Data Centre Security Fencing: A Guide for Specifiers

 

Data is valuable, and as such, you must do your best to protect it as much as possible. In some cases, the leak of confidential data could be catastrophic to large corporations, critical infrastructure or government agencies, which is why physical security is as important as cybersecurity when it comes to data centre protection.

In this post, we cover everything you need to know about the physical security of a data centre, helping you to specify resilient security fencing to mitigate the risks of the site, helping you specify with confidence.

Read on to find out more…

Physical Security Of Data Centres

 

When it comes to data centre security there are 2 main types: physical, and cybersecurity.

For the context of this post, we’ll only be focussing on the physical security of a data centre.

Your physical security is things such as security fences, turnstiles, security gates and secure doors, windows and cages, as well as CCTV.

Physical security helps to control who can gain access to your data centre. It should also deter people from attacking your data centre.

What Security Fencing Do You Need For Your Data Centre?

Due to the sensitive nature of data centres, many specifiers are unsure as to what fencing they’ll actually need.

 

Firstly, you need to assess the threats. This will depend on what data is inside as well as the environment.

 

Threats include

  • Terrorism
  • Espionage
  • Theft/damage
  • Protesting

In a very recent headline, The FBI recently foiled a plot to blow up an amazon data centre in Texas. The perpetrator planned the attack because he believed the data centre served the FBI and other federal agencies.

This example is a stark reminder of the real threat that data centres face in the protection of their data.

Third-Party Accreditation For Data Centre Security Fencing

The two main threats to physical security are forced entry and vehicle-borne attack.

If you are looking for peace of mind that your perimeter security will keep people out, it’s a good idea to look at a third-party accreditation.

CPNI-Approved Security Fencing For Data Centres

If your data centre is storing government property, you may require a fence that has been approved for governmental use by CPNI.

CPNI, which stands for Centre of Protection of National Infrastructure, is the government authority for protective security advice to the UK national infrastructure. Their role is to protect national security by helping to reduce the vulnerability of the national infrastructure to terrorism and other threats.

 

A CPNI rated fence is a perimeter security fencing system that has been independently tested to a strict set of guidelines, successfully passing several key requirements. Due to the nature of this certification, the ratings for CPNI approval are purposely kept under wraps. If you would like to find out more information on CPNI Testing, please contact CPNI directly.

Whilst testing for CPNI rated fencing is deliberately kept ambiguous, this fencing will have sustained attacks using a range of tools, including professional power tools, to ensure that it can withstand attacks of a profound nature.

 

To find out more about data centre security and CPNI approval, click here.

 

LPS 1175 Approved Security Fencing

 

If you are just looking for a standard that can be used by anyone and is easy to interpret you’re best looking into LPS 1175 certified products. LPS 1175 test all types of security products, from fencing, turnstiles and gates, to the security door, cabinets and cages so you can follow the same certification all through your security.

 

For a facility where you are tightly managing people in and out, as a minimum, we recommend security product rated LPS1175 B3 (previously known as SR2), as these fences are accredited and tested to ensure they provide certain levels of security. These products are independently certified by a third party to prevent intrusion for more than three minutes by an experienced attacker with tools of a higher mechanical advantage, such as bolt cutters, claw hammers and drills.

 

If there is a heightened risk of intrusion, perimeter fencing that offers a higher level of security is advised, and there are several solutions that provide additional testing to manage this heightened risk such as LPS 1175 C5 (previously known as SR3).

 

Read more about LPS 1175 and how security fencing and gates are tested here.

 

Do You Need Crash Rated Fencing For Your Data Centre?

Upon risk assessment, you may also decide that you want your perimeter to provide Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM): As well as standard forms of HVM, this can also be provided by your security fencing.

 

StronGuard crash-rated fencing is a single solution that is forced entry accredited and impact tested to stop a 7.5tonne vehicle at 30mph. Crash rated fencing is ideal for situations in which there a large run.

 

From the front face, StrongGuardRCS crash-rated fencing looks like a standard palisade fence, so is suited to situations that require more subtlety – so as not to draw attention to the site.

Often used near the entrance security, crash-rated fencing can provide protection from accidents in the same way as HVM.

