Implementing a Data-centric Approach
Reducing costs is as equally important goal in operating an enterprise
- By Kim Rahfaldt
- Aug 01, 2017
A company is much more complex than an IT department
or a number of buildings. It is always evolving
and adding more servers, buildings and systems, and
therefore, obtaining more risk, costs and threats. As
COOs look at the multitude of objectives across an
organization, they need to evaluate how to increase profits, manage
risk, or provide a cost-effective route for improving processes, managing
incidents, or securely operating an enterprise.
To manage risk, organizations must manage people and the systems
they utilize. Using a dashboard to manage system intelligence
will identify behaviors, reduce costs and mitigate risk. How does an
organization accomplish this? How can security managers and CLevel
executives understand how applying a data-centric approach
can eliminate data silos, combat convergence of IT/OT and reduce
the multitude of risks an organization faces?
First, an organization must determine the types of data to collect
to help protect business and mitigate risk. To best protect assets, people
and infrastructure, it’s best to collect access control, video, visitor
management, case management, burglar/fire, BMS and IT data.
Companies normally collect much of this type of data, but don’t use
it to make good business decisions. Analyzing the data to centrally
manage business will help organizations become more efficient.
Once the data is collected, organizations must:
- Eliminate silos and analyze data simultaneously
- Centrally manage the data
- Improve efficiencies based on new information learned
Organizations must use this information to not only operationalize
their business to improve processes and meet compliance, but to
best protect their people, property, and assets. Streamlining all data
into one dashboard using a data-centric approach will narrow the
gap between physical and cyber security and help predict behavior
Key Issues with Collecting Data
Interconnectivity. Most of the systems and sensors do not talk to one
another and have different device standards.
Information Overload. A typical dashboard can only show so
much information and the human brain can only assimilate and sort
through so many inputs at one time.
Large and unstructured data streams pose challenges; Hard to
understand and recognize patterns in the data. Some of which can be
overwhelming in volume and unstructured.
Turning data into intelligence requires a combination of elements.
Within a security framework, using a deliberate posture and roadmap
to understand the interacting systems and use cases is key to driving
better outcomes. Ultimately, the key systems need to lie within the
overall security apparatus.
Case Study, Digital Realty
Digital Realty supports the data center, colocation and interconnection
strategies of more than 2,300 firms across its secure, network-rich
portfolio of data centers located throughout North America, Europe,
Asia and Australia. Digital Realty’s clients include companies
all over the world, of all sizes, ranging from financial services, cloud
and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, gaming,
life sciences and consumer products. By implementing a data
centric approach, they were able to streamline operations, while offering
a more consistent, qualitative and cost effective solution to their
customers across their portfolio of data centers.
Here are some key results:
- Implementing a self-service visitor process decreased the risk associated
with manual access assignment, reducing man hours by
- Reviewing the combined visitor and alarm activity periods, provided
an opportunity for an 18 percent annual reduction on guard
- System growth translated to 24 percent increase in support services.
Digital Realty used data to validate the anticipated increase
- Excessive alarms resulted in response complacency. The data collected
justified changing Design Engineering Guidelines and operating
procedures. Now responses to actual events are consistent,
providing a more secure environment and streamlined operation.
Adopting a data-centric approach helps organizations reduce
costs, mitigate risk and meet compliance. Customers can reduce costs
by operationalizing existing security infrastructure on a global scale,
reduce manual processes that are labor intensive, repetitive and error
prone, and future proof investment by enabling new technology.
Organizations can mitigate risk by standardizing their security
processes, and ensuring the right people, places and authorizations
are in place.
Implementing a data-centric approach will
help companies meet government, organizational
and industry regulations. They can monitor
infractions and enforce security policies and
rules, while creating automated reports and audit
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of Security Today.