Data centers are emerging as a great business opportunity for security systems integrators.
Data centers are like many mission-critical facilities, overwhelmed by an ever-increasing volume of data generated by many siloed safety and security systems. While all these systems provide valuable information, the sheer volume of unfiltered and uncorrelated inputs results in data “noise" that drowns out what's essential and overloads operators.
“Today, more data centers are implementing situational awareness platforms that allow operators to focus on critical insights and execute the necessary actions to help protect what matters most,” explains Alan Stoddard, President of Cognyte Situational Intelligence Solutions. “These types of technologies identify the data needed to protect an organization’s most significant assets — in this case, network infrastructure — and are also part of the power of the intelligent security operations center.”
Additionally, the data visualization framework empowers security leaders to present historical data from systems into a live dashboard. With this type of centralized, real-time view, security teams can transform the way they track, visualize, analyze, and reach their security goals.
Focus beyond the data in data centers
Data centers should consider deploying the same types of countermeasures that you would in any mission-critical facility, such as multi-factor authentication, anomaly detection, identity management, access control, and video surveillance.
But John Rezzonico, CEO of Edge360, points out that often the focus is still on the data security side. If the same protocols in establishing cybersecurity measures were used across physical security, these facilities would be better prepared to protect physical assets from threats.
“It's also crucial for data centers to closely evaluate their video management platforms to ensure they can scale as risks and needs evolve,” Rezzonico said. “New VMS solutions today are built on modern IT infrastructure and containerization. A containerized system leads to better security because full-application isolation makes it possible to set each application's primary process in separate containers. This also provides ease of maintenance and sustainment across an enterprise, which is more important when maintaining critical systems remotely.”
Physical security without compromising cybersecurity
While physical security integrators do need to look beyond data to get their work done, this should come at the cost of cybersecurity. In fact, ensuring both physical and cyber security with equal importance should become a prerogative for integrators because of the interconnected nature of modern devices.
“Security integrators need to ensure the vendors they are working with follow a security-first strategy when developing physical security systems,” Stoddard said. “Manufacturers should be providing physical security products that are cyber secure and tested regularly to ensure optimal compliance. This is non-negotiable in today's evolving risk environment.”
Cyber security and physical security go together, and integrators need to know how to consider the impact of both physical and cyber breaches as part of their deployments. They must invest in understanding both sides of the security equation to deliver comprehensive service to mission-critical businesses like data centers. If not, they are opening the door to risk.
What integrators should know
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, an increase of 3 percent from 2021, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. Spending on data center systems is forecast to experience the strongest growth of all segments in 2022 at 11.1 percent. This suggests the potential growth for physical security in this segment.
But while data centers offer a great business opportunity for security systems integrators, they need to make the customer realize its relevance. It's essential for security integrators to work closely with the customer to make sure they know the considerations that need to be completed and the requirements for physical security within these complex environments.
“If integrators cannot teach the customer why they need to deploy the protections necessary, they shouldn't be working within the data center market,” Rezzonico said. “To be truly successful in this market, integrators must understand the needs of the market and facilities as it relates to physical security and the customer's complete business strategy.”
In short, to take advantage of the demand in this sector, integrators must have a clear understanding of the market and should be able to impart this knowledge to the customer. There are a number of solutions at their disposal for data center projects, but working with the unique requirements of each customer would prove to be the key.