Physical Security for Data Centers


  • Biometric readers
  • Analytical video

Physical, Environmental, and Technical Controls

Physical and environmental controls protect the machine room itself from interruptions and unauthorized intrusions while technical controls across all platforms provide the capability to protect applications and data against unauthorized disclosure and manipulation.


Redundant utilities

Data centers need multiple sources for utilities, such as electricity, water, voice, and data. Trace electricity sources back to two separate substations and traces water back to two different main lines. Lines should be underground and should come into different areas of the building, with water separate from other utilities. Use the data center's anticipated power usage to your benefit as leverage for getting the electric company to accommodate your building's unique needs.


Landscaping for protection 

Trees, boulders, and gullies can hide the building from passing cars, obscure security devices (like fences), discourage intruders, and also help keep vehicles from getting too close. Of course, their aesthetic value doesn’t hurt either.


Bomb detection 

For data centers that are especially sensitive or likely targets, have guards use mirrors to check underneath vehicles for explosives and/or utilize portable bomb-detection devices.



Surveillance cameras should be installed around the perimeter of the building – at all entrances and exits, as well as at every access point throughout the building itself. A combination of motion-detection devices, low-light cameras, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, and standard, fixed cameras is ideal. As for recorded footage, this should be digitally recorded and stored offsite for security purposes.