Datacentre Security

The physical security of a Data Centre is just as important as its IT and information security and should always form a central part of any data centre security programme.

The ramifications of allowing a breach can be devastating to companies of any size, from significant financial fallout to total loss of customer confidence.

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Datacentre Security News

SST has significant experience in the physical protection of Data Centres, offering both a complete ‘design & build’ service for new constructions as well as retro-fit solutions for existing sites. Often starting the process with a comprehensive Threat & Risk Assessment we are able to identify issues early on before site acquisition or spot weaknesses in existing security measures and help develop a solution in line with your requirements and of course, budget.

As the UK’s economy becomes increasingly dependent upon information for delivery of online services and governance of major organisations, many commercial Data Centres are starting to be recognised as forming part of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) – those assets deemed essential to the overall running of the country.

The loss or compromise of a major Corporate Data Centre could have a disastrous economic impact or cause significant reputational damage across the economy as customers and trading partners are affected by the failure of the organisation. When security is referred to in the context of a data centre, all too often thoughts focus on the security of confidential information and the steps that need to be taken to ensure that critical intelligence is stored safety and effectively.

However, there is little point in investing heavily in systems and protocols which contribute to an enhanced standard in the storage of data, if the physical security of sites housing such data fails to replicate the same commitment to protection excellence.

Design & Build service

  • Threat & Risk Assessments
  • Full CAD design
  • New build or Retro-fit
  • Layered defence approach

IP Megapixel CCTV

  • High Definition images
  • Extreme forensic detail
  • Future proof & feature rich
  • Integrate into other systems

Access Control

  • Limit & control access
  • Track personnel
  • Provides an audit trail
  • Integrate with other systems

Design & Build service


An integrated approach

When designing the physical security of a new data centre or improving upon existing facilities, there are a huge number of issues to consider for organisations charged with safeguarding sensitive or confidential data.


By taking these security considerations into account from the very start instead of at the last moment, you can save both time and a potentially significant amount of money (which is possible in the event of a breach) and SST has the right experience and knowledge to assist you:

  • In depth Security Vulnerability Assessments of new or existing sites
  • Assistance with the production of Operational Requirements (OR)
  • In house CAD design capabilities – from component level to ‘construction ready’
  • Fully integrated solution design for a new Data Centre or retro-fit an existing one

SST combines strong procedural and technical qualifications to provide the right solution and our performance history demonstrates that we are effective in managing development projects of any size and delivering results on time and within budget.

Defence in Depth

SST are well versed in and promote the ‘Defence in depth’ model which aims to provide multiple layers of security at a facility that is appropriate to the asset risk. The foundation of the concept is that requiring additional security controls, or layers, along with an approach to protect critical assets, develops a mechanism to systematically delay, effectively intervene in, and mitigate risks. A threat that infiltrates one layer is detected at another layer, giving you multiple opportunities to detect and respond to an event.

Defence in depth for physical security begins with incorporating physical security into the design of facilities. It also considers property boundaries, building approaches, parking areas, ingress and egress points of a building, and flow of human traffic through the building. It also includes physical security devices, like access card readers that grant or prevent access and log activity at facility entry points, anti-tailgating ‘Man Traps’, double knock and biometric authentication, IP Megapixel CCTV systems, hardened construction methods and other discreet sensors that monitor specific areas. All of these functions combined provide a layered defence strategy in our protection of Data Centre’s.

3rd Party advisors

All our system designs and proposed solutions follow the broad guidelines set out in publications from and are also subjected to extensive peer review from the following organisations and individuals:

  • Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI)
  • The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO)
  • Home Office – Office for Security & Counter Terrorism (OSCT)
  • Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC)
  • C-HQ Security Consultants
  • Trevor Fulton – Detective Constable in specialist departments covering detective investigations, surveillance and Intelligence gathering methods (recently retired)

IP Megapixel CCTV



The implementation of CCTV cameras in Data Centre’s is a pre-requisite. However, the type of camera, its location, field of view and many other factors need to be taken into account before deployment to achieve the optimum solution. The processing and management of the video through a Video Management System (VMS) is also a core consideration and the choice of VMS will also be key to overall success.

IP-based CCTV systems are now replacing legacy and closed-loop systems, which allow all services to converge and operate over a single protocol framework. In a new data centre, it is recommended to plan your security system on an IP-based solution in order to benefit from current and future technologies being developed around the Ethernet standards.

