Secure access at floor level, but what about at server racks?

Expanded internet connectivity with easy accessibility has put immense pressure on need for data. Former paper-based and physical processes are now adopting digital and online formats to meet the demands of technology and changing time creating huge demand for internet bandwidth.

Localization of data

Another factor which has led to huge demand in data usage, is the Data Protection Act implemented by Government of India broadly encompassing its “Digital India” initiatives which emphasize self-reliance on technological fronts. India has edge in terms of geographical spread, competent resources, and cost-effective solutions to prove itself as a global data center hub. The growth of the digital population has created a need for data centers within the geographical boundaries of India; this is also necessitated by the Data Protection Bill, which aims to protect and secure digital sovereignty. This need has already attracted investment from global players.

Security at Data Centers

Data centers house computing and networking devices which store, process, analyze and distribute large volumes of data. Organizations usually either opt for on-premises data center provision or partner with third-party organizations known as co-location which rent out their networking equipment and space.

Both scenarios face similar issues with the security of stored data. These issues may be classified as either software security — which involves protection against technological breach such as malware prevention and breaking in through the firewall — or physical security. Physical security comprises safety and protection of an institution’s premises, securing all assets such as employees, hardware, software, and other data center equipment.

Factors such as the location of server racks and authentication of personnel access to a data center are considered while planning physical security. If we divide the entire data center area into different zones, per security level, we find that entry to outer layers is only granted to authorized personnel. However, the innermost layer should also have additional security: to guard the server rack cabinets themselves. This layer helps deter or halt an insider threat – for example, a malicious employee with authorized access to outer layers who can easily breach and tamper with a server. This type of threat can make the entire outer security layer irrelevant.

For this reason, it is important to consider server rack security as a serious and separate challenge. As technology develops, its security must be more sophisticated as well, to ensure complete monitoring, intrusion detection and threat prevention.

Data centers have long used mechanical locks to secure individual racks and prevent intruder attacks. However, with widespread upgrading of technology, servers and their data have become a more attractive target for theft. Mechanical locks are not backed with added electronic security; some can be easily tampered with using basic tools. In other cases, mechanical keys may be duplicated and used to access servers. Mechanical locking is a long-standing standard solution. But with changing times, it is important to move ahead and adopt a more secure, smarter, and technologically advanced solution.

AperioTM Wireless Access Control Solution

Aperio solution under the family of ASSA ABLOY group is an advanced wireless solution which enables mechanical locks to be replaced and linked wirelessly to an existing access control system. Aperio readers are available in different multi-class standards and form-factors, embedded in mortise locks, cylinders or in mounted versions which can be installed on glass, wooden or metal doors; and even server racks.

They communicate wirelessly and securely with the existing access control system via communication hub on an open frequency. Aperio does not need any hard wiring or a power source, as the inbuilt reader is energized by a long-lasting battery. It is the most effective way to add non-wired doors with mechanical locks into a building’s access control system.

“We are witnessing a new era of integrated security solutions facilitated by ‘intelligent’ devices connected to internet with low cost of installation. Retrofitting and upgrading existing mechanical locks to an internet-based wireless access management system not only offers greater control over the system but also makes them more interoperable and interconnected.” says Vishal Maheshwari, Director (Electromechanical & Digital Access Solutions) ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (India & SAARC).

Components like locks have also become Intelligent and are offering dynamic Access Control capabilities without any are infrastructural change.

“A future where doors are smarter, connectivity is wireless and locking is genuinely

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