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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Making Data Center Security a Priority

Sumit Mukhija
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sumit Mukhija
Introduction
The data Center is the heart that pumps the lifeblood of any organization - core business and operational data throughout the network. The goals of data Centers have always been to provide high performance access to flexible and adaptive business applications, with extremely high availability, while minimizing costs by standardizing and automating support processes. This is reflected in the current and planned network, storage, and processor architectures.

However, data centers are attractive targets for malicious activity. Improperly secured data centers are targets of hackers and worms, which can cause significant havoc and costly damage. Unfortunately, data centers assembled quickly during the economic boom were rarely built with an emphasis on the security, and many applications and storage “islands” resulting from these efforts are often vulnerable to attack and compromise.

Challenges and Threats
In support of management goals to protect, optimize, and grow the business many IT organizations are consolidating data center resources such as servers, storage, networks, and applications. Another common phenomenon is the outsourcing of data Centers today. In the past, managers relied upon physical application isolation or perimeter defense for security. This is inadequate to defend today’s virtualized data center resources and applications from attacks, which continuously become more sophisticated and dangerous. Any “script kiddie” can download hacker tools from a Website and inflict considerable damage to poorly protected data Centers. Attacks progress faster than ever. More damage occurs in a few seconds today than was possible in a few days five years ago. The Slammer, Blaster, and MyDoom worms took only minutes to circle the globe.

Threats from inside the enterprise can be even more damaging because hackers exploit detailed knowledge of the organization to wreak serious financial damage inadvertently or deliberately. These hackers can include employees, temporary workers, and consultants. To protect applications, data center managers must use modern technologies that limit user access to only those resources they need to do their job.


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