J.Montemayor, Director of Operations at the Digital Realty data center in Spain

J.Montemayor, Director of Operations at the Digital Realty data center in Spain
J.Montemayor, Director of Operations at the Digital Realty data center in Spain

What physical security systems should a company have? data centerWhat are the key elements to protect them? Or what technological trends are being implemented today in data centers? These are some of the questions that are answered. Javier Montemayor, Director of Operations at Digital Realty in Spain, in this interview with Cuadernos de Seguridad. And as he explains, in a data center “the availability of services is key; we operate 24x7x365 and that means we must understand security as a whole.”

—To start, what services and solutions do you offer today and what customer profile do you target?
—Digital Realty is a company specialized in the construction and management of data centers for colocation services. These buildings are facilities where digital and telecommunications service providers interconnect with companies and users for the distribution and exchange of data and content. We create environments prepared to provide IT equipment with the appropriate security, cooling and electrical power.

Our clients include streaming and social media platforms, corporations, public entities, system integrators and public cloud providers. These are companies that require high levels of security and availability to ensure that their IT infrastructure always works, as well as multiple connectivity options to receive and distribute content.

—What security measures and systems should currently be taken into account when physically protecting a data center/CPD?
—In a data center, service availability is key. We operate 24x7x365 and that means we must understand security as a whole:
-On the one hand, the physical security of the facilities such as access controls, fire-fighting systems, CCTV, biometric systems, the presence of 24-hour security guards; all these systems ensure our clients that only they can access their equipment.

We have protocols and identification systems for access to the data center that ensure the identification of each person who enters the buildings and that they can only access their room and IT equipment. On the other hand, the availability of energy to power the clients’ IT equipment and the air conditioning systems that keep the infrastructure at an adequate temperature and humidity all year round.

Beyond the access systems, security personnel or CCTV, which are essential for access control, we have monitoring and control measures for everything that happens in the data center. For example, since data centers concentrate large quantities of servers and IT equipment that need to maintain specific environmental conditions for their correct operation, we have temperature and humidity measurement systems, as well as early fire detection systems, which analyze the quality and density of the air to avoid environments that are harmful to the equipment.

Regarding electrical availability, data centers are designed based on redundancy criteria: uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), batteries and power generators (emergency generators) that come into operation in the event of a power grid failure.

New threats in data centers

—If we focus on the online environment, what are the current keys to protecting a data center against new cyber threats?
—In a colocation data center, the IT equipment and networks belong to the clients. This means that they are responsible for their cybersecurity measures.

We have our own systems, like any other company, so that our activity and data are not affected, but it is not something directly related to the services we provide.

What we work on with clients is their own security certifications. Most of the client audits we collaborate on are related to information security, such as ISO 27001 or ENS.

—What are the basic pillars on which the security strategy of a large company like Digital Realty with hundreds of data should be based?
—Customers of specialized data centers sometimes require customization of certain protocols, such as those for accessing their equipment, and we must be prepared for this.

Furthermore, our certifications are appreciated and increasingly in demand by clients, who can take advantage of them to certify the quality of the service they deliver from the data center.

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