Proven Methods to Protect Your Data Center

A data center is a building meant to keep copious amounts of data secure while being controlled remotely, processed accordingly and distributed as necessary to those granted access. Not only is it important to secure your clients’ data via cyber-security, but also to secure the building itself through access control and surveillance.  Would you leave your car locked in your garage but not close the garage door? Without the extra layer of security the door provides, potential intruders can still get in and open your car in other ways.

First steps to help you secure your data center:

    Access Control

Through access control, you have the power to decide who enters the building and what time of day they have access. To grant access for entry, you can choose between pin pads, card readers, or fingerprinting via biometric readers. Each person granted access would have a profile with identifiable information, photo ID, and any prints necessary, depending upon your building’s security level and access type. Anytime a scan for entry occurs, the system will automatically bring up the visitor’s profile to see if it is a match.



Surveillance through video cameras help validate the identity of any person entering and exiting the facility. Fixed cameras, which are most common, maintain one angle in one location at a time. You can place multiple in one area or spread them across the campus, depending on your needs.

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras cover a wider area than standard fixed cameras and can reveal more detail with the zoom-in feature. However, to get what you paid for with PTZ, we recommend a security staff or service to monitor the cameras on a daily basis.

Access Control and Surveillance are the first line of defense in securing your data center. Both help areas to function properly and maintain the extra layer of security you need to protect your client’s data. To take your security to the next level, consider these MCW-proven methods of how to secure your data center:


“Man Trap”

This method of security will only allow entry for one person at a time. The visitor will verify their identity as they enter the front door then will have to re-verify their identity as they approach the second door. Here’s the trick–you cannot have both doors open at the same time. As you approach the second door, you have to have the first door closed completely and you can only enter through the second door by proving your identity again.

This method prevents multiple people attempting to sneak through without valid identification. The sensors can identify if you are attempting to allow more than one person through the door. No piggyback rides allowed; an alarm will sound as you attempt to get through and you will look ridiculous.


“Anti-Pass Back”

If you choose to use the key card method, this is a great option for you. This method prevents visitors from being able to pass a key card back to grant access to more than one person with just one card. As mentioned previously with the Man Trap Method, the sensors can detect if you are trying to smuggle more than one person through the entry by detecting if you scan the card more than once. Before using an ID card for entry a second time, the cardholder must exit both doors with that card.


Maintain Consistency

The safest option to use over all is to maintain consistency. If the same team is working together for every project, allowing untrusted visitors into your data centers becomes unnecessary. Keep the same engineer, the same architect, anybody you have used before that you trust. Each data center has design requirements for a reason and the team members who have previously worked on those designs are going to be able to assist best with them. The idea is to maintain privacy in a data center and not give access to those who do not need access.


Most importantly, make sure you seek professional advice when setting up your security. Remember, zip ties and duct tape can secure many things, but they cannot secure a data center.

Much of today’s wisdom come from Zachary Case, Security Systems Engineer at MCW. Contact us today with your next data center project for more of his and other’s expertise.