What happens if one day your systems administrator accidentally spills his morning coffee on the server rack and a critical portion of your core cryptographic infrastructure goes down? Does your organization have backup units that can continue processing data without interruption?
What if a fire leaves your data center out of service? Do you have another data center that can keep your infrastructure operational?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, you may need to reevaluate your infrastructure and your disaster recovery plans. The biggest weakness in any infrastructure is having a single point of failure. Your organization or agency can employ the most advanced technology, but if your entire infrastructure relies on a single device, or even multiple devices contained just within a single location, one outage can cripple your business.
A typical data security infrastructure may only have throughput requirements needing a single encryption device, such as a hardware security module (HSM) that is connected to a host application. But if either the host or the HSM fails or must be taken offline for any reason, the entire system becomes unavailable to all users.
From a disaster recovery perspective, the ideal data security infrastructure contains multiple encryption devices along with at least one centralized management device, split between multiple geographically separated data centers. In the Futurex Hardened Enterprise Security Platform, numerous Excrypt SSP9000 hardware security modules are managed by a Guardian9000 centralized management platform. If one HSM stops functioning or needs to be taken down for maintenance for any reason, the Guardian9000 will redistribute transactions to another HSM to prevent any downtime.
The Guardian9000 also intelligently monitors all transactions for potential fraud and technical issues and can send out customized notifications to systems administrators if any issues arise. This allows organizations to maintain 24x7x365 uptime, a necessity for any organization processing transactions or protecting sensitive data. To further increase redundancy, the data center can employ multiple Guardian9000s, each managing a number of HSMs. Every device is interconnected so that if one devices fails or must be taken offline, another device can is able to easily take over workload.
On a larger scale, a fully redundant and disaster-recovery prepared infrastructure will comprise numerous geographically dispersed data centers. For example, a global company many choose to have one data center in New York and another in London. In the instance that the New York data center goes offline, the London office is able to continue processing transactions, keeping the entire infrastructure up and running.
24x7x365 uptime is an absolute necessity for any organization. Healthcare providers must always have access to their patient data, retail outlets must always be able to process customer transactions, and banks must provide continuous access to their customers’ accounts. Organizations that actively seek to strengthen and improve their data security infrastructures will stay one step ahead of the curve, ensuring continued success.