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Why physical security for data centers is critical component

May 26, 2017

Why physical security for data centers is critical component

So much of being a successful solution provider comes down to the ability to identify customer needs. Unfortunately, we often see that solution providers leave money on the table by missing opportunities with their customers. Whether it’s due to a lack of knowledge about what complementary upsell opportunities exist, lack of interest or time, or something else, the end result is a customer with unfulfilled needs and a solution provider not maximizing their sales potential.

One opportunity we often see missed is with data centers and physical security. Most data centers, and the solution providers who service them, put great emphasis on cybersecurity (rightfully so), but they fail to have an effective physical security plan.

“Physical security within data centers is often an afterthought,” explains Jason Destein, a technology consultant for Ingram Micro’s Physical Security business unit. “They put one access control reader at the front door and think they’re safe, failing to recognize that the people working inside the data center could be a threat.” Even if cybersecurity measures are in place, there are many ways people can physically threaten a data center. The best way to protect a data center is with strong physical security measures to complement the cybersecurity measures.

Destein says he accompanied a solution provider on a data center customer walkthrough earlier this year. “The data center, more than a decade in business, had finally decided to install cameras,” he reca```lls. “Unfortunately, they didn’t want to spend a lot on the surveillance solution.” With millions invested in IT infrastructure and having data worth millions of dollars more, he wondered why they wouldn’t want to protect their investment. 

Indeed, most data centers have a lot at stake. Here are just a few of the solutions one could offer to address their physical security needs:

  • Video cameras—focused on doors, inside and out. At least one camera in each server room, but ideally one per rack row within the room.
  • Access control—limit the people who have access to rooms within the data center. Use multiple forms of authentication for heightened security.
  • Alarms—including door sensors (and window, if applicable), breakage sensors and motion detection.
  • Other sensors—water sensors send alerts if pipes break or flooding occurs. Temperature sensors send alerts if the AC fails and room or hardware overheats.

As you can see, there are plenty of upsell opportunities within data centers. Keep in mind, if the data center houses information related to healthcare, financial records or other regulated industries, there could be requirements pertaining to physical security. Your best bet is to check with local, state and industry laws that might affect the needs of customers.

Make sure your data center customers have the physical security they need, and stop leaving money on the table. If physical security is new to you, talk to your Ingram Micro rep about how you can get involved. Oh, and don’t sell physical security without reading this first.