Verne Global

Data Center |

10 April 2018

Staying secure - Why security continues to be of paramount importance for data centers

Written by Tom Squirrell

Tom is Verne Global's Director of Customer Success, and is based at our London headquarters. He is Verne Global's first point of contact for our customers and partners. You can follow Tom on Twitter: @SecretSq360

You can find data centers in all sorts of places these days. As well as lurking in anonymous grey sheds on the edge of town, they're underground, up mountains, on ships, even underwater. The reasons for this plethora of seemingly bizarre choices of location are many and varied but security is clearly a key driver, and from what I can see - an increasing one.

From the perspective of security, there's a growing trend to locate data centers in highly secure facilities – often in ex-military campuses, such as our own facility which is located on a secure, former NATO base near Keflavik, Iceland. Others can be found in Antarctica, in ex-Cold War bunkers designed to resist nuclear attack – there's one in Kent, UK, and another under Stockholm, Sweden – and in abandoned mines in Kansas and Honshu, Japan. The list goes on...

Security has always been a central pillar and criteria for the design and location of data centers, but the number of maximum-security data centers is growing. There are many reasons behind this trend but for me, a couple stand out.

Firstly, the data center industry continues to grow as companies increasingly migrate from in-house to outsourced, specialist colocation and the cloud, so it makes sense from an economic point of view for a data center provider to be open to as many potential customers as possible. This means ensuring that security is not a barrier to those customers who demand the very best that today's security practices and techniques can offer.

Secondly, data is simply more valuable now than ever before, as digitalisation continues to march onwards into almost every industry sector. The Economist points out that data is the oil of the digital era , because every company runs on data. Consequently, the value of that data is increasing – as we have seen from the recent storm surrounding Facebook and its sale of users' data.

Increased value means a growing need to secure that data against the damage that breaches can wreak, such as damage to corporate reputations, potentially huge costs in lost sales, and fines for non-compliance. GDPR will also see the need to report such losses in a timely manner to a very public, worldwide stage.

In addition, within increasingly niche and bespoke forms of compute prevalent within high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence, the physical infrastructure and hardware is becoming more valuable too. The rise in tailored supercomputers is turning data halls into garages of individually finely tuned Ferraris rather than racks and racks of Ford Mondeos.

So underground facilities, former military bases and locations that are difficult to reach provide additional physical security - an issue we at Verne Global take very seriously.  We know security is one of the most important considerations for any business today, which is why it is part of the Verne Global DNA.

Located on a former NATO base, our campus benefits from the very latest security protocols, including wide-scale use of CCTV, up to eight separate challenge points between exterior and server, 24-hour surveillance, and routine physical patrols throughout the campus. Our Icelandic location also plays an important role here too as unless you like boat trips across the north Atlantic’s notoriously rough seas, the predominant way to enter Iceland is through Keflavik international airport. If you compare an island location with largely one route in, and one route out and contrast that to running a data center in the middle of London, Paris or New York it gives you an idea how we can use our location to our secure advantage.

The financial services industry – the banks who look after your money and mine – has a strong duty of care to ensure that the data that it holds is secure: customer trust as well stringent legislation demands it. And this is why at Verne Global we enable our financial services customers the ability to add on additional layers of security procedures and infrastructure so as to comply with their strict corporate security protocols, ensuring that their data is as safe as we can together physically make it. So for those who absolutely need the highest of security for their data, Verne Global delivers.

And even if your company isn't a bank, our layered security methodology and security-first DNA help demonstrate to your customers and partners the importance which you attach to the security of their data.

As the world outsources its data to colocation and the cloud, including such facilities such as ours, and as the macro environment remains challenging, the need for physical data security is highly likely to increase. We are ready to talk to you about your requirements.

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