How to Protect & Secure Data Centers

A data center is a complex environment requiring a lot of planning and attention to detail. Securing the data center can be a daunting task, but applying these 10 tips can help you build a more secure data center.

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How to Protect & Secure Data Centers

Identify and Quickly Address System Failures

System failures create vulnerabilities, so it’s important to prevent or quickly remedy failures. Management systems can monitor servers, service processors such as iLO and DRAC, and associated equipment and issue alerts when failure is imminent.

Imbed Security Throughout the Data Center

When considering any purchase, make sure to consider security. Everything in the data center should have secure features built into them.

Know Where Your Gates Are

If you can’t control each access point, then group them, so that you limit access and the impact of a breach.

KVM Switches Must Have Security Built in

In the previous NIAP Protection Profile, non-secure KVMs (for keyboard, video, and mouse) could be reinforced to become secure and pass the evaluation. That workaround is no longer acceptable. Build in KVM security.

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Consider How Your Devices Communicate

Communication can either create or control vulnerabilities. It’s important to install servers and equipment more secure than those limited by the outdated IPMI specification.

Understand What You Have

Track assets manually or, preferably, through Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, which is more reliable and provides more data than manual processes.

Find and Close Your Open Ports

Unknown open ports in your data center can put your security at risk. You could manually find open ports, but it’s much more efficient and effective to run reports using a management tool. Close unnecessary ports.

Centrally Manage Access Points

In the wake of the Target breach, in which the vendor had access to login credentials, which hackers used to access the corporate network and the payment systems, it’s best to offer fine-grained user authentication and access controls in your security protocols.

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Separate Corporate Network From Secure Network

Network isolation can flag or prevent unwanted activity and attacks because all access is locked. Isolate the network and limit threats without compromising necessary access or performance. Use out-of-band management networks with full, real-time access and no back door.

Understand Supply Change Risk Management

Research vendors before you buy products. Vendors often require access to install and maintain their equipment. Ask direct questions about their security protocols. Are they following security best practices to ensure that access doesn’t result in vulnerabilities beyond your control?

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Karen A. Frenkel
Karen A. Frenkel
Karen A. Frenkel is a contributor to CIO Insight. She covers cybersecurity topics such as digital transformation, vulnerabilities, phishing, malware, and information governance.

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