CCTV cameras are a good deterrent for an opportunist and cover one of the main principles of security, which is identification (both of a security breach occurring and the perpetrator). At a minimum your Data Centre should have full pan, tilt and zoom cameras on the perimeter of your building, along with fixed CCTV cameras covering building and data floor entrances/exits. All footage should be stored digitally and archived offsite, ideally in real time.

An IP (digital), network video surveillance system provides a host of benefits and advanced functionalities that cannot be provided by an analogue video surveillance system. The advantages include:

  • Superior image quality
  • Easy, future-proof integration
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Distributed intelligence
  • Remote accessibility
  • Easy, reliable installation 

HD Surveillance – When every detail matters

HD and megapixel network cameras have an important role to play in video surveillance applications. They provide images that are more useful, with more image detail and with wider coverage than standard resolution cameras.

Even a 1 megapixel network camera offers a resolution that is at least three times better than an analogue CCTV camera and there are IP cameras that offer as much as 10 megapixel resolution – and beyond.

Resolution comparison

Choosing the right camera for your system can easily become a challenge. SST can help you optimise your camera installation based on how you need to use your video to fulfil your video surveillance goals.

The argument is simple: HDTV and megapixel means higher resolution. Higher resolution means more detail. More detail means better possibilities for identification. In addition, a true HDTV network camera provides full frame rate and extended colour fidelity, for an even better viewing experience.

Same number of cameras – more coverage

Another argument in favour of HDTV and megapixel network cameras is that they can cover larger scenes than non-megapixel network cameras at a given number of pixels per area.

For example, if four non-megapixel network cameras provide good coverage of your monitored scene, one 2.0 megapixel network camera will cover an even larger area, with no loss of image resolution.


Megapixel network cameras are excellent for many applications, for example when video with extreme image detail is required, such as in overview surveillance of Data Centre halls, Ingress / Egress points and the areas around the racks themselves.

SST works only with the global leaders in CCTV camera technology.


Access Control


You no doubt have everything covered when it comes to controlling access to the data you protect…….firewalls, VPN gateways, network intrusion detection systems, the whole lot.

But what about actually controlling physical access in and around your Data Centre? After all, what’s the point in putting in place the best data security possible, when someone could just walk into an unlocked office and gain access to the network?

The weakest link – the human being!

The weakest element in any access control system is the human being so it’s crucial to have total control over who can enter your data centre. Make sure you spend as much time creating your physical access control master plan as you do when considering your network and SST is here to help you do just that.

The goal of Access Control is to allow or restrict access to your Data Centre and areas within it and the best way to do this is through using multiple forms of verification and a ‘layered’ approach i.e. increasing the level of security as you get closer to the Data Halls. Deploying enhanced entry restrictions such as Man Traps, biometric devices, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and Video Content Analysis can further help to restrict access by increasing the number of verifications required. You need granular control over which visitors can access certain parts of your facility.

There are three basic methods for verifying someone’s identity:

  • Possessing or carrying the correct key or token
  • Knowing predetermined private information, such as a password or personal identification number (PIN)
  • Providing information that is inherent and unique to that individual, including the use of biometric devices to verify finger and thumb prints, irises or vascular patterns.

Modern data centres should be designed with the following minimum layers of physical security: perimeter security at the entrance, mantraps into the data centre, access systems into the rooms and secure, locked cabinets and biometrics where required. No one should enter or leave the premises without proof of identity and all visitors should be checked against customer-defined access lists before being allowed to enter.

  • Ensure visitors are monitored at all times, or accompanied by security staff, particularly outside contractors.
  • Introduce airlocks and Man traps to trap intruders who attempt to ‘piggy back’ access with genuine staff.
  • Limit entry points
  • Implement Anti-passback – if someone tailgates into an area, it’s much harder for them to leave.
  • Provide each individual with an access level appropriate to their role
  • Introduce various biometric verification devices


  • 100% verification of authorised personnel
  • Limit & control access to sensitive areas
  • Unobtrusive and fast
  • Prevent ‘buddy punching’


PSIM Control & Command

  • Integrate all systems in one place
  • Real-time situational awareness
  • Crisis management / process guidance
  • Corporate governance compliance

Perimeter Protection & PIDS

  • High Security Fencing (SEAP)
  • Perimeter Intruder Detection Systems (PIDS)
  • Barriers, Gates & Road Blockers (PAS Rated)
  • Pedestrian Turnstiles & ‘Man Traps’



A Data Centre has a huge commitment to ensuring that the data it houses is secure. Data centre providers need to be adept at demonstrating to their customers just how secure their data is, as customers need to be confident that their data will never be compromised.

