Securing the Data Center for Today’s Organizations

When it comes to data center operations, IT departments are concerned with upgrading legacy architectures to enable business agility and ensure maximum uptime. However, much too often, security is not a key consideration in the design phase of a data center.

Here at McAfee, the Data Center team has been blogging regularly about the importance of security in the next-generation data center and the consumer experience. We wanted to share some of our insights in a monthly wrap-up blog for our Security Connected readers.

Recently, I discussed the need for secure and robust data centers to ensure business continuity and agility. Choices made in designing architectures that don’t involve security could lead to unplanned outages and violations of SLAs. Furthermore, service outages are most often attributed to unplanned or unwanted changes or a security breach.

Data center security is quickly becoming a growing concern as recent website outages have shown a profound negative effect on the success of both SMBs and large enterprises. When it comes to the consumer experience, it’s important to note that though downtime costs can vary widely by industry, application and organization, they are estimated to be as high as $1M per hour – not an insignificant loss.

While many factors play into how website outages occur, now is the time for data center operations and security teams to work together and take steps to improve the uptime experience for their customers. Understanding and testing the scalability and performance impact of security services gives data center operations and security teams insight to manage systems more efficiently, while increasing uptime and availability.

Tips to prevent downtime

  • Implementing security policies, processes and solutions that provide increased and real-time visibility and control in the data center
  • Ensuring proactive threat protection and shielding against application exploits
  • Establishing trust zones with control over the types of traffic allowed in order to ensure more robust data centers and mitigate unnecessary downtime

However, when it comes to SMBs using cloud services to cut IT costs, ensuring 99.9% uptime is not always feasible when you need to account for service provider outages.

SMBs that rely on cloud computing can adjust their security strategy, and choose providers based on their reliability and accountability when it comes to unexpected outages. Robust risk and security management programs are paramount– any size organization must be careful to ensure reliable and secure services to their end users, whether this means performing backups or ensuring disaster recovery capabilities.

The Data Center team will continue to post summaries here on the blog, and be sure to follow @IntelSec_Biz for regular updates.

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