Just about every business in this day and age recognizes the importance of getting connected to the worldwide web. After all, with $1.5 trillion consumer dollars estimated to be spent online by year-end, according to eMarketer, the online world is increasingly the place to do business.
Having said that, too many businesses make the mistake of setting up their server racks and cabinets, installing a few pieces of third-party software, and thinking they’re good to go. It’s conceivable that they could get away with this method of professional computing for a short period of time, but more often than not, taking this haphazard approach to their IT will eventually put their business at great physical, digital, and financial risk. If yours is one of the business that simply set up a few server rack enclosures and went off to the races, here are three tips from the pros to batten down the hatches, ensuring your IT solution is both effective and safe.
Three of the Best Practices for Securing Your Onsite Server Room
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Physical Security
- A Powerful Air Conditioning System is a Must
- Use Hardware and Software Built for Digital Security
For the IT wizards at Microsoft, the first step to a safe IT setup is physical security. We often think that cyber-security should be our biggest concern; while that should be high on your priority list, you can’t afford to ignore your physical security. Don’t place your server racks and cabinets near exterior walls or windows, and don’t keep them in a room with heavy foot traffic. Data can just as easily be carried away in a pocket as extracted through the web.
You might think that clean room fires are rare, but you only need to do a cursory Google search on “server room fires” to find out how wrong that notion is. The problem? Too many businesses don’t provide adequate ventilation and air conditioning in their clean rooms. As UC Davis’s Information and Educational Technology Department writes, server racks and cabinets need to be maintained at 66 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below that temperature and it’s a good chance your servers won’t run correctly. If your server room goes above 74, you start risking component shorts and fires. Make a great air conditioning system a priority!
You’re likely aware how important anti-virus and firewall software are to your business’s security, but did you know that hardware is just as important to your defense? Server racks and cabinets are increasingly engineered with built-in hardware fail-safes that help ward off hackers; you only need to look for them to help protect your company.
Are you an IT security specialist? What do you think businesses need to be aware of to keep their companies safe and secure? Sound off in the comments below.