Biometric Access Control is the most secure way of protecting your Data Centre and allowing authorised access without the need for keys, fobs, cards or passcodes. Biometric access control removes the risk of someone gaining access by “borrowing” or improperly acquiring an ID card, password, or PIN number.

SST are experienced integrators of a wide range of biometric solutions giving us the ability to evaluate your requirements and recommend the best options for your business. Our expert biometric security consultants are available to assess your company’s needs and discuss your options for installing the right biometric access control solution for you.

The ramifications of allowing a data breach can be devastating to companies of any size. Besides the loss of confidence by business partners or customers that may entrust their data to you, there is often a significant financial fallout.

It’s crucial to have total control over who can enter your data centre and the type of identification needed to access a data centre should always include a biometric system. 

Iris Recognition

Stable – The unique pattern in the human iris is formed by 10 months of age, and remains unchanged throughout one’s lifetime

Unique – The probability of two rises producing the same code is nearly impossible.

Non-Invasive – Unlike retinal screening, iris recognition is non-contact and quick, offering unmatched accuracy when compared to any other security alternative, from distances as far as 3″ to 10″.

Fingerprint Recognition


Our fingerprint readers are robust and highly reliable, even with levels of dirt and grease on the skin. They are not only weather and vandal-proof but their ergonomic design means they are quick to use.

SST can install for you the innovative ievo® fingerprint readers which boast an abundance of reputable features, including a multi-spectral fingerprint sensor which outshines conventional thermal, capacitive or optical scanners plus a world leading algorithm which can improve reliability.


Palm Vein Recognition

Palm vein scanners use the vascular pattern of an individual’s palm to identify them. Since vein information is complex and internal, it is difficult to replicate, giving palm vein scanners a high level of security and accuracy.

The PalmSecure sensor developed by Fujitsu is a biometric authentication solution offering optimum levels of security. PalmSecure detects the structure of the pattern of veins on the palm of the human hand with the utmost precision. The sensor emits a near-infrared beam towards the palm of the hand and the blood flowing through these back to the heart with reduced oxygen absorbs this radiation, causing the veins to appear as a black pattern. This pattern is recorded by the sensor and is stored in encrypted form in database, on a token or on a smart card.

PALM secure science

Facial Recognition

SST supply high-end biometric face recognition systems for businesses who need unobtrusive, easy-to-use and secure access control and identity management solutions. Face recognition systems negate the need for user action (such as using a fob or presenting a finger to the reader), using sophisticated technology to compare images or videos of individuals (for instance, from live CCTV) with data stored in the database.

A facial recognition device is one that views an image or video of a person and compares it to one that is in the database. It does this by comparing structure, shape and proportions of the face; distance between the eyes, nose, mouth and jaw; upper outlines of the eye sockets; the sides of the mouth; location of the nose and eyes; and the area surrounding the check bones.

The benefits of facial recognition are that it is not intrusive and can be done from a distance even without the user being aware they are being scanned.


PSIM Control & Command


Manage all of your security applications in one place

PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) is the latest development in integrated security solutions allowing businesses to manage multiple, independent security applications and devices through a single, comprehensive user interface.

A perfect solution for Data Centre’s where many disparate systems are installed on their own merits but an Operator is faced with using all the various pieces of software individually. PSIM ties it all together in one, user friendly place.

The PSIM software collects and correlates events from existing, disparate security devices and information systems (video, access control, sensors, analytics, networks, BMS, etc.) to empower personnel to identify and proactively resolve situations.

PSIM integration enables numerous organisational benefits, including increased control, improved situational awareness and management reporting. Ultimately, these solutions allow organisations to reduce costs through improved efficiency and to improve security through increased intelligence.


Key Capabilities


Device management independent software collects data from any number of disparate security devices or systems.


The system analyzes and correlates the data, events, and alarms, to identify the real situations and their priority.


PSIM software presents the relevant situation information in a quick and easily-digestible format for an operator to verify the situation.


The system provides Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), step-by-step instructions based on best practices and an organization’s policies, and tools to resolve the situation.


The PSIM software tracks all the information and steps for compliance reporting, training and potentially, in-depth investigative analysis.


