Every business appreciates the value of its business-critical IT and accepts that downtime is simply not an option. The need to ensure business continuity, whilst keeping pace with an ever-evolving IT landscape and the rise of new data-generating technologies (such as cloud computing, AI and IoT), means that many businesses are looking for alternatives to in-house IT facilities in a bid to reduce their CapEx investment costs and ensure excellent performance, low latency and flexibility. This is why so many businesses are turning to data centres to house their business-critical IT infrastructure, and why the global data centre industry is expected to achieve such strong growth over the next five years, reaching a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10-15 per cent (according to figures from M Capital Group):
“The data centres industry is one immediate bright spot within and post COVID-19, in a world of challenges and short-term dim outlooks” (MCG managing partner Christian Mouchbahani).
Protecting business-critical IT against security risks
Security risks come in many forms and businesses find themselves fighting on many fronts. Some IT teams might be primarily concerned with safe infrastructure and data storage, others with protecting data and systems against increasingly sophisticated methods of cyber attack or implementing disaster recovery strategies. Whatever the priorities, lost or stolen data and business downtime damage reputations, alienate customers and incur high recovery costs. Only businesses with the deepest pockets can develop and maintain in-house IT facilities that offer sufficient protection, so many are turning to data centre facilities to offer them the security provision they require.
Mitigating physical security risks
Protecting data facilities from intruders requires stringent security processes, which is why we operate protocols such as 24/7 surveillance and permanent security personnel, restricted access through guarded entrances using multi-level access controls, interior and exterior security cameras, perimeter fences and intruder detection alarms. Furthermore, businesses looking to data centres to implement their disaster recovery strategies need to be convinced that their IT estate and workloads will be protected from a broad range of disruption scenarios through temperature and humidity monitoring, built-in redundant power and cooling, protection against fire, flooding and severe weather. This level of security is unattainable for most in-house IT facilities.
Protecting against cyber attacks
As businesses become ever more connected, attackers are identifying new entry points into systems and data, and new cyber threats are constantly evolving, spurred on by emerging technologies, which increase the scope for potential infiltration. Multiple layers of protection are required that prevent hackers from moving freely through networks should they manage to penetrate one layer of security. Partnering with a colocation datacentre, like Datum Datacentres, offers clients the benefit of specialist facility-wide security measures to secure their systems and data in addition to their own firewalls and antivirus protection.
Choosing your data centre – your requirements versus the data centre’s capabilities
Understanding the security requirements of your business is key and will be based on your business activities and the sensitivity of the data you handle. Data centre security and resilience can vary between data centre facilities, so businesses need to assess their security requirements and tolerance levels of unexpected outages to ensure that their requirements match what is being offered. Where this tolerance is extremely low, it is vital to confirm that the data centre offers the highest level of security and uptime, and fully fault-tolerant components and redundancy. Accreditations are an important demonstration of a data centre’s capabilities, particularly those that demonstrate security capabilities - notably ISO 27001 (which demonstrates that an information security management system framework is in place).
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted business security and continuity and will continue to do so as we gradually work out what the new post-Covid reality will look like. Many businesses are taking this opportunity to review how they manage their IT infrastructure and workloads.