Data Centre Security: Do You Need A HVM Fence?

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) can be an essential security measure in the protection of the vital assets held within a data security centre.

But the question of whether or not a HVM fence is required for your data centre project relies very much on your individual circumstances.

The first step in gaining this insight will be through a Vehicle Dynamic Assessment (VDA). A VDA will determine the nature of the threats facing your data centre premises and provide an analysis as to whether HVM is required.

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation will depend on several factors, including:

  • What’s being held inside
  • The perceived threat
  • The routes, maximum speed and angles which could be achieved by a hostile vehicle
  • Whether the site needs protecting from accidental vehicle impact (i.e. is there a road nearby?)

If you’re involved in the design or specification of a data centre in the EMEA region, this post will explore each of the above in detail, as well as the reasons why you should consider HVM fencing as an effective security measure for your data centre.

Read on to find out more…

The Ultimate Guide To Data Centre Security Fencing


What’s Inside Your Data Centre?

What’s inside your data centre will make a difference in the level of security required.

All data is a valuable asset, however, it is fair to say that the storage of government or military data, or that of blue-chip companies will be more attractive to potential criminals and should be treated as such.

The designers and security advisors for each data hall should look at potential risks and threats, whether from vandalism or targeted intrusion.

In many instances, the perceived threat level will be low, but using tested and approved security systems will offer a greater degree of confidence to the clients, which is in itself one of the most important factors to consider.


What Is The Perceived Threat?

In this instance, the perceived threat is the threat of accidental and/or hostile vehicles, and not having HVM in place could leave a site vulnerable to a vehicle damaging generators, servers and other vital assets.

Threats of this nature could include (but are not limited to) state-sponsored, terrorism or thieves.

The perceived threat will be calculated upon a risk assessment.

You may think that the use of a HVM security fence may draw attention to your data centre and make it more susceptible to an attempted attack.

However, the Barkers StronguardRCS offers HVM protection for a 7.5ton vehicle up to 30mph, whilst looking just like a standard palisade fence. This ensures that no attention is drawn to your data centre or the assets being protected.


Location of Your Data Centre

Your need for a HVM fence will also depend on your site location.

  • Is there a road nearby where vehicles will be travelling at high speeds?
  • Is it possible that a vehicle could build up enough speed to drive into the entrance of your data centre?
  • Could you improve measures already in place to make it difficult for a vehicle to build up the necessary speed?

All of the locational factors mentioned above will require careful consideration before you begin to specify HVM fencing.


Do you Need HVM for Accidental Vehicle Impact?

Not all HVM incidents are of malicious intent; many of them are accidental, for example, when a vehicle disembarks the road and ends up on a railway line.

The vehicle had no intention of ending up there, but as there are no preventative measures to stop the vehicle, it has become stuck on the railway lines.

This is no different for your data centre. If you are located near or on a high-speed road, then it may be wise to look into HVM security fencing from a safety aspect as well as a preventative one.

It is your duty to make your data centre as safe as possible for those working there and using a HVM fence will help to achieve that and maintain confidence with clients and the public alike.

If an accidental vehicle break were to occur it may highlight to those with data inside that there is a potential vulnerability, and worse still could show this weakness to potential perpetrators.

Using a product such as our StronGuard™Beam would achieve a safer environment as the combined beam and security fence achieves hostile vehicle mitigation of a 7200kg vehicle travelling at 80kph (50mph), whilst providing physical protection against a forced entry with one of our many accredited systems.


Why is HVM Fencing a Good Idea for your Data Centre?

HVM fencing is an ideal solution for high-security data centres, as it provides maximal security and safety in a single fence line, whilst not drawing attention to the centre itself.

The value/sensitivity of what is inside your data centre will ultimately decide the level of security you need, however, other factors apart from what you’re protecting will need to be considered.

Different sites require different levels of protection. If you’re unsure as to what level of security is best for you, Get in touch to discuss your operational requirements or arrange a free site impartial consultation to help you decide the best security fencing for you or your clients.

The Ultimate Guide To Data Centre Security Fencing


Russell Ridgway

Russell’s security career began in 2006 when Barkers were tasked to develop a highly secure fence to prevent security breaches at a high profile mine in Papua New Guinea.

At the time Russell was managing Barkers Fastener division, playing a pivotal role in the development of StronGuard. Due to the success of StronGuard, Russell became Business Development Director for our high security products.