The Top 5 Challenges of Data Disposal

The cost of a data breach can be astronomical. Each record lost is estimated to cost a business $141. While individually that doesn’t seem like much, consider the scale. When an enterprise business comes under attack, the number of records can mean a $3.62 million price tag. With businesses investing in more hardware—31 percent of IT budgets are earmarked for hardware purchases—it opens the door to a new possible security breach. Outdated hardware often contains sensitive information, meaning that businesses don’t just need to watch for frontline attacks, they also need to watch the back door of data disposal. When trying to keep data out of the wrong hands, several challenges present themselves.

1. Creating Clear Disposal Policies

When upgrading to new systems, tossing old systems into the trash or donating them to a nonprofit might seem like the most efficient solution, but without solid policies in place to guide when, and more importantly how, these disposal options are handled, you might be giving away your corporate data for free. A surprising amount of sensitive information may be stored locally on devices, making it important for your business to have a checklist in place for what to do with any decommissioned device that has internal storage.

2. Controlling Shadow IT Devices

Your company may not hand out flash drives or load data onto discs, but that doesn’t mean employees are as discriminating. To get the job done, employees will often adopt processes that don’t have a security-first mindset. For example, someone in marketing might download a list of leads to a flash drive for a quick handoff to the sales department. If that flash drive isn’t part of your IT inventory, how do you know what happens to it, and the data stored on the drive?

3. Managing BYOD Mobile Situations

Handing out smartphones to dozens or hundreds of employees can get expensive, which is why many companies have switched to a Bring Your Own Device model. When employees use their own phones to access sensitive information, they may not have enough security installed to protect it, and what happens to their existing phone when they upgrade? All of these questions should be part of any decisions about mobile policy and data access.

4. Decisions about Encryption vs. Erasure

Permanently deleting data from hard drives is virtually impossible, which may be one reason to implement physical destruction for older drives. With newer solid-state drives, sometimes encryption is a better solution than erasing data. After all, you have a limited nmumber of times you can re-write to these drives before they become inoperable. Top-level encryption can keep your data alost as secure, without the need for a NIST-licensed incinerator.

5. The Challenge of Total Data Destruction

Most storage devices don’t easily delete data. Shadows are left behind. With the right software, a hacker can come along behind you and recreate a lot of the content you ‘deleted.’ For actual data disposal, physical destruction of the storage device is the most secure method. That doesn’t mean taking a hammer to your old servers, but it does mean pulling your drives and sending them to a disposal facility. This process is time-consuming and expensive, so it should only be implemented for your most private storage units.

Many businesses are moving toward cloud-based solutions, in part to avoid some of these challenges. When your sensitive data is stored elsewhere, you don’t need to worry about disposal, though you will want to know how your vendor handles the issue.

Data Security Forecasts through 2020

When talking about technology, security is always a top-line issue. Data breaches are costly and a near-constant risk. Today, 54 percent of companies report being the victim of a successful cyber attack. Many companies faced with data loss never recover, so identifying and plugging holes in your security is a crucial task. With the number of cyber attacks always on the rise, you need to keep security at the forefront of your planning. Here are a few data security forecasts to watch for and possible solutions for the next few years.

  1. 99% of breaches exploit known risks. Cyber attacks happen, but the method of attack is often through a hole in security that has been identified for at least a year before the attack happens. Your security professionals know that an attack is possible, so be prepared to focus your efforts where they will do the most good—fixing known vulnerabilities.
  2. Shadow IT is a major risk factor. While many third-party programs offer big productivity boots, shadow IT solutions don’t come with the same protections as those deployed by your IT department. Google Docs might be a quick way to share information and get feedback, but it can also leave your documents exposed to hackers. Develop policies that inform and secure these shadowy programs so your business can stay agile without opening any doors to outsiders.
  3. Cloud-based solutions lead to flying attacks. Analysts predict that the cloud will be a standard part of any IT stack by 2020, which also leads to the need to protect that digital space. Since IT can’t secure cloud data with physical resources, data protection becomes the next best thing. Stronger encryption, better passwords, two-factor authentication, and other increasingly sophisticated strategies will be a must as the cloud becomes part of life on the ground for businesses.
  4. Be prepared to leave passwords behind. As recognition software platforms become more applicable, the need for passwords disappears. When software can use facial recognition, voice recognition or even your typing rhythm, you won’t need to remember a complex password or carry a security token to access systems. Start looking at these security options now, and be ready to deploy them as soon as you feel they are ready.
  5. Invest in IoT security. Predictions say IoT devices could be involved in up to 25 percent of cyber attacks, which means this is an area that needs some better defenses. This is particularly true when you realize that a recent HP report noted that 70 percent of common IoT devices have known security vulnerabilities. Since these devices provide a point of access, you really need to close the gates before malicious code jumps from the IoT to your secured network.

