Checkmate Threats : Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu, Country Manager, India & SAARC Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

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There has been an impetus to build the Disaster Recovery Sites to run the Data Centre operations from a geographically different site in the event of the Primary DC failures”

How does one secure data centers?

Data Centre security is like an Airport security comprising of multiple layers of defense. The number and complexity of the defense layers depends on the business critical functions hosted in the data centre and their respective integration with the ecosystem entities. Every layer of defense is termed as the security control. In the state-of-art data centers besides security, the availability and applications performance are the critical functions as well. As a result most of the security controls deployed in data centers are built with high degree of redundancy and resilience. Moreover there has been an impetus to build the Disaster Recovery Sites to run the Data Centre operations from a geographically different site in the event of the Primary Data Centre failures. All these initiatives not only mitigate the menace of unauthorised, malicious, and intrusive attempts on the information but also ensure the availability of important information and services for the legitimate users at all the times. Security management is a vital component for assuring of efficacy and confidence of deployed security controls. All the data centre security controls are rendered ineffective if the Security Management Plane fails to deliver the comprehensive view to the real time and historical events.

On the event of a security lapse, how is data retrieved? What are the back ups that are thought about?

Depending on the maturity levels of the data centre, the recovery procedures are taken. If the hot standby DR infrastructure exists for the compromised infrastructure then the Business Continuity is resumed by triggering the Disaster Recovery Plan. However, if there is no availability of DR site, then critical data needs to be backed up at periodic intervals using variety of backup methods. In the event of data corruption or loss, the same can be restored to the recently backed up data contents.

Is there a threat on Critical Infrastructure from the terrorists? What are the measures to be taken in this regard?

First step would be towards empowering the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and enforcing better ties and communication between CERT and other agencies like IB, RAW, etc. There has to be a dedicated agency to proactively keep tracing these terrorist interactions over the wire. In order to circumvent the threat of national information theft all the access to such information has to be with PKI and Digital Certificates and need not be restricted to just SSL or IPSec. All banks should be mandated with Anti Money Laundering (AML) technologies and should be periodically audited for the assurance of the controls. All the telecom service providers should bundle the security solution along with WPA2 Wi-Fi security controls for their Home User and Small Office broadband subscribers. Check Point UTM-1 Edge, Safe@Office wireless access appliances support security policies utilising multiple SSIDs, WPA, WPA2, and MAC address filtering. Other security measures such as IPSec over WLAN and RADIUS are also supported.

Tannu Singh

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