Secure your storage servers

Security considerations for servers from the workgroup to the enterprise.

Secure your storage servers
Rick Cook

The biggest problem with the "stick-it-in-a-corner" school of installing storage devices such as servers, disk arrays and NAS filers is that it doesn't provide security for them. That leaves them vulnerable to everything from malicious employees to a janitor kicking the plug out of the wall.

From the workgroup to the enterprise, storage needs to be secured, just as LAN servers need to be secured. One of the elementary methods of securing storage is to put the devices under lock and key. This can be as simple as a locked (but well ventilated) cabinet containing the storage devices, to a separate room or closet where they are kept. If more than one person is authorized access to the area there should be a log showing with sign-in and sign-out for everyone who uses it.

The keys, cards or other access devices to the storage site need to be tracked and carefully accounted for. However it's also important that someone always be available on site that can get to the storage area if needed.

Astrum software has a white paper discussing planning physical space for storage at its web site (www.astrumsoftware.com) that includes a discussion of security.


Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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Related Book

CERT® Guide to System and Network Security Practices, The: The SEI Series in Software Engineering
Author : Julia H. Allen
Publisher : Addison Wesley
Published : Jun 2001
Summary :
This is an authoritative security handbook from the CERT Coordination Center, the oldest computer security response group in existence and part of the SEI Institute, and Carnegie Mellon University. With a practical, stepwise approach, the book shows students how to protect systems and networks against malicious and inadvertent compromise.


This was first published in July 2001

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