Data center risk management is a topic that comes up with increasing regularity. Whether it’s the release of another “scary” risk assessment from the insert industry insider here> or another article about how risk management is the new risk, we keep hearing these words.
These risks and articles touch on some very real points, but they can also unintentionally give you the impression that data centers are still stuck somewhere in the early 2000s.
This news post aims to take you beyond “risk this, risk that” and instead provide insights into how data centers are changing – how we are seeing new types of threats emerge, how users expect services differently than before, and more importantly: How can you adjust your organization’s culture and processes to mitigate these risks? Let’s dive in…
Automation is the key to reducing data center risk
One thing that hasn’t changed in the last decade is that humans are the weakest link in the security chain. It always comes down to how well your team can execute on their security program. Security that relies on manual processes is always going to be slow, expensive, and will inevitably fall behind.
Automation is the key to speeding up your security process, making it scalable, and reducing the high cost of manual security. Automation is also going to be key to managing the risks that come with Big Data. Existing tools may be fine for basic data, but they might not be able to handle the larger datasets that come from machine learning and AI.
Cloud adoption is increasing, but it’s not a magic bullet
Cloud adoption is increasing, and for good reason: it has become a more mature technology with more robust security infrastructure. However, it is important to note that the cloud is not a magic bullet. It will not solve all of your data center risk problems. The right cloud provider, or hybrid infrastructure, will help you to address a lot of issues: scalability, availability, flexibility, and more. But cloud is not a magic bullet. It is not a panacea.
Cloud will not make all of your data center risk problems go away. Data center risk management is not just about technology. It’s about people, processes, security, and business. All of these factors have to be considered. And for some types of risk, the cloud is not even a good fit. For example, regulatory compliance for certain industries like financial services may be better served in a customer’s own data centers.
Data sovereignty remains a key concern for many organizations
Data sovereignty is an important consideration for many organizations. This risk often comes up in discussions around cloud. But it isn’t just about the cloud – on-prem has the same concerns. Where is the data being collected? Where is it being stored? What laws govern the data and how is it handled? These are all important questions that need to be answered before making any decisions about where data should be stored.
Organizations often have strict laws and regulations governing the type and handling of data they collect. For example, a health care organization may need to follow HIPAA rules when storing patient data. A manufacturing company may have strict regulations around product and supply chain information. While cloud can help many organizations meet these regulations, some industries and organizations are better off storing data in their own data centers.
Dark data and metadata management are critical for managing risk
Another risk that is often overlooked is managing the data that hasn’t even been created yet. What do we mean? Well, data that has been collected and stored in your data center, but isn’t being used to generate any business value. This isn’t just old data that you’re not using any more, but new data that you have never even used.
This happens in most organizations. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the main one is that it’s just too difficult to find, pull up, and use. One example of this is log data. Logs, when properly managed and stored, are an extremely powerful tool in data center risk management. They can help you understand and monitor the health of your applications. But they are often difficult to pull up and search through. You need a dedicated application or tool to be able to search through them.
Network automation will be essential in the future
Network automation is not just a buzzword. It’s actually starting to become a reality in many data centers. There are a variety of tools that can automatically provision, configure, and change your network. This means less manual work and more reliable results. And yes, there are even tools that can automate network troubleshooting.
As data centers shift away from being focused on compute and storage, we expect to see more automation happening around the network. After all, networks are the spine of the data center. They are the core that connects all the different parts of the stack together.
These are just a few of the risks you need to consider when managing data center risk. However, the key takeaway is that there is no one silver bullet. There is no one approach that will eliminate all data center risk. It’s a constant process of managing risk and minimizing it. It’s a constant process of making sure your team understands the risks and has the tools and processes to mitigate them.