— Data Center Access Management

17.11.2022 | 3 min read

Data centers require exceptional security in order to maintain continual operations and to preserve their reputations. Security breaches can cost clients millions of Euros in interrupted service, damaged equipment and stolen data. As a result, many operators adopt a multi-layered security approach that starts in front of the data center’s front door with anti-climb fencing and 24/7 video surveillance. Perimeter security is absolutely imperative and plays an important role in preventing unauthorized human access to the data center, especially at night. But how does a data center manage human access during the day when hundreds of different types of visitors come and go from the data center through the main reception door? How does one differentiate between legitimate suppliers, clients, employees, and contractors and unauthorized visitors in the most secure and efficient manner? 


The status quo

In the past and well into today, it is not uncommon to experience an entirely human-dependent access management procedure at data centers and other building locations. Front reception needs to manually check-in visitors, perhaps using a clipboard signup sheet, verify identification through visual comparison and then print out a visitor badge. Afterwards, reception can notify the host to come down and retrieve the guest. Not only is this process incredibly inefficient, (especially during peak hours when a registration queues can back up and visitors can become frustrated), but also, the process is not secure – relying on reception personnel to be trained properly to spot fake IDs or to determine who has a legitimate presence in the building and who is falsifying information. For any building that holds precious assets – employees, equipment, trade secrets, client data and their systems, access management is an imperative initiative to mitigate safety and security risks for everyone at a location. In addition, business operations needs to maintain an efficient process for all stakeholders – facility management, security and authorized visitors and employees.

The digital access management solution

At e-shelter security, we work closely with data center and other critical infrastructure clients and we completely understand their requirements for a multi-layered security strategy which is incorporated into their building systems. In the case of access management, we offer a fully digital solution by our partner, essentry. This solution can seamlessly integrate into legacy building systems and vastly improve the check-in time of authorized visitors while significantly reducing bottlenecks. Bottlenecks are decreased because a guest can self-register at the building with proper identification at a stand-alone access management kiosk. Self- registration? We do not compromise security at e-shelter as it is our core business and the key feature of the access management solution is indeed its unparalleled security, which can validate hundreds of IDs, both domestic and international. In addition, its leverages biometric data to authenticate the person with the ID photo, including liveness detection to quickly identify sophisticated trespassers looking to trick the system.

Other modernized and user-friendly features of our access management offering include the ability to pre-register visitors before they arrive, allowing them to supply necessary information ahead of time for the utmost convenience when on-site. Hosts can send an invitation where pre-registration also includes the ability to e-sign documents such as NDA’s, building safety protocols, waivers and more. As a result, when a person arrives to check-in at the physical building, all the relevant information is already in the system and then the border control level security can take place for verification including the biometric authentication. With pre-registration, the on-site, check-in process can take as little as one minute and get guests on their way to their scheduled client meeting, service call, or conference on time. In addition, our self-service kiosks can notify hosts to come down and pick up their guests or to meet them at the designated conference room or office. The kiosks can also dispense their own key cards with access to only pre-determined areas and configured with a designated expiration time on the card.

Zero-stress in-person visits and visibility

The access management solution that e-shelter security offers delivers high level security and increased efficiency to the data center. While the reception desk can offer another layer of security verification, the access management solution is more than capable of handling the entire process – allowing reception to concentrate on more pressing matters or focusing on core job responsibilities that drive the business forward. In addition, a one-stop access management solution to get guests to their destination, is customer-centric and convenient, taking the stress and delays out of an in-person visit. It also adds to a modern and efficient look that businesses want to amplify outward to clients, prospects and partners to demonstrate their forward-thinking initiatives that embraces technology.


Smart Data Center

The push and adoption of more digitized solutions by building operators makes complete business sense even if real estate-related industries as a whole are generally slow to implement these trends. Data center providers, however, do embrace these initiatives, finding ways to differentiate themselves from competitors with high quality services and efficiencies. Power, Cooling, Connectivity and Security are the foundation of a data center’s offerings and without them, a data center provider would cease to operate. Reputation, reliability, along with high availability and scalability are other key attributes that set data center operators apart from the competition. Today, even data center clients are putting pressure on operators to make meaningful changes around sustainability, efficiency, cost savings and more. These latter components are starting to give way to the Smart Data Center concept where one can operate more effectively through technology innovation and integration – both in core data operations and overhead and maintenance expenses.

Digital access management plays a pivotal role in the data center evolution – as it actually enhances the security at the facility, especially the sensitive equipment rooms inside a building. It also integrates seamlessly with existing facility, security and communication applications to deliver information to all stakeholders – reducing missed communication or information lapses and keeping everyone informed throughout the access management value chain. Keeping business running continually, whether with prospects, existing clients, partners or even maintenance workers, is imperative. Keeping those expected visitors happy and returning and their businesses moving forward is how access management can indeed play a bigger role in a data center’s operations and performance.

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