More technology options mean significant improvements to business processes. Unfortunately, this boost comes with the price tag of more attack vectors for malicious coders. More devices and more access points add up to more spending on IT security and education. Done right, IT security can be the guard dog it should be, sending the burglar on to the next, less protected house.

Aligned Energy Expands into Northern Virginia with New 180-Megawatt Data Center Campus

Aligned Energy Expands into Northern Virginia with New 180-Megawatt Data Center Campus

Adaptive data center to meet growing need for high-density, highly efficient and scalable colocation solutions in Ashburn

ASHBURN, VA — (Sept. 10, 2018) Aligned Energy, a leading data center provider offering innovative, sustainable and adaptable colocation and build-to-scale solutions for cloud, enterprise, and managed service providers, today announced its new 26-acre, 180-Megawatt master-planned data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

When complete, the campus will offer approximately 880,000 square feet of expandable space, drawing redundant, critical power from two on-site substations to service the IT operations of hyperscale and cloud service provider customers.

The campus’ initial 370,000-square-foot, 80 MW facility, followed by a 510,000-square-foot, 100 MW development, will sit atop major fiber and conduit routes, providing access to more than 50 carriers in the immediate area. Both facilities will feature Aligned Energy’s on-demand adaptable and intelligent, dynamic infrastructure, complete with its patented, award-winning data center cooling technology, which is purpose-built to support high, mixed, and variable power densities of 1-50kW per cabinet in the same footprint.

“Our new Ashburn data center campus addresses the needs of cloud providers and hyperscalers that demand a highly dynamic, scalable and future-proof data center solution,” said Andrew Schaap, CEO of Aligned Energy. “Data centers are the new engines of innovation for the 21st century, and we are delighted to provide Northern Virginia with an incredibly efficient and highly reliable colocation data center platform.”

This new campus is a strategic addition to Aligned Energy’s portfolio. With high-capacity, adaptive, and future-proof facilities in Dallas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and now Ashburn, Aligned Energy is well-positioned to service customer needs in the country’s fastest-growing data center markets.

Aligned Energy’s mission is to make data center critical infrastructure intelligent enough to continuously improve both its economic performance and environmental impact, delivering a noticeable business advantage. The company’s unique approach to infrastructure deployment allows it to deliver the data center platform like a utility – accessible and scalable as needed.  It also reduces the energy, water and space required to operate physical data center environments, significantly improving sustainability and yielding greater water usage effectiveness for customers.

From build-to-scale and customizable services, to rapid power and square footage scalability, to just-in-time provisioning and accelerated delivery schedules, Aligned Energy’s data center platform and business model are uniquely positioned to address the infrastructure needs of today’s hyperscalers and cloud service providers.

About Aligned Energy

Aligned Energy is an infrastructure technology company that offers adaptable colocation and build-to-scale solutions to cloud, enterprise, and managed service providers.  Our intelligent infrastructure allows us to deliver data centers like a utility—accessible and consumable as needed.  By reducing the energy, water and space needed to operate, our data center solutions, combined with our patented cooling technology, offer businesses a competitive advantage by improving reliability and their bottom line.  For more information, visit www.alignedenergy.com and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Media Contact

Kelly Hardwick

kelly@truepointagency.com
972.388.5526

Aligned Energy’s Hyperscale Infrastructure Offers Significant Competitive Advantage

Aligned Energy’s Hyperscale Infrastructure Offers Significant Competitive Advantage

Scalable technology enables rapid deployment and highly-reliable performance

DALLAS (August 14, 2018) – Aligned Energy, a leading data center provider, offers innovative and sustainable data centers composed of dynamic hyperscale infrastructure, scaling to support various IT densities specific to customer demand. With built-in power and patented cooling technology, Aligned Energy’s hyperscale deployments are efficient, adaptable, and sustainable.