 

Accidental Collisions

If your data centre is located next to a busy, high-speed road, crash-tested fencing may be advised, as there is a possibility that a vehicle could accidentally leave that road and collide with your data centre fencing.

 

The use of a crash rated fence in this situation would prevent the vehicle from making an impact with your data centre, thus protecting the asset from damage and downtime.

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5 Considerations For Data Centre Security Fencing

Through our experience in high-security fencing and working with major data centre clients, we have put together 5 points to consider when approaching the research and specification of high-security fencing. If neglected, these points could be the difference between suitable fencing, and inadequate security of your data centre.

 

  1. How important it is to install accredited fencing properly – It won’t perform if it’s not done properly. Speak to us about accredited installers.
  1. Mesh is difficult to install on uneven ground – We have experienced lots of cases where people specify mesh purely on aesthetics when, in fact, there’s so many other differences in the system which affect its effectiveness. Read our impartial comparison of security palisade and security mesh.
  1. Site Requirements – When looking at the cost of the security fencing and gates. Also consider how long it will take to install, how many people it takes, any lifting machinery, what foundations the system requires, etc. No-one wants to be stung on install costs later down the line.
  1. Palisade fencing can provide HVM – This provides a single solution, one set of footings which is good for reducing cost and time digging, and good for limited space. It’s also subtle as, from the front, it looks just like a standard fence.
  1. Consider how and who will integrate all of your automated entrance security – It’s often the case that people choose entrance security including gates, turnstiles and barriers from different people based on some small differences. However, you should consider whether your entrance security is compatible with your perimeter security, and who will integrate them during installation so that they all work together. Single sourcing turnstiles and gates can save time and complications when it comes to installation.

It is important to take all of this into consideration as it will enable you to specify fencing, gates and other entrance security suited to your requirements. In the same way that you don’t want compromised security, you also want to avoid over specification, paying more for unnecessary security measures if you don’t need them.

 

What Should Data Centre Security Fences Look Like?

The appearance of your data centre security fence will depend on a number of factors, including the specification, perceived threat, location and type of fence you wish to use. Some data centres may want an intimidating palisade fence, with a barbed wire topping, whilst others may want a mesh fence that blends more with the environment.

 

There is no right way it should look, as fencing appearance comes down to a range of different aspects. However, you need to bear in mind that the job of a data centre security fence is to deter anyone who may want to get into your data centre without authorisation.

 

More often than not, the appearance of your data centre security fence shouldn’t be the deciding factor; rather the level of security that it offers and the site requirements should be the main concern.

 

In many cases – and as previously stated – the minimum recommended level of security should be LPS1175 B3 (previously known as SR2), as this provides a high level of security, and is an accredited fencing system. This ensures it does the job it is meant to do to the right standard, is tested, and regulated to ensure the quality is right.

Do I Need Turnstiles With My Data Centre Security Fencing?

 

When managing sensitive data, it is important to monitor who is going in and out of your data centre, as well as finding a way to effectively prevent unauthorised personnel from gaining access to the premises.

 

Turnstiles are ideal for managing pedestrian entry and exit and, because they control individuals’ movements, they can give you information on the times people enter and leave if required.

Turnstiles can be integrated with your security fence to the same accreditation rating to ensure a consistent level of security throughout. This is important if your turnstile forms part of high security, tested fencing system, as it could well be the first point of an attack.

 

When specifying your turnstile, it is important to remember that they are not just for monitoring access into your data centre, they are highly technical pieces of equipment that can increase efficiency in your processes, as well as improve security if installed correctly. They can be integrated with your fire alarm system and can even provide contactless control via cards and/or facial recognition.

 

Conclusion

Protecting the physical security of your data centre will require you to consider a range of variables.

Does the security fencing need to be third party approved?

 

Does it need HVM?

 

What are ground conditions like?

 

Do I need turnstiles?

 

The list goes on. To help you overcome these challenges, you need to rely on a team that can provide you with advice that’s rooted in experience, and that’s where Barkers Fencing can help you.

Do you have a data centre that needs perimeter security? Don’t hesitate to speak to an expert today.

 

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