Blog
08.19.20

The Impact of COVID-19 and Digital Transformation on Data Centers

The Good - The pandemic has spurred the growth of data centers.
The Bad - COVID-19 has imposed many challenges to data center operations.
The Ugly - Physical security attacks threaten business continuity for enterprises.

Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, data center expansion is still continuing as planned. If anything, we are seeing an accelerated demand. The pandemic has provided a defining moment for the cloud. The digital transformation that was expected to take a decade or more has been significantly expedited. This transition has made digital infrastructure more important than ever. Major corporations are investing in and accelerating the construction of hyperscale data centers. Data centers have experienced a significant growth in demand during the pandemic. But at the same time, the pandemic is forcing data center operators to invest in measures to make their system and facility more robust. We believe that this trend will continue as more companies undergo digital transformation.

Maintaining security and protecting data center operations from data breaches, interruption of service, etc., is a top priority. Requiring the ultimate protection, data centers are engaging in a Zero Trust environment. Zero Trust is a security protocol where organizations do not trust anything inside or outside their perimeter and must verify everything that is trying to gain access. Under this model, data centers require an even higher security level for access into the facility as the first touchpoint for defending against unauthorized visitors. The pandemic presents unprecedented economic, security, and health challenges for data centers to maintain smooth operations.

As data centers are considered essential businesses during the pandemic and ultimately the lifeline for business continuity, organizations are having a difficult time maintaining operations while ensuring the safety of employees and security of the facility. To date, the first line for physical security defense for data centers has primarily been a combination of access control card readers or security guards posted at every data center entry point. Both of these methods have weaknesses. Access control cards can be lost, stolen, or intentionally shared by coworkers – which is a direct threat to a data center’s security. Security guards are effective, but they are expensive. The overhead for placing a security guard at every data center entrance is a costly – and recurring – line on a P&L sheet. The planning for security and providing a balance strategy between risk mitigation and cost is on top of minds for security directors as it is. Needing increased security as a result of various demands emerging from a pandemic make it even more relevant and important.

Traditional biometric technology – fingerprint readers, for example – has sought to fill the gap for an effective, ultra-protective access control system. However, reliability, compliance, and now the threat of spreading germs via fingerprints during the pandemic, have deterred many organizations from ripping and replacing their existing systems in favor of this technology. These approaches for data center access control and security are outdated, prone to security breaches, expensive, and not safe for employees. Right now, data centers require a touchless and modern access control security system that can provide high grade security for the location without compromising on the safety of employees.  

Data center operators seeking to supplement their existing access control program with a solution that is just as effective as – but less expensive than – adding security guards at every access point should consider adding a security team on the edge. Alcatraz offers a solution unlike any other in the physical security space – facial authentication that works with any existing access control solution without any rip and replace. Alcatraz integrates with your existing access control infrastructure, complementing security strategy and protocols. Enterprises across the Fortune 2000 are choosing to deploy Alcatraz’s proprietary technology as their first line of defense against unauthorized access. To learn more, visit https://www.alcatraz.ai/products/.