The "Smart" Solution for Rack Level Security - Wowrack Blog

December 16, 2016 - Alexander Vo

The “Smart” Solution for Rack Level Security

Cyber Security

When it comes to securing your IT assets in a data center, protection begins at the front door and continues all the way to the cabinet space. Learn how rack level security can protect your intellectual property from unwanted access.

With the expansion of cloud services, we’re seeing an exponential growth in electronic data and a tremendous rise in critical applications and assets stored on servers in data centers. This growth will only continue to increase rapidly within the next decade. The concern for cyber security also comes to attention as more cyber attacks and hacking efforts also continue to increase. Government agencies, healthcare organizations and financial institutions have spent a considerable amount of dollars to repel cyber attacks.

Many companies today are much more concerned with cyber security from external threats but less focused on the potential threats regarding the physical security. With common threats ranging from the rogue system administrator to the clumsy employee. For most data centers, legacy security technologies are still being utilized. This includes low-quality video cameras and outdated security locks.

Defending the data center

Many data center rooms are secured with biometric readers, proximity card readers, and keyed locks, however, the server rack or enclosure level could end up getting the short end of the stick. Enclosures may have non-keyed or keyed swing handles installed in them, yet changes in security technology have largely been developed to impact the room level, not the cabinet level. Criminals and thieves will find the most vulnerable point of an existing security system in place. Just because your car is parked in a well-guarded parking lot, doesn’t mean you want to leave it unlocked right? Servers residing at the rack level work similarly with data and critical assets potentially stolen without anyone’s knowhow.

Cyber attacks may grab news headlines, however, you simply cannot turn your back when it comes to securing a physical perimeter. As technology continues to evolve, the methods of criminal activity will only continue to innovate, finding creative ways around poorly guarded security solutions. Ultimately, there’s a greater need to invest in a greater physical security at the cabinet or enclosure level.

Under lock & key

When it comes to the matters of rack level security, mechanical keys can easily be lost (how many times have you lost your car keys?). Even handles with built-in security PINs can easily be memorized by some distant onlooker quickly sneaking a peek. Data centers need to rely on a surefire secure physical perimeter. Clients especially need full assurance that protection can be provided to restrict user access and ensure compliance safety rules are met. A critical component of keeping data center space secured are rack level security locks that ensure physical access restrictions are in place. Electronic rack locks or “smart locks” provide far more feature-rich capabilities than their mechanical counterparts. Other benefits include:

  • Produce a simple audit trail compiling and generating reports with ease for compliance.
  • Radio-frequency identification (RFID) proximity cards to gain access to the cabinet.
  • Detects improperly closed cabinet doors and notifies immediate alerts.
  • Manage a central overview for knowing exactly who, when, and how long someone has had access to any installed enclosure.

Electronic rack locks can be attached to the front or rear doors to secure your servers’ environment. Even in duress, such as a power outage incident, the handle lock will remain secured, but access can still be made using a high-security DIN mechanical key lock override. Access per server also monitors real-time and generates reports on user activity. Access for events can also be synchronized with security camera footage to further ensure verification of any authorized users. By managing all restrictions with a centralized management system of user permissions, monitoring and logging real-time events for audits becomes second nature.

Wowrack offers rack level security solutions with installations made quick and easy for all industry standard cabinets. Built for a plug-and-play experience, simply remove existing handles and replace them with our electronic handle in the cutout. Each rack lock is powered by the base unit so no additional power supply is needed. Optional security sensors can be placed on the side panels to further detect if any panels are detached. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.

A few “key” takeaways

Even when perimeter, building, and room security are in place, there’s an increasing need for awareness in protecting critical data and IT assets at the server rack and enclosure level. Remember that criminals do not work nine to five. They work around the clock 24/7 so physical security monitoring needs to be 24/7. Even today, many traditional security safeguards are reactionary at best and function after-the-fact an incident has occurred. Companies will need to be much more proactive in their approach to security, interior risk, and physical threats. Organizations and businesses should always have an Incident Response Plan ready to take action at a moment’s notice.

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