Perimeter Protection & PIDS


The outer edges of a Data Centre’s property line should be viewed as the exterior perimeter of the site and this requires a robust and effective ring of security around it to deter any unwanted / unauthorised entry.

SST provide high-security, perimeter protection solutions to enable Data Centre’s to keep their grounds, buildings and assets secure from intrusion or attack. Ranging from vehicle road blockers and security barriers to pedestrian speed gates, ‘Man Trap’ Air-locks and impact tested PAS 68 products.

Our perimeter fencing and security barrier solutions offer the highest standard in security, having been designed and tested for anti-terror implementations and are particularly suitable for the protection of Data Centre’s. Many of our physical security solutions have undergone rigorous high impact testing to ensure their effectiveness in keeping your data safe from harm.

All are designed to address and solve the perimeter and entrance control issues thrown up by the growing risks of terrorism and organised crime.

High Security Fencing

The installation of high security fencing is a must for Data Centre’s and we supply and install fencing systems to meet the standards of BS1722, PAS and other security criteria.

The fencing systems we specify incorporate critical security requirements such as anti-tamper, anti-climb and anti-vandal features. The 358 Weld Mesh, heavy duty system is by far one of the most secure fences on the market, not least because of the tight fully welded mesh profile that prohibits footholds and therefore deters climbers.

  • High security
  • Tamper & vandal resistant fixings
  • Heavy duty mesh
  • Difficult to breach
  • Each gap is just 5mm
  • No footholds
  • No finger holds
  • No toe holds


High Security Vehicle Barriers




Detection systems that can provide a fast alert to perimeter intrusion are critical when it comes to Data Centre security.

Various models of PIDS sensors are available to cater for different types of application and risk. In essence though, nearly all are designed to identify the signals created by noises and vibrations during intrusion attempts.

With a proven track record, our specialist systems have been approved for use on high risk and enhanced security sites such as Data Centre’s and “CNI” sites – Critical National Infrastructure.

When combined with the physical delay factor and vibration transmission characteristics of a perimeter fence, fence attached PIDS using sensor cable make a successful attack an extremely rare event. Building mounted PIDS are also available as another line of defence.


Airlock ‘Man Traps’                             

Air-lock style security booths are the ultimate in high security entrance control.

Our security booths are ideal for low traffic volume locations where security is paramount. The units permit access for only one individual at a time and can be linked to identification systems including card readers and biometric identification. They can also be fitted with devices to detect concealed weapons and have the ability to detail the would-be criminal or terrorist if any such items are detected. Both the inner and outer doors can be bullet-proof, to ensure anyone detailed is kept safe and for the safety of passers-by.



Thermal Imaging, IR, White Light

  • 24/7 protection
  • Nowhere to hide
  • Detect in all weather & light conditions
  • Optimise CCTV performance

Intelligent Video Analytics

  • Analyse CCTV 24/7/365
  • Identify suspect behaviours in real time
  • i-Lids approved for Primary Intrusion
  • Reduce personnel costs

Digital Intercoms & Tannoys

  • Hi-def, digital audio
  • VoIP intercom with SIP support
  • Duplex speech
  • Noise cancellation

Thermal Imaging, IR, White Light


Stay protected no matter what the lighting conditions. Our Thermal, White Light & Infra Red solutions ensure that your Data Centre is always covered.

Thermal Protection

Thermal Network Cameras are a perfect complement to any security system that needs to secure an area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thermal network cameras create images based on the heat that always radiates from any object, vehicle or person. This gives thermal cameras the power to see through complete darkness and deliver images that allow operators to detect and act on suspicious activity. The cameras allow users to detect people, objects and incidents in complete darkness and difficult conditions such as smoke, haze, dust and light fog.

Perimeter protection is a key application for Thermal Cameras, especially in a Data Centre environment. Securing outdoor areas with traditional security cameras can be difficult. Wind, rain, shadows, bodies of water, can all very easily trigger motion detection alerts when there is really no threat. Using a Thermal camera to detect motion is a much more reliable way to receive alerts that your perimeter has been breached.



Infra Red & White light

The human eye cannot see infrared light, however most CCTV cameras can. As such, the invisible light can be used to illuminate a scene. This allows night time surveillance without the need for additional artificial lighting. Infrared also provides many other benefits above conventional lighting; IR beam-shapes can be designed to optimise CCTV camera performance, extended bulb-life, covert surveillance, lower running costs etc. 