“Our scalable technology offers customers significant advantages, allowing them the ability to deploy a variety of densities when and where needed,” said Andrew Schaap, CEO of Aligned Energy. “We pre-fabricate components for easy, fast, and efficient positioning so customers can scale vertically or horizontally and support 1-50kW per rack within the same row.”

Aligned Energy’s award-winning data center cooling technology removes heat, instead of forcing cool air into a data hall. Factory-built eSYNC absorption units capture and remove heat at its source, resulting in a hyper-scalable and highly-efficient environment that constantly adapts to changing IT loads. This cooling technology is efficient in any climate, with an industry-leading power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15.

With the capability to support high, mixed, and variable power densities, Aligned Energy’s facilities allow customers to adapt to changing demand consistently. Because the eSYNCs are close-coupled with racks, the heat removal system instantly adapts to server demand. The variable fan speeds and pumps respond in real-time to changing loads to maintain system responsivity that meets customer’s current and future demands.

Clients rely on Aligned Energy’s future-proof hyperscale solutions that dynamically adjust consuming less space, electricity and water for significant cost savings. Aligned Energy’s hyperscale cooling technology utilizes up to 80 percent less energy and 85 percent less water to reduce resource usage and lessen the environmental impact.

About Aligned Energy
Aligned Energy is an infrastructure technology company that offers colocation and build-to-scale solutions to cloud, enterprise, and managed service providers. Our intelligent infrastructure allows us to deliver data centers like a utility—accessible and consumable as needed. By reducing the energy, water and space needed to operate, our data center solutions combined with our patented cooling technology offer businesses a competitive advantage by improving reliability and their bottom-line.

Media Contact

Kelly Hardwick

kelly@truepointagency.com
972.388.5526

Energy Efficiencies with Older Data Centers: What challenges do they face?

The environmental cost of data centers is on the rise, with energy topping the list of concerns. While these centers provide massive amounts of digital storage and grow compute power for businesses and consumers, the operational costs of these centers aren’t only measured in dollars.

Hidden Costs of Digital Technologies

Newer data centers consume a fraction of the amount of energy and other resources to run, but older centers face the challenge of delivering similar levels of service at a much higher run rate. The capital cost of new centers is staggering with an estimated $20 billion annual price tag, but the continuing energy consumption of older centers is an even greater challenge. Currently, data centers use 3 percent of the global electricity supply and pollute as much as all airlines combined. Stack that energy usage next to data needs doubling every two years and you can see the cliff approaching in the near future.

Light the World with Simple Searches

It’s easy to ignore the ecological impact of digital technologies, especially since these technologies rarely make it to the forefront. Instead of producing products, these systems run production. They are the invisible helper behind everything from hailing a cab to manufacturing a bar of soap. And, older data centers are anything but green. Google estimated that a single search used as much electricity as a 60-watt bulb for 17 seconds. That might not seem like much until you realize that this search engine process 1.2 trillion requests each year.

Simply storing and accessing data eats a lot of power, but that problem is compounded by the fact that it can cost as much to cool these systems as it does to run them.

Overcoming Energy Issues

Turning older data centers into energy efficient operations depends on two factors:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable resources

For new centers, this has driven construction in areas where renewable energy or alternative cooling solutions are readily accessible like Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. For older centers, the location is already set, but that doesn’t mean energy usage must remain static. Older data centers can retrofit their existing systems with modern techniques for cooling and balancing energy usage. The Federal Energy Management Program demonstrated the viability of this option with a 31 percent drop in PUE.

Start with Modular Cooling

At Aligned Energy, we target the cooling end of the power problem. Since cooling can cost as much as operations, we focus on providing a system that helps you keep temperatures optimal without draining local water supplies or spiking the electric grid. Our industry leading 1.15 PUE helps reduce costs and drives toward the goal of energy-efficient operations. Plus, keeping water use low (our system uses 1/10 the water of historical data centers) tackles the next environmental issue looming for data centers. Update existing centers for the future using modular cooling at the point of heat and see a reduction in continued energy costs. It’s a win for everyone.