Data center security: everything you need to know

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In today's digital world, data is an organization's most critical asset. Any organization that stores, processes or transmits sensitive data must implement information security safeguards.

December 27, 20227 mins
A man is standing in a server room with his head in a digital cloud

One of the most effective ways to protect your company's confidential information is by hosting it in a secure data center. 

Data center security incorporates numerous physical, network and access control security measures to prevent unauthorized access and protect against data center threats.

Read on to learn more about what that looks like and the essential components of secure data center design.

What is a secure data center?

A secure data center is a controlled environment for storing and processing sensitive business data.

The goal is to protect against unauthorized access to physical assets, IT systems and sensitive data.Organizations use data centers for storing and processing mission-critical applications, including government data and financial and healthcare systems.

Other times, organizations might deploy data centers as a disaster recovery data center.

The key components of data center security include physical security measures, network security and access control measures to prevent unauthorized access to systems.

Data center physical security

The best data center design incorporates various physical security measures to protect against physical threats, as well as environmental threats, such as fires and floods.

At Iron Mountain Data Centers, we follow the most stringent data center security standards and data center security best practices. We use a security-in-depth approach.

This means there are several layers of security. We take an aggressive approach to the way we secure our facilities, from the property’s perimeter all the way to the actual machine. At Iron Mountain Data Centers, we provide secure colocation to fit your needs.

Our data centers deploy multi-factor authentication, biometric software, CCTV monitoring, lockable cabinets, secured data center cages and more to prevent unauthorized system access. Our trained security personnel protects and monitor the premises. Data center compliance is another key factor in data center security. At IMDC, we have the most comprehensive compliance program in the industry. Read more on our data center compliance program.

Perimeter data center security

Security starts at the perimeter of our fenced facility. At our security gate, visitors must present a government-issued ID to Iron Mountain security personnel, which are proprietary in North America. Please note that we require visitors to give us advance notice of their visit. Once in the data center lobby, visitors will present an ID to our security personnel. Please note the following specifications:

Visitor access requirements

  • A Visitor Access Ticket must be submitted ahead of time for each non-badged individual requesting access to an IMDC facility.
  • IMDC reserves the right to open and inspect and x-ray all parcels, packages, briefcases, purses, backpacks and cargo entering a data center facility, and to search any vehicle entering the data center property.
  • Individuals under the age of sixteen (16) are not permitted to enter the data center without prior approval from the Data Center Manager. The minimum age for entrance is eighteen (18) at the IMDC Boyers data center facility.

After receiving a visitor’s badge, guests are accompanied by our security personnel into the data center.

Access control measures in a secure data center

Iron Mountain Data Centers uses key access control measures to secure the physical environment of our data centers. Access control includes authentication and authorization mechanisms to verify and permit legitimate users, including PINs and biometric authentication.

Authentication mechanisms include:

  • Biometric authentication: Biometric authentication uses unique physiological traits, such as fingerprints and retinas, to verify identity. Only verified and authorized personnel and visitors can access the data center.
  • CCTV monitoring: Our trained security staff uses CCTV monitoring to keep a watchful eye on the data center.
  • Lockable cabinets and cages: Lockable cabinets and cages provide an additional security measure to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and equipment.

Data center security tailored to your needs

At Iron Mountain Data Centers, we work closely with our customers to understand their requirements and tailor solutions to fit their needs, whether it's how we secure and protect their equipment and information or their colocation service needs at the data center.

Additional security needs

We provide consistent security measures across our entire data center portfolio.

If an individual customer requires additional security, we will work closely with them to add security measures as needed, including technical and access control. Many of our security personnel have government clearance.

At Iron Mountain Data Centers, security and compliance are part of our DNA. Our data centers are some of the most secure in the world, including underground and above-ground data centers. Many of the world’s most heavily regulated organizations have trusted us for decades, including government organizations, healthcare, financial institutions and more.

Contact us to learn how we can help you and your business.