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The Five Most Common Server Room Threats – and How to Fight Them

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When it comes to the security of your business’ network, you’re probably focused on viruses, data breaches, and other cyber threats. But there are physical dangers lurking right inside your building, and they should not be underestimated. Here’s the five most common, and how to prepare for them.

1.      Temperature

The ideal temperature for a server room environment is between 68 and 72 degrees.

But the heat generated by your hardware, along with the poor ventilation of the cramped rooms small businesses typically have to deal with, can quickly push that temp into the danger zone. Overheated servers can degrade your network performance and, at worst, shut it down altogether.

Fortunately, there are inexpensive solutions — from streamlining hardware cables to improving airflow— that can help control the temperature and keep your servers running smoothly.

 2.   Humidity

Humidity is a less likely environmental hazard than heat, but it’s no less nasty. Persistently high humidity levels cause condensation inside hardware, leading to rust and short circuits. They can also cause build ups of minerals, dirt, and even fungus that corrode equipment and trap heat.

Too-low humidity leaves your gear vulnerable to static electricity, which can cause performance glitches or permanent damage. Equipping your room with a digital thermometer/hygrometer is a low-cost way to make sure both the temperature and humidity stay at optimal levels.

3.     Motion

Vibrations and other unwanted movements can disrupt or damage spinning hard drives and dislodge chips and circuit boards. Bumping into equipment is an obvious culprit, but direct contact isn’t the only cause. HVAC systems, people walking in hallways, and even vehicle traffic can cause vibrations if they’re adjacent to your server room.

You can minimize the risks by planning your server space to avoid vibration sources. Also consider investing in anti-vibration racks and other shock resistant accessories, or a vibration sensor to let you know if there may be a problem.

4.      Power interruptions

Black outs, brown outs, spikes, and dips can be devastating to your servers and your network performance. If you’re lucky, you’ll lose only time as you work to get your systems up and running again. If you’re not, you’ll have to replace equipment and deal with a possible loss of data.

The best safeguard against power volatility is an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) such as APC by Schneider’s Smart-UPS. These devices protect your servers, routers, switches, and other networking devices from surges and other power disturbances.  They also provide a backup battery for the event of an outage.

5.      Tampering and theft

Whether through accident or malicious intent, damage can just as easily be caused by employees and visitors wandering into your server room. For the former, make sure servers and server storage areas are clearly labeled and that each staff member and guest knows that only authorized personnel should access them.

For the latter, if a good lock on the server room door isn’t enough to let you sleep soundly, a strategically placed IP security camera can stand sentry. These are relatively inexpensive and can be accessed remotely to view a live video feed from your tablet or smartphone. Some include sound and motion detection and/or activation – or you can install separate sound and motion detectors, and set them to text you if any suspicious activity is detected.

If you’re concerned about some or all of these top threats, a consolidated device like the NetBotz 200 might be a good place to start; it’s designed to deliver the most protection with minimal hassle. Within one unit, it can record, save, and send video as well as monitor temperature, humidity, and direct contact to your equipment, and sends instant alerts for anything out of the ordinary.

 

This story, "The Five Most Common Server Room Threats – and How to Fight Them" was originally published by BrandPost.

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