IoT Blog | August, 2017
The data centre is the heart of the Internet of Things (IoT): it hosts the applications and platforms that let you manage your IoT devices. We provide a behind-the-scenes look at how we keep these vital facilities protected.
If you’ve never visited a modern data centre, you should try it sometime. They may look unassuming from the outside — often they appear much like warehouses or factories, sited on drab industrial estates. But inside they’re amazing places, full of noise, flashing lights and intricate bundles of cabling. Transmissions from all your IoT devices end up right here — in your data centre. It’s the heart of your IoT ecosystem.
Of course, that means it’s essential that the data centre does its job flawlessly. If it suffers an outage or a security breach, the consequences could be far-reaching.
That’s why data centre operators like Vodafone take security and resiliency very seriously. We do everything we can to ensure that our network and IoT platform, as well as the applications that we’re hosting for customers, are protected and available whenever they’re needed.
Turn up at the front gate and the first thing you’ll notice are the physical measures: the heavy locked doors, tall fences, and CCTV cameras. Inside, you’ll find locked cages around banks of servers. Much less visible, but no less important, are the redundant power and cooling, flood control barriers and early-warning fire suppression systems guarding against breakdowns and disasters. Even if the worst happens, and an entire data centre goes offline, our IoT platform, portal, API and associated systems are implemented across geographically separated sites with redundant hardware setup and automatic failover.
When it comes to digital security, our measures are no less thorough. Each hosting site is based on a tiered architecture model of discrete security zones, with strong firewall separation between each zone, state-of-the-art intrusion detection systems, and individual host-based controls.
Fundamental to security is making sure that only the right people have access to systems and data. We strictly control access to the IoT systems, whether that’s via the management portal or APIs. We provide comprehensive user access controls, enabling you to limit which individuals can access the management portal. Access rights can be limited by role. Whenever a user attempts to connect to our web portal, we verify them using two-factor authentication (with one-factor always certificate-based) and strong passwords, over HTTPS, and all access and activity is logged for forensic investigation. We have no access to any of your data — it goes straight to your data centre.
The data centres that host our platform, like all our data centres, are certified to ISO 27001 standards for data security, and ISO 22301 for business continuity. Many are also Uptime Institute Tier III and List X compliant and accredited to government standards for safely handling highly sensitive restricted data. What does that mean for you? You can be confident that, no matter how critical IoT is to your business, you can rely on our data centres to be up to the task.
Gartner has positioned Vodafone as a "Leader" in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide report 2017, for the fourth consecutive year