data on green background

Physically protecting data, your most valuable resource

Data is the oil of the digital era [1], rising in recent years to become the world’s most valuable resource. In this digital age, enterprises of all sizes rely on data centres – offsite or onsite – to store networked computers, confidential information and other critical assets.

The importance of data centres makes them a highly desirable target for criminals seeking to cause widespread disruption. IT security managers are responsible for keeping these facilities and their assets secure.

Unfortunately, cybercrime continues to proliferate. Incidents of data breaches and theft are shockingly high; in 2019, over 292 million people across the globe were affected by such breaches [2].

In a rush to secure networks, servers and endpoint devices, many organisations have overlooked risks hidden in the physical infrastructure necessary to operate data centres securely.

Physical entry to a data centre should be strictly controlled, with procedures to monitor and manage pedestrian access inside and within the data centre. In such environments, entrance control has two key aims; Fastlane turnstiles and Door Detective products satisfy both:

  1. Prevent unauthorised people from entering the facility beyond reception or other restricted areas.
  2. If an intruder enters, quickly detect and identify the suspect so the correct response can be deployed.

Our Fastlane range can integrate with every known access control system to enforce your building entry procedures and ensure visitors are always identified.

Whether issuing authorised cards or verifying identity with biometrics, the intelligent technology in Fastlane turnstiles allow entry based on thousands of calculations per second.

They also look for luggage being pulled, tailgating, unauthorised passages and much more. These entrance systems can process up to 60 authorised people per minute.

If an unauthorised access attempt or an irregular traffic flow is detected, an alarm sounds to alert security staff. If integrated with a CCTV system,images of the breach and the suspected intruder are captured. They can be quickly reviewed to identify the people involved.

The individual might be recognised as a friend who forgot their key card that day and tailgated a fellow employee. However, it could be a foe intent on crime, in which case the company can deploy the correct response before damage is done.

Your people might be your biggest threat

Tailgating is the act of following someone unauthorised through an entry system and is a widely accepted security threat [3]. The follower is at fault, even if there is no intent to deceive or cause harm. The person being followed may not even be aware of the act.

You need to be able to detect any occurrence of these kinds of access events and deal with them. You can read more about the differences between tailgating and collusion here.

The threat of collusion by staff cannot be underestimated [4]. A malicious person can cause significant damage to a data centre facility, even if they have limited technical ability.

All staff should be regularly trained to spot possible cases of malicious intent. They must also follow the physical security policy, so they don’t unwittingly collude with an intruder who ‘forgot’ their card.

An extra layer of detection

A bank of security turnstiles will prevent unknown individuals from entering the building. These units won’t, however, prevent authorised individuals within your organisation – including temporary contractors – from accessing sensitive areas beyond the reception.

No matter how rigorous your background checks, can you ever be sure that your employees won’t pose a threat?

A number of leading social media providers have installed our Door Detective products at their sites across EMEA to protect the more sensitive areas of their data centres. The Fastlane Door Detective range reinforces access control systems. This innovative technology provides an extra layer of security and detection by monitoring the throughput of internal access-controlled areas to enforce the ‘one person, one door access’ rule.

Multiple infrared beams monitor movement in both directions each time someone presents their credentials. Alarms sound when an access violation is identified so that staff can respond to it. If integrated with Fastlane FastCount, real-time building population data shows how many people are currently in areas of the building.

You can even incorporate Door Detective with other access control systems, for example, facial recognition technology. Authorised users must then pass multiple verification checks before being granted access.

Are you underestimating physical risks to your data? Get in touch on 020 8890 5550 or to learn how entrance control products can help protect your most valuable resource.


[1] accessed 17.10.22

[2] accessed 17.10.22

[3] accessed 17.10.22

[4] accessed 17.10.22


In other news:

How does entrance control and access control work?

There’s something about Mindy: Meet Mindy Manotta, Accounts Assistant at IDL

Turnstiles or security guards: how turnstiles and humans support one another