Posted by Anna Nicholls on 16-Sep-2020 10:44:08

Security for cloud hosting providers


Cloud hosting providers need to take both physical and logical security extremely seriously. Whether you host directly with a data centre, or via a third party cloud provider, the measures taken to protect your infrastructure and your data should be high, and concise. 

No matter who you host with, ultimately your assets are sitting in a data centre somewhere and any provider worth its salt should be able to answer your questions around the security of your cloud platform. They should usually also have the capability to offer you a tour of the facility where your data is being stored - even if they don’t own the data centre. 

What should I look for in a cloud hosting provider?

Security starts at the beginning of your journey into a data centre, at the perimeter of the site. Look for full height security fences and secure gates upon entry to the building compound. You may see human security personnel at this point, but don’t be disheartened if you don’t. Humans are our weakest security point so some data centres will use on-site security bunkers or SOCs (Security Operations Centre) instead. 

Look up... you should see a plethora of cameras watching your every move the second you enter a data centre facility site. 

When you get to the building, it should be impossible to enter if you’re an unexpected visitor. Entry should be granted either by internal security teams, or through badge access, or even biometrics. The same goes for entry to the server halls. Your provider should be boasting about badge access, combined with PIN codes and biometric scans. At TeleData we even use volumetric checks to ensure that only the person associated with the badge, PIN and iris scan is entering the data halls, while mantraps enforce a double layer of security upon entry to the server halls. 

Once inside the data centre’s server farms, you should see all server racks securely locked, unlabelled and inaccessible to anybody other than the owner of the servers. Some cloud or data centre providers may be granted access to certain customer’s servers to assist with remote hands maintenance - particularly in the case of colocation - but a data centre should never have access without authorisation and should not have access to the data sitting on the servers. Data halls should be full of CCTV cameras and sensors to detect any suspicious activity or behaviour. 

Here’s a list of some of the security measures in place at our Delta House data centre facility in Manchester;

  • Full height security fencing surrounding the building compound
  • Dedicated entry/exit high speed security gates
  • ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) vehicle identification systems to recognise authorised visitors and allow automatic entry
  • Virtual trip-wire technology to identify intruders
  • Full CCTV coverage of all external areas
  • Audio challenge PA systems to communicate with unrecognised visitors remotely
  • Thermal detection for the accurate identification of unwanted or unexpected visitors
  • High security entrance door with anti-tailgating technology, volumetric detection and access control
  • Dedicated delivery air-locks with interlocking electronic security doors, controlled remotely by on-site security personnel
  • Monitored and police linked Grade 3 intruder alarm system to all external doors and entry points
  • Visitor ID checking via high-grade CCTV cameras prior to access being granted
  • Tamper detection and alarms to all entrances
  • Access controlled turnstiles within reception for additional security
  • Re-enforced and alarmed high security air-locks 
  • 4-factor access control - access card, PIN number, volumetric and biometric checks
    • Access card and PIN number unique to user
    • Volumetric check ensures only single visitors pass through air-locks
    • Biometric (iris) checks validate identity of user
  • All checks must be validated and passed before entry granted to data halls
  • Failed attempts immediately notified to security
  • Full audit logs retained for all access attempts
  • Extensive monitored CCTV
  • PIR sensors which alarm on unexpected motion detection
  • Combination locks on all rack doors

If you’d like to see this for yourself, you can get in touch with our team for a tour of our facility. Simply give us a call on 0161 498 1200 or click here to book a data centre tour.

Or for further reading about the types of questions you should be asking your cloud provider, check out our free whitepaper download - 10 questions you should be asking your cloud provider - here.

Topics: colocation, cloud hosting, cloud, cloud server hosting

Written by Anna Nicholls