Today’s smartphone technology offers features and capabilities unimagined just a few years ago, with thousands of apps that make these powerful
digital tools an individual’s primary link to the world
With the ability to do everything from shopping and
paying bills, to staying on top of emails and tracking
package delivery in real time, designers across industries
are looking at ways to harness this technology to
enhance the physical security of equipment as well — in
particular, the data center cabinets housing the physical
infrastructure that our digital world depends on.
Securing the Data Center
For the data center manager, the only constant is
change. New upgrades and server installations, as well
as modifying networking or decommissioning systems
and services, present a crucial challenge: managing the
physical security of sensitive equipment.
With these activities, the risk of security breaches
intensifies, especially when service technicians and
contractors need to access equipment to perform routine
troubleshooting and maintenance. This has created a
need for an efficient, highly secure, and fully trackable
means of granting time-based access to carry out these
tasks — and apply it to multiple locations from the
remote central office.
Many data center managers are choosing to integrate
electronic access solutions to more efficiently control
and monitor access at the rack level. Compared to lock-and-key systems, which are operated with keys that can
be misplaced or stolen, electronic access solutions offer
enhanced access control.
So how does a new technician or contractor receive
an access credential in real time from a remote central
office? By using their Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.
Using Smartphones as Keys
Bluetooth technology offers a user-centric, streamlined
solution for the remote management of user credentials.
When connected with cloud-based applications,
Bluetooth-enabled devices – like a cell phone – can be
used as a key.
Electronic access solutions that integrate Bluetooth
controllers offer a simple solution. Time-based virtual
keys can be sent wirelessly to a smartphone application
via a cloud-based web portal. The technician then opens
the app to see any virtual keys they have received,
along with the associated locked equipment location,
description, and period of access time.
The visitor approaches the secured data center
entrance, clicks the access button on their phone app,
which transmits the encrypted Bluetooth signal to the
reader, unlocks the lock and sends a record of the access
via the smartphone’s network connection to the cloud.
This allows the data center manager to monitor access
wirelessly, without having to connect to existing security
networks. If necessary, Bluetooth solutions can also be
integrated with existing building security systems to
provide facility-wide monitoring and access control.
Managing Time-Based Access
Using Bluetooth lock controllers adds a new layer of
security that helps the data center manager to more
easily schedule, control, and track movement in and out
of the facility. The Bluetooth controller can be used to
add or delete electronic keys remotely, ensuring that only
authorized personnel have access to sensitive equipment
and information during a specified time frame.
Fig1: When connected with cloud based applications,
Bluetooth lock controllers allow Bluetooth-enabled
smartphones to be used as a key to access data center
cabinets and equipment. (Images courtesy of Southco)