Is Physical Security Still Important in a Digital World?

Barely a week goes by that you don’t read about some significant breech of information security. Stolen credit card numbers, compromised identities and computer viruses pepper the landscape, raising awareness but at times creating undue paranoia. While digital security is extremely important in the modern world, the fact remains that the greatest threats to an organization are still physical.

Consider, for a moment, the inherent risks posed by both digital and physical security vulnerabilities. If someone has access to your data center, they can do more than simply steal information; they can shut down your business processes in their entirety. Digital threats tend to take one form or the other, but rarely both.

Effective physical security will address a series of concerns and principles:

Physical and digital security work together. Physical and digital security must work together, however. An organization can’t neglect digital security just because their servers and infrastructure equipment are under lock and key.

Grounds and building security are the first step. Not every business can put up a big fence around their facility. Many share facilities with other companies. Still, this means working with facility owners to help prevent unauthorized access to your company premises.

The data center should have both physical and logical security. The locks on the server room doors are only one barrier. Ideally, they will include biometric or password entry as a sort of double security measure to keep wandering threats from getting in.

Cages for secure servers. Not all data needs to be as secure as other data. In the case of highly sensitive information, physically securing the servers within the data center is ideal.

Monitoring. While it’s not always possible to have a security guard looking over your server room 24 hours a day, video monitoring and alarm systems can help prevent physical incursions.

Don’t make the mistake of beefing up your digital security without also making sure your physical security is up to par.