When it comes to data centre security, the main priority over anything else is protecting the valuable data inside the centre from organised crime and potential terrorist attack. A lot of focus is placed on cybersecurity, but it is equally important to stop assailants from physically gaining access. Data and information are a high-value asset equally, downtime could prove to be costly whilst damaging to the company’s reputation and that of their clients.

Whether this is information for the next technological breakthrough or personal public information it requires a high level of security.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what goes into specifying a high-security fence, as well as different things needed for different sites.

 

 

What Is Needed to Specify A Security Fence

 

The first consideration when specifying any security fence is the threat and how much delay time you need to create for security levels to stop potential perpetrators.

Security fencing’s primary objective is to prevent individuals from breaking and entering. It’s recommended that data centres holding valuable information have LPS1175 B3 (previously known as SR2) security fencing as a minimum specification, as it would 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 you chose Barkers B3 mesh security fence, SecureGuard SL2 you would have a system that is also certified to C1, providing defence for 1 minute against category C tooling – a range of powered tooling including drills, gas torches and crowbars. As the only B3 system in the UK to give an additional level of security, SecureGuard SL2 offers the best possible combination of value, quality and protection available at the ratings requested on the project.

 

 

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Alternatively, depending on the information being stored, data centres may require fencing which has been approved by the CPNI for use on the UK’s critical national infrastructure such as Barkers StronGuard.

When you carry out your risk assessment, you may decide you also want your perimeter to provide HVM (hostile vehicle mitigation). This can be done in a number of ways, from wire rope and fencing systems to bollards. But if you’re restricted in the space available, a single solution that is forced entry accredited and impact tested may be the perfect solution.

Barkers offer two single solutions which are both forced entry tested and vehicle impact tested.

  • StronGuardRCS is the only standalone PAS68 impact tested security fence. It will stop a 7.5-ton vehicle travelling at 30mph without special footings. The system is a derivative that StronGuard system attack testing by CPNI, with nothing to attack on the front face of the fence.
  • StronGuard Beam combines an impact tested beam with any of our StronGuard™ palisade range or SecureGuard SL2 mesh. This clever combination of products shares the same footings, offering 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.

 

 

The Appearance Of The Security Fence

The appearance of a data centre security fence will vary with each individual site

The main purpose of a security fence around data centres is to assist in protecting the infrastructure contained within the site which ultimately protects data stored at the facility. To deter intruders, the fence should look formidable and difficult to penetrate, or intimidating to any potential attacker.

This can be achieved using palisade security fencing as the pointed pales and no obvious footholds make it hard to climb.

To ensure specification is met, entry point systems such as turnstiles and high-security gates may be required, we would advise these meet the same certified specification as the fence so there are no vulnerable areas ensuring the perimeter has no perceived weak points.

 

 

Layered Approach

 

Layered approaches are used to ensure maximum protection, creating more of a delay for the site to react to an attack.

Edge data centres are normally standalone, remote and unmanned, making them particularly vulnerable to attack. A layered approach to physical security here would assist in delaying the attackers and in the process create more time for the security teams to respond before an attack could reach the asset.

 

 

Conclusion

 

When it comes to specifying a security fence for a data centre, it’s important to consider your operational requirements, as each site is different.

The priority is protecting the assets inside, so dependent on how extreme the data is you are guarding, a higher level of security fencing is needed.

We would recommend a double-layered approach with a minimum SR2 certification, however, if you’re still unsure, we can offer a free, no-obligation, site assessment, to identify your needs.

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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.