Access control card and reader, network infrastructure cable, dome camera and video and access monitoring.

The Need for a Comprehensive Approach

Consolidated and co-location data centers reduce costs but also add to security risks. With an increasing number of people needing access to the data center for installation, maintenance and compliance assurance, physical security strategies need to include a plan to prevent a data center breach and a plan for action if a breach does occur.


A structured physical security plan limits access to only those that need it. This helps to reduce external and internal security risks while making sure those with access are accountable. The best strategy to protect a data center is to implement a comprehensive four-ring approach that includes the perimeter, exterior, data center and cabinets of the data center.

PTZ surveillance camera monitoring perimeter security

1. Perimeter Security

With the ability to deter by its very presence, video surveillance allows you to detect threats before they ever reach the building.

Monitoring of exterior spaces around the data center's building is made possible by video surveillance

2. The Exterior of the Building

A building’s exterior access control system will deter those without access and provide a means for alert if a access point is breached. Integrating security cameras with the access control system can provide monitoring and verifying of those who enter and exit the facility.



Access control card system monitoring data center access

3. Data Center Access

Access control systems deployed at the data center door are a vital security step for restricting access to those that need it, and should a breach occur, it provides valuable data on who enters the data center and when.

Three people working within a data center, with cabinet level controls providing an audit trail.

4. Cabinet Level Access

Restricting cabinet access creates the final layer of difficulty for anyone looking to steal, vandalize or otherwise interrupt business operations. Access control at the cabinet also provides an audit trail of who accessed the cabinet and at what time.

Designed to deter, detect and delay, the 4 Rings of Security practice uses a structured network that integrates video surveillance and access control to create a system that covers the entire facility at all levels. In developing a ring of security solution, there are three areas to keep in mind:

  • IP-based physical security technologies (e.g., low-light cameras, biometrics, thermal imaging and cameras)
  • Interoperability and industry standards
  • Infrastructure to run the security solution

All four rings can be layered and combined with rigorous company policies and procedures. Additionally, a robust security system allows you to provide audit trails to compliance officers to show proof of security and that auditing standards are being upheld.