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News

Tagged key management improves security at BT

Traka : 09 September, 2013  (Application Story)
A BT data centre in Wales has bolstered its security system with the use of a centrally managed key distribution and tracking system
Tagged key management improves security at BT

Management systems from Traka are being used by BT to track keys at its £90m flagship International Data Centre in Cardiff Bay, Wales.

Operations at the centre are supported by stringent security measures which ensure access to and within the building is controlled and restricted to authorised personnel whose use of site keys can be seen with clear audit trail capability.

Occupied by 250 staff who manage the diverse requirements of BT’s hosting and managed service customers worldwide, the International Data Centre is a 60,000 sq. ft. facility on three floors with many areas which only authorised personnel can access.

Philip Richards of BT Security said:  “There is no doubt as to the extensive demand for Internet-related services such as web and content hosting, web design and data management across homes and businesses on a global basis.

“The BT International Data Centre in Cardiff stands as a globally inspiring ‘hub’ of creativity and development.  It has a multi-layer security mechanism, both physical and logical, enabling us to provide the extremely high levels of security demanded by many of our customers.

“Every element of the security is critical, but perhaps the most resource-heavy is key management. We have invested in the most sophisticated, Internet- enabled biometric scanning system possible but essentially, if keys go missing, then security is swiftly breached.  Traka was a critical component to protect the key systems in place and maintain overall security on site.”

Traditionally, keys had been stored in a key box and managed manually through use of a log book. But management access to crucial IT equipment can be a time-intensive process with exposure to possible security breaches through lost keys or unauthorised staff mistakenly gaining access. The system needed to be optimised.

Traka's solution means all keys on site are permanently attached (using a tamper-proof security seal) to a metal iFob so as to effectively ‘electronically tag’ the keys with unique identities.

The iFob, with keys attached, locks into a receptor strip within a key cabinet until released by an authorised user via a fully automated and audited process. Traka cabinets, as installed at this location are run with powerful software and can be networked across numerous locations on sites while being managed by one central administrator.

Since installing the Traka system, BT has seen vast improvement in its access management. Not only is there less misplacement of keys but the time spent managing the process has been greatly reduced and the overall security of equipment improved due to the automated authorisation system. Personnel simply cannot access areas or use technology if they are not authorised to do so.

A further benefit is that user profiles uploaded to the Traka system contain training details for all staff. This alerts managers when machine licences need to be renewed and staff re-trained, so avoiding time-intensive manual tracking of staff qualifications.

Paul Mazaher, Major Accounts Sales Manager at Traka said: “As data becomes more business-critical for BT customers and for the company itself, the need for failsafe secure data centres to create and deliver new IT solutions is vital.

He continued: “Even when it came to security systems, BT Cardiff looked for inspirational technology and Traka systems have been an integral part of the security infrastructure for over a decade.  The benefit to BT is the significant cost and efficiency savings for the security team, as every key and electronic card is accounted for at all times even without the team being on site.”

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