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Data Centre Physical Security – A Checklist to Checkout

Data Centres require physical security to protect their facilities against criminals. Read our Data Centre Physical Security Checklist to discover more.

Physical Security in Data Centres

Many companies require data centre security to store safely, process and distribute large sums of data remotely. With an increasing demand for these facilities to hold sensitive information, securing the data from cyber and physical threats is incredibly important. Discover the data centre physical security checklist to assist you with safely securing your building. In addition, implementing the correct physical security can help data centres follow the widely known certification ISO 27001 to manage risks.  

WHAT IS ISO 27001? ISO 27001 is a set of policies and procedures commonly used within the data centre sector that protects you legally, physically, and technologically to safeguard your information, facilities, employees, and visitors. 

Why is Data Centre physical security so crucial?

Due to the high volume of sensitive information that data centres store, they are of high threat to criminals. The assets that these facilities keep would enable criminals to attempt cyber-attacks and other illegal activities. By having physical security, you can help prevent criminals from breaking in while also controlling how freely those authorised come in and out of the building. Moreover, losing data, trust, or your reputation by not being fully secured causes irreparable damage, making this extremely important. To successfully secure your data centre, there should be multiple layers of security:

The Data Centre physical security checklist

  • Site location: investing in an isolated area with no advertising of the data centre makes it difficult for intruders to find you.
  • Hostile vehicle mitigation: Roadblocks, bollards, and tyre killers can be used in conjunction with one another (at multiple layers) to prevent and deter unauthorised access from occurring.
  • Physical external barriers: Full height turnstiles, tall fence lines, and folding gates prevent and deter unauthorised access from occurring.
  • CCTV and surveillance: Recording footage of day-to-day activity that links with VMS (Visitor Management Systems) and other additional access control increases the visibility of all exits and access points. 
  • 24/7 employed guards: Ensuring dedicated guards can work any systems and patrol areas and increasing preventative measures is just as important as having physical security solutions.
  • Authentication and access policies: Formal and approved identification tokens should be issued alongside ID cards (to ensure the user is who they say they are). Tokens such as access cards, badges or QR codes that link with VMS systems and physical security such as Speedgates or Portals will prevent unauthorised access to areas within the data centre. Furthermore, different levels of authentication should be agreed upon and given to personnel who require additional access, such as to the data centre floor. 
  • Biometrics and integrations: Removing the need for tokens by utilising biometric scanning reduces the risk of lost tokens such as access cards. Fingerprint scanning, Infrared and facial recognition, for example, can be highly accurate detection and authorisation technologies. These solutions can be found in speed gates, portals and security revolving doors.

How Data Centre physical security sets you apart from competitors

With physical security on top of cyber security for your data centre, you create an excellent level of trust between you and your clients since you follow best practices. If following ISO 27001, you can protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of an organisation’s data. Our security solutions enable you to comply with the ISO 27001 certification, proving to organisations that you are taking steps to safeguard their data. Additionally, physical security adds a further backup to mitigate failures; for example, if your perimeter fails, then you will still have the access control solution to delay or stop the criminal.  

How to achieve Data Centre security best practices with certifications

Following the ISO 27001 certification means you can legally and efficiently manage and mitigate potential risks to the building with physical security. By abiding by this certification, you can spot hazards even before they occur, meaning you can make informed decisions on how to deal with them. More specifically, if you choose to use Annex A. 11 of the 114 types of ISO 27001, you will be able to focus on the physical environment and know how to take precautions. Covering three principles, physical deterrence, detection of intruders, and response to risk, Annex A. 11 should be a part of your risk assessment for data centres.  

The importance of Data Centre physical security 

Once you have checked off the physical security requirements from this data centre’s physical security checklist, you can feel reassured that your data centre is less likely to be affected by intentional destruction or theft with appropriate deterrents and delays for any attempts made. Also, by following the ISO 27001 alongside the Annex A. 11 category, you are setting a data centre up as safely as possible due to managing and preventing risks accordingly. In the modern world, it is essential to keep up with the demand for physical security; with trends including big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), you have a responsibility to look after the information that a data centre houses in numerous ways for ultimate protection.


Let us help you prevent unauthorised access.