Intelligent Data Centres Issue 40 | Page 21


Is your lighting compromising your data security ?

Steve Mansell , Divisional Director Critical Facilities , Zumtobel Group , discusses how building services such as lighting and controls could be increasing your risk of compromised data security .

If you ’ re in the business of data , you ’ ll know that it ’ s a valuable asset that must be protected . You ’ ll also be acutely aware that wherever there is data , there is risk and not just to your data . Physical security – the protection of people , property and assets – should also be considered for potential vulnerabilities .

While data centres are famously secure , ‘ six layers deep ’ in some cases , data theft still occurs . With a number of high-profile cases in the media , questions have been rightly raised over cybersecurity in the Internet-of-Things ( IoT ) and unfortunately , lighting and lighting control systems are not immune .
The potential threats
Data centre operators have come to expect that the products installed within their data hall meet certain criteria . Equipment should save energy , be sustainably sourced , but most of all , be safe and secure . However , technology is not without its vulnerabilities ; we have all heard ‘ that case ’ with regards to ‘ substandard ’ data centres , security breaches and spying . As more things become connected , new levels of exposure are being discovered .
Considerations for a connected lighting system
Physical security It is important to note that connected ( wired ) lighting systems without an IP address only communicate within your building . They pose a relatively lowsecurity risk because a person has to be in the facility to attack the system . For example , a conventional wired DALI lighting control system could only be breached if the attacker physically connected to the network .
Device-to-device security
Lighting and control systems in a wireless network communicate outside of the building . It is common practice to use encryption , which means only devices with the correct ‘ key ’ can communicate with your system . Correct commissioning is therefore vital .
We know that for some businesses , the fear of the unknown makes them reluctant to embrace and invest in new technologies through the fear of being exposed to potential attacks . They instil a culture of ‘ if it ’ s not broken , it doesn ’ t need to be fixed ’, but with cyberattacks increasing in sophistication , there is every reason www . intelligentdatacentres . com