  • Invisible to the Human Eye
  • No Light Pollution
  • Long Distance illumination
  • Designed for CCTV
  • Optimise Camera Performance

Every camera needs light to see and network cameras are no different. Network cameras need lighting to achieve high quality images at night, reduce their bandwidth and storage requirements and to allow faster frame rates. Without good lighting network cameras won’t live up to their full potential; they will not be able to deliver the superior resolutions they are capable of, and may overload a system with the large amount of data they generate.


Benefits of correctly illuminating your network camera:

  • High Quality Night-Time Images
  • Save up to 90% on bandwidth usage
  • Save up to 90% on storage space
  • Allows Higher Frame Rates
  • Allow Video Analytics to Work

  • VMS


Intelligent Video Analytics


Eliminate human error and reduce personnel costs with our Intelligent Video Analytics technology, enabling you to automatically process CCTV video for suspect behaviours. Data Centre’s demand advanced security and safety measures so as to prevent attacks and accidents with severe ramifications.

Video Analytics solutions are well suited to serving Data Centre’s and critical infrastructure sites as they effortlessly pinpoint security breaches, alert to safety hazards, protect valuable assets, provide data and information to enhance operational efficiency and offer powerful forensic analysis capabilities.


Video Analytics (or Intelligent Video Analytics) systems process live video in real time and send alerts when they recognise predefined events or behaviour. In this way it automates surveillance and so helps to eliminate the human error typically associated with CCTV monitoring. Video analytics also dramatically improves the effectiveness of CCTV as a computer processor can monitor many video channels simultaneously and continually without being prone to human errors through fatigue.

i-Lids Approved

Our Video Analytics solutions are Home Office i-Lids approved for Primary Level Intrusion. i-Lids is the government’s benchmark for video analytics systems. It has been developed by the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) in partnership with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). 

Real-time Detection of Perimeter Intrusion & Secure Zone Breaches

  • Detect breaches of a secure perimeter
  • Detect motion in restricted / sensitive zones
  • Detect entry into sensitive areas during non-operational hours
  • Detect unauthorized (tailgating) entry into secure zones
  • Detect blockages to fire and other emergency exits
  • Detect vehicles blocking emergency lanes or stopped in restricted zones
  • Detect objects left unattended for a pre-defined period of time in sensitive areas
  • Detect motion counter to the general traffic flow
  • Detect loitering in areas of interest
  • Detect stopped vehicles in no stopping zones
  • Detect camera blocking or tampering
  • Automatically track the movement of suspicious people and vehicles using PTZ cameras
  • Detect grouping in sensitive areas to avoid potential attacks or threats 


Other applications

  • Non Motion Detection of objects: for example no motion of abandoned vehicles in sensitive or high risk areas
  • Virtual Tripwire / Sterile Zone Monitoring: for use in applications like detecting intruders in high security or safety sensitive sites
  • Motion Direction of Objects: Identifying Counter Flow where people/traffic are moving in either a wrong or unexpected direction such as the wrong way in a one way system; also to identify people, vehicles etc.
  • Loitering Detection: loitering can quite often be a precursor to crime so a person or persons hanging around a site will be identified and the operator’s attention drawn to the situation
  • Tailgating in Access Control: to identify if an individual or vehicle follows too closely the person or vehicle in front to get past access controlled entrances or barriers

Digital Intercoms & Tannoys


Intercoms, video entry and tannoy / public address systems have come a long way since the days of crackly audio and dark images of visitors. Now with features such as HD Audio, direct calling, call transfers & escalation, PA functionality and group calls, ‘intercoms’ have become powerful communication devices directly applicable to the security industry.


When you add IP intercom and speakers to your building, your building becomes interactive. Security guards can talk to people they see on the video system instantly, regardless of distance. If the person is lost or simply needs assistance, it is easy for the people in charge to communicate directly. On the other hand, if a person has ill intent, security guards can interact and prevent an unwanted situation to develop. By combining audio, access control and cameras you get the ability to see, speak and listen.

Intercom features

  • Crystal clear audio
  • Amazing sound pressure level when needed
  • Background noise cancellation
  • Dirt, dust and water resistant – rating IP-66
  • Built to last with robust die-cast aluminium frame – rating IK 08
  • Designed according to norm for the hearing impaired
  • Supports wide set of IP and networking standards
  • Ideal for Building Security and Public Environments