Every organization has some sort of data center. Some are small, some are much larger, with the largest spanning multi-cloud environments and on-site storage. Data centers are robust and protected spaces in which vast amounts of data can be stored. Yet, it isn't enough to store your IT assets within data centers and be done with them.
Organizations must also be aware of what it means to make data centers secure and do it to comply with the regulations in the jurisdictions and industries that they serve. This blog digs a little deeper.
What is data center security?
Data center security is the practice of keeping an organization’s IT assets secure, either on-premise or elsewhere.
If organizations choose to house IT assets on-premise, they can keep data close and therefore, more accessible. Yet, if they entrust the help of a third party to keep them in what’s known as a colocation center, they can enjoy a whole host of other benefits, including better connectivity, room for growth and in some cases, more robust security measures.
Hybrid data centers, a new innovation in the IT sector, bridge the gap between the two. This approach gives companies the best of both worlds: agility and accessibility, all with safe, secure storage. With a hybrid data center, some assets are stored on-site, others are in the cloud, effectively giving organizations the ability to tier-rank their IT depending on function, sharing needs and informational importance.
However, just having a data center — and choosing the right type for your firm ― doesn’t mean it’s secure.
There are many best practices for managing your data center, from creating an active inventory of IT to disposing of data and destroying devices as soon as they become redundant.
Why is data center security important?
It’s pretty obvious that for firms to keep data confidential, avoid unwanted breaches and adhere to data protection laws in every country they serve, they need to invest in data center security. What’s more, any individual that interacts or shares information with your organization is protected by data center security — when it’s done right.
This makes data center security important, if not imperative. Not just for your company but for its customers too.
In practice, data centers contain sensitive, personal information, financial details and passwords that can cause ruin to reputation and damage to individuals if leaked, not to mention risk of significant financial fallout. Indeed, data centers aren’t the web of impersonal IT equipment they’re so commonly thought to be. In reality, they’re a safe house for customer knowledge, a vault for internal intelligence, a not so little black book of contacts and an unthinkably vast library of transactional history.
As such, data compliance goes hand in hand with data security. Much of this rests on being able to carry out effective IT asset management (ITAM).
For example, IT assets are kept in data centers to keep their contents secure. An effective ITAM policy will ensure improved data security by cataloging them (an activity known as asset tagging) and deciding which data can be destroyed, keeping data storage streamlined.
The more IT assets you have, the greater the compliance risk, which is why it’s so vital to understand data compliance regulations and how they relate to your business.
How to stay compliant
Data compliance can feel overwhelming, especially if your organization operates across various industries and on a global scale. Yet, even for much smaller businesses, organizations will need a personalized plan that covers all compliance bases.
Just like taxes, IT regulation is only expected to increase, with new certifications created every day to keep companies and customers safe. For this reason, most organizations choose to consult ITAM experts. But what do ITAM experts do?
Data center audits
First and foremost, ITAM experts conduct data center audits. This review focuses on how successful a data center is at keeping information out of the wrong hands. Factors such as a data center’s location, access points and authentication procedures predict the outcome of the audit and inform which data center service you need.
Data center decommissioning
Often, organizations will need to invest in data center decommissioning as a result. This is an in-depth IT process that removes a data center’s weaknesses while streamlining its storage. The entire service takes around eight months to complete and is supported by a decommissioning team.
After decommissioning, you’ll gain total visibility over your assets as well as having engaged in and executed asset planning. Every asset in your inventory will either have been remarketed, destroyed, moved or liquidated to give you a leaner, more able data center that’s as lightweight as it can be.
Created a personalised compliance plan
Finally, ITAM experts outline which industry information security standards are relevant to you and your business and help you adhere to them. There are many regulations available across the globe. Some certifications are catered towards specific countries, others to individual industries.
- Responsible Recycling Practices (R2)
- ISO 9000 Quality Management
- IS 14000 Environmental Management
- ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management
- ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management
- SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3 Reports
- PCI DSS 3.2
Depending on your geographic location and industry, you might not be required to adhere to all of these regulations.
For example, HIPAA is a certification concerned with the protection of health information, so organizations with no affiliation to this industry don’t need to be aware of how data centers adhere to HIPAA.
ITAM experts also prove their value here by providing expert counsel on where your compliance efforts should be focused. This streamlines your workload, making sure you aren't doing any unnecessary due diligence yet also ensures you don’t miss any important information for your industry.
Investing in an ongoing partnership with ITAM specialists means you’ll always be notified of when regulations change, disappear or come into effect.
Our ITAM experts do all of the above while helping organizations to realize their ideal security storage format and increase their IT lifestyles. We emphasize IT sustainability, helping you reach your environmental goals as well as your compliance objectives.
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