6 Checklist Items for a Secure Server Room

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When thinking about ways to protect your data and secure your organization, most automatically jump to cybersecurity efforts. While those are a vital part, you shouldn’t look past your physical security.

As with any threat, physical security threats can be unpredictable, here are four things you should plan for to prevent damage, theft, or anything worse.

4 Ways to Prevent Damage

1. Fire Detection and Alarm: One of the most common “natural disasters” that can happen within your four walls can likely start in your server room either by carelessness or malicious intent. It is vital to catch a fire early, just as you would in the rest of your building make sure you have smoke alarms, that are connected to your local Fire Department and are tested regularly. You need to invest in a system that not only alerts you and the Fire Department but a system that monitors and regulates temperature.

2. Access Control: This is one of the most essential pieces of physical security. Be sure that you are guarding access to your server room. This is not the place for employees to store cleaning products, files, etc. Only give access to the individuals who need it, this reduces possible harmful activity, allows you to monitor the flow of traffic, and maintains strict access to prevent unwanted visitors. For example, if you think you have a solid staff and an unlocked server room works in your organization, we once were called in to help an organization that believed just that. An employee who was let go stopped by the server room on their way out and conveniently poured their water bottle all over the equipment. The organization was able to restore from backups but lost their equipment and was forced to close down until they could get replacements installed. It can happen, and quickly.

3. Audio Detection: With audio technology and human intelligence, you can quickly identify unauthorized guests in the room and be notified.

4. Video Surveillance: With the added benefit of video surveillance you can see what individuals within the server room are doing at all times and rewind if needed.

These solutions will help keep your organization protected with physical security. Like many SMB leaders, you may hope all of these protections are in place and regularly checked, but how do you know everything is secure?

Here’s a checklist of 6 things your I.T. team should be checking regularly.

1. Complete Regular Security Checks: Weekly security checks should be in place to ensure that the cameras are rolling and the alarm systems are working.

2. Employee Training: Those who have access should be trained regularly on the maintenance of the server room. Your entire team should also be able to identify if they see an unwanted visitor trying to gain access to the server room.

3. Backup: Ensure that your I.T. team has a backup policy, ask how often the backups are happening and where the backup media is being stored. Backup media should be stored in a locked, secure place.

4. Layered Security Approach: Keeping the most important room in your building protected is key, use the 4 methods listed above as a layered approach.

5. Decide Who Needs Access: Only people with a legitimate responsibility in the server should be permitted access. Forgo locks and keys, which can potentially be lost, go with a fingerprint or face recognition system to obtain access.

6. Create Policies: Define responsibilities and rules for the server room. For example, drinks or food should not be allowed, any unauthorized storage should be prohibited and cleaning procedures should be outlined to keep things secure.

Continuing to improve security efforts will result in a stress-free productive day. Check with your I.T. team or support provider today to see what your physical security plans look like!

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