that even the most dedicated humans cannot manage the task alone. 

The number of physical and virtual assets in the data center continues to grow," said Manoj Asnani, vice president of product and design at Balbix. "Without AI, it is not possible for enterprises to be prepared for continuously evolving attack surfaces."

AI can also respond when humans overlook the cybersecurity adjustments that are necessary as data center configurations change. It can pick up on small changes that may introduce vulnerabilities, then tweak things to keep the data center secure. 

There are already numerous AI-based cybersecurity solutions on the market. Thus, people who are interested in using one to secure their data centers must take the time to research the choices thoroughly and select one based on appropriate factors, including the size of the existing cybersecurity team and the available budget. 

Some AI solutions simultaneously boost security in multiple areas. For example, Microsoft recently released its Threat Protection product. That option provides AI-powered security for data centers, the cloud, endpoints and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 

Examine Where the Weak Spots Exist

Even if a cybersecurity executive has done an outstanding job while upholding data center security standards, inevitable vulnerabilities remain. Addressing where a data center needs improvement typically requires going through a detailed audit. That may mean bringing in an outside professional to carry out an assessment. But, specialized platforms can also get the job done. 

One of them is an attack surface visibility platform from Censys. It displays an inventory of all an entity's assets on the internet, showing an attacker's view of risks, vulnerabilities and exposures. That tool provides such information in real-time, so it could supplement an initial audit that a professional performs. 

The data center sector is not alone in its aims to beef up cybersecurity in 2020. The Department of Defense is working towards that goal, too. It launched the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) for any person or organization doing business with the government agency. There are five levels of the CMMC framework, and a higher one indicates a more mature security posture.

Using a cybersecurity framework after receiving the results of an audit could assist data center providers from any sector with prioritizing where and how to tackle existing problems to make overall cybersecurity better. Anyone working to enhance cybersecurity must realize that they're engaged in a work in progress. No matter what an audit shows, positive changes can't happen overnight. 

Scrutinize Physical Security

There's no denying that external threats are severe and real challenges for data center operators. But, having a secure data center means enforcing physical security measures in addition to network-based precautions.

An analysis of the physical data center security segment from Fior Markets anticipates the sector to see a combined annual growth rate of 14.7% during the forecast period of 2020-2027. Physical data center security standards may include installing access control solutions that only allow people with the right privileges to access areas containing equipment with sensitive information. It's also common to install surveillance cameras that detect suspicious activity. 

Employee training is an essential part of maintaining a secure data center. For example, if a colleague gets in the habit of holding the door for people behind them, that probably-innocent behavior could erode access control measures. Data center workers should also learn how to report anything that seems out of the ordinary, whether related to a colleague or someone wholly unfamiliar. 

The zero-trust model is an option gaining popularity for improved data center security. It means that any employee does not automatically get access to any system or area. Instead, credentials get checked during every attempt a person makes. 

Capitalize on Data Center Security This Year

The high-profile breaches hitting the headlines recently should emphasize how no industry or brand enjoys immunity from security shortcomings. Now is an ideal time to review any data center security standards in place and use the suggestions here to tighten overall security and keep unauthorized parties out. 

 

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