The importance of choosing the right company to store your data was highlighted again last week when data centre services company, 2e2, went into administration. However, ensuring the ‘financial stability’ of the company that keeps your data is only one item the data security check list.
Last week the administrators of data centre operator 2e2 sent out a letter to their customers asking for almost £1m between them if they wanted to ensure their services were maintained for a week! Published on 2e2’s website, the letter (click here) warned customers that if they didn’t come up with the money, the services would be shut down. In any event, they warned, it could take up to 16 weeks to get access to their data via a new provider. In the Internet age, nobody should have to wait 16 weeks for their own data! However, the ‘stand-off’ between customers and the administrators shows that your data is really only as secure as the integrity of the company that’s looking after it for you.
Denied access to data
This is not the only legal blocks on customers’ access to their own data that’s in the news at the moment. Following action by the US legal authorities against Mega Upload many ‘legitimate’ data owners have been left in legal limbo and denied access to their own data for over a year now. Undoubtedly some customers of the peer-to-peer file-sharing site violated copyright law. However the many legitimate and law-abiding customers that also stored data on Mega Upload are being penalised for using the same service provider. The security of data needs be assured – would we tolerate being denied access to the cash in our bank accounts simply because a bank was in financial trouble, or one of its other customers faced a legal action? Of course not! However, the message to data owners is loud and clear – be diligent in your choice of data centre provider as their integrity is the only guarantee of security for your data.
Protect your data
Of course data security is not just a matter for the accountants and lawyers. The threat of ‘good old fashioned’ break-ins, vandalism and equipment theft are another reason to be diligent in your choice of data centre provider. Blogger Nicholas Green puts the threats to the physical security of data centres in his list of ‘Ten Data Centre Trends To Expect in 2013’, commenting: “Despite all of the data breaches we’ve seen over the last year, more than one in five data centres don’t actually bother regularly testing their security.”
While physical security in the data centre has been ignored by too many for too long, MigSolv’s own Gatehouse facility has always offered highly secure, purpose built and frequently tested colocation facilities. Make sure that the following features are on your data security check list when selecting a provider – does the data centre have a high perimeter fence at least 30metres from the data centre buildings? Does it have microwave intruder detection at all borders and digital CCTV covering the entire site? Does it have proximity reader access control to all doors, biometric access control for data hall entry, and proximity access control to all cabinets? Most importantly is there a dedicated security centre that’s staffed 24/7?
Data security across the spectrum – from the right to customer access to deterrent of criminal access – is fundamental for data owners, and the ability to deliver this should be reflected in their choice of data centre provider.
MigSolv likes to keep ahead of the industry (and the data criminals!) when it comes to security, but even we were impressed by the measures taken by this data centre in Lenoir, North Carolina. (http://www.google.co.uk/about/datacenters/inside/streetview/)
Take a Streetview walk through and scroll to the left to see ‘The Force’ that Google employs to keep its data safe!