Ignore physical security at your peril

No software is able to mitigate the physical threat posed to business-critical machines.

1 July 2013

As has been demonstrated recently, physical security cannot be ignored. The theft of around $2 million Festival, and the R1 million in cash stolen from FNB Stadium following the Justin Bieber concert are prime examples of the best-laid security plans gone wrong.

This physical security is paramount for organisations dealing with sensitive customer information, and is becoming a reality for companies subject to new laws that require greater data responsibility. The Consumer Protection Act and the imminent Protection of Personal Information Act are two examples of wide-reaching legislation that place a greater onus on organisations to ensure they take precautions against data loss.

Teraco Data Environments CEO Lex van Wyk says that securing the physical environment in which servers reside is a critical component in this compliance equation that could be costly to set up and maintain.

“It’s very difficult for a single organisation to gain the economies of scale from building their own secure datacentre,” he says.

The country’s large financial institutions have traditionally been the only ones with the need and budget to run their own datacentres, with the expense of cooling, access-controlled security, fire and environmental protection measures being beyond the means of even mid-sized companies. Van Wyk says Teraco’s Level 1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification that it achieved earlier this year now allows companies to meet the stricter data security standards without having to invest in such costly infrastructure.

The demand for services to such levels is only going to grow, with World Wide Worx estimating in its 2012 Internet Matters report that e-commerce has been growing at 30 percent a year for the past five years, and is not expected to slow any time soon.

Growth in this sector of the economy is going to be totally dependent on trustworthy payment partners, who now have the ability through Teraco’s infrastructure to meet the demand for consumer confidence in their services.