The world’s data center network is a critical part of today’s business infrastructure. Data center operators that fail to keep up with the ever-evolving threat landscape, commit a form of malpractice — one with potentially deadly serious consequences for their partners.
We’re long past distinguishing between data center companies and cybersecurity companies. Today, the only data center operators that matter are those that double as cybersecurity operators — and do so with equal rigor.
Evaluate potential data center operators by their aptitude and adaptability in each of these security buckets.
For savvy data center clients, one of the most important capabilities in a data center partner is the ability to safeguard sensitive data.
Expansion-oriented data center operators are responding in kind. They’re now investing in a growing menu of data security services designed to stay one step ahead of evolving threats.
Microsoft, a major global data center operator, has thrown its vast resources behind cutting-edge network security practices. So have stealth players like rapidly growing Tierpoint, founded in 2010 by entrepreneur Gerry Kent, and now the largest private data center operator in the United States.
Like most successful companies within this industry, TierPoint is constantly evolving. Following the formation of several strategic partnerships, including with Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners, Gerry has transformed the original TierPoint platform through several key acquisitions and organic growth. The Company’s data centers now boast industry-leading network security practices, including:
- Customized threat management services, including event log monitoring and review, intrusion monitoring and prevention, and vulnerability management and scanning
- Flexible firewall services, including managed firewalls for businesses seeking a turnkey approach
- DDoS defense and mitigation, including dynamic detection of suspicious traffic patterns
The cloud is a very real, very tangible construct. Data centers are the most visible — and vulnerable — manifestations of its vast footprint. Not surprising, then, that some of the world’s most secure civilian facilities are data centers.
Secure data centers have multiple layers of physical security:
- Manned and remotely monitored checkpoints
- Biometric scanners and other recognition capabilities
- Electronic access restrictions
- Hardened server housing
- Robust emergency procedures adapted to a range of situations, including natural disasters and physical attacks
- Redundant electrical systems that protect against external power loss and interruption
Network and physical security indirectly bolster data privacy, but data center operators need to do much more to keep sensitive personal, financial, and strategic information safe from prying eyes.
Industry-specific regulatory mandates drive data privacy considerations as well. Financial firms and healthcare providers hew to strict state and federal compliance frameworks that rigorously govern data practices and impose draconian penalties for non-compliance.
For instance, HIPAA encompasses a sprawling set of regulations that medical groups and insurance companies must follow to the letter. Whether they build their own private data centers or entrust their data to third-party providers like Tierpoint, they know that a single false step can lead to onerous financial and legal consequences.
Recognizing that consumers and business decision-makers are increasingly savvy around data security and rightly protective of their own data, prescient firms go even farther — adopting broadly applicable data privacy frameworks that incorporate the strictest practical standards for encryption, threat mitigation, and other privacy considerations. Microsoft complies with the European Union Model Clauses, the global standard for data privacy, to assuage leery customers and reduce friction around out-of-market data transfers — which are inevitable in an interconnected world.
Staying One Step Ahead of the Threat
Undoubtedly, the cyber-threat landscape will continue to evolve. As you seek a data center partner, remember that no one knows exactly what the future will bring. Data centers are the new cybersecurity companies and they must be able to anticipate and address threats proactively.