Free Cyber Security Analysis

Download our paper to learn more about this new threat to Data Centres.

Most people think that Cyber Attacks are only on data systems, but this is now old news. The equivalents to Data Centre Operational Technology (DCOT) in other industries are being used by Cyber Criminals to wreak havoc.

It’s time to take a look at the DCOT, which is around the building and infrastructure that houses the racking, to see where the threats to your Data Centre lie.

Examples such as the major Cyber Attack on Honda in June 2020 demonstrate that specific ransomware is being designed to attack industrial control system networks – their equivalent of DCOT. In this example, Honda announced that it was forced to put production on hold at plants in the UK, North America, Italy and Japan, which suggests that it was their manufacturing systems that were attacked, rather than their business systems.

Our Managing Director Mike West says: “The biggest loss to a Data Centre in the end, is that of trust. If the very company that houses its customers’ precious IT assets, has allowed a data breach in its own systems or facility infrastructure, the resultant loss in confidence can be difficult to recover from. With technology companies standing to lose more than the average in terms both of money and reputation, it is not a situation that a responsible stakeholder can ignore.”

In our paper, we look at the specific risks to Data Centres through the Operational Technology, the potential costs based on industry examples to date, the sizes and locations of Data Centres that are most under threat, a recent case study, and some potential solutions to consider.

Download DCOT Cyber Threat Paper

You can set up an initial virtual presentation of around an hour, which outlines our solution to this threat, by contacting mike.west@dia.ltd or call +44 (0) 7768 557 191

Common vulnerabilities in the building infrastructure of global Data Centres are being overlooked, leaving them open to Cyber Attack

We have launched a new service to address serious risks, which are currently being widely overlooked within the Data Centre industry. As a Darktrace Certified Partner we are using its Cyber AI platform to enable us to concentrate on the potentially exposed Facility Critical Infrastructure Networks (FCINs) that surround a Data Centre.

Throughout industry, the threat has long been identified, with security for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) being protected from Cyber Threat, but one of a Data Centre’s biggest weaknesses remains its infrastructure. This could prove extremely damaging if not addressed with some urgency.

We are bringing together the Darktrace expertise in protecting corporate and industrial networks, with our experience in the Data Centre sector.

Despite the increasingly critical role Data Centres play in business, and arguably because of their progressive size and complexity, they are underserved from the FCIN security perspective. One of a number of FCINs common to every Data Centre, is the network that supports its building systems. This includes security systems, access control, power, cooling, IoT devices & sensors, fire & life safety systems, remote monitoring tools, building management systems, as well as control systems on multiple networks, which have many protocols and platforms such as BacNet, ModBus, SCADA, TCPIP, and others.

This network offers a ‘back door’ for hackers and rogue insiders to compromise the ICT infrastructure they support, leading to downtime, breached security and broken SLAs.

Our CEO Mike West says, “The hackers themselves are becoming ever more sophisticated and are broadening their targets. We see increasing threats to Data Centres, with a worrying number of examples of utilities and industrial facilities being compromised.”

Darktrace spokesperson Sam Alderman-Miller commented, “We have a global ‘Solutions for Industry Challenges’ programme and at the current time there is an opportunity for Digital Infrastructure Advisors to establish a leadership position in the Data Centre Industry and take advantage of our ‘proof of value’ trials to establish the value of the Darktrace Enterprise Immune System and demonstrate a ‘step change’ in the security of the Data Centre facilities throughout its global network.”

Mike West agrees, “We have recognised a key vulnerability in the Data Centre sector. We identified that Darkspace is unique in the self-learning Enterprise and Industrial Cyber solutions it offers. Working together, we are uniquely placed to support already overstretched security and IT teams in protecting every corner of their networks.”

In order to prove its value, Digital Infrastructure Advisors will provide a free thirty-day report on the complete Cyber situation within a Data Centre’s building systems network, to those who take up the offer of a free trial of the Darktrace solution.

If you would like to discuss taking advantage of this, please contact +44 7768 557 191 or email mike.west@dia.ltd

Financial due diligence

DIAL were appointed by a leading US Investment Firm, as part of a proposed debt refinance transaction, to carry out a Fast-track due diligence assignment on a Regional Datacenter Operator in South Central USA.

Expertise. Support. Processes.

Data center financial due diligence

The key objectives of the assignment was to review the primary aspects of the business plan over the term of the proposed finance and included

Highly responsive expertise

Given the fast-track nature of the assignment an initial desktop study was carried out followed by site visits, with daily updates and summary reports. Despite the fast-track and high-level nature of the assignment the DIAL team were able to provide valuable insight, helping the investor to make a better-informed decision on this deal, whilst providing valuable advice to the operator during the process.

How the client benefited

In this example we see the Investment team, taking the time to better understand underlying infrastructure and how it impacts the business plan and asset value going forward. The DIAL team are uniquely positioned to understand the multi-faceted nature of existing facilities and provide insight to the risks, but also opportunities, for the operator which could deliver better upside for the investor. Moving forward we see investors becoming more ‘hands on’ and using the DIAL team to support their investments.
How you can benefit from our expertise.

Whilst recent trends have seen a focus on large scale Data Centre projects, we also see the emergence of the regional data centre and telco market. Although many small and medium sized facilities in commercial buildings and POP sites supporting legacy services are reaching the end of their service life, the locations are often well suited to Edge computing requiring a complete refresh and updated approach. DIAL is bridging the gap between commercial and technical real estate and edge computing to create innovative technical and funding solutions.

How the client benefited

In this example we see the Investment team, taking the time to better understand underlying infrastructure and how it impacts the business plan and asset value going forward. The DIAL team are uniquely positioned to understand the multi-faceted nature of existing facilities and provide insight to the risks, but also opportunities, for the operator which could deliver better upside for the investor. Moving forward we see investors becoming more ‘hands on’ and using the DIAL team to support their investments.
How you can benefit from our expertise.

Whilst recent trends have seen a focus on large scale Data Centre projects, we also see the emergence of the regional data centre and telco market. Although many small and medium sized facilities in commercial buildings and POP sites supporting legacy services are reaching the end of their service life, the locations are often well suited to Edge computing requiring a complete refresh and updated approach. DIAL is bridging the gap between commercial and technical real estate and edge computing to create innovative technical and funding solutions.

How you can benefit from our expertise

Whilst recent trends have seen a focus on large scale Data Centre projects, we also see the emergence of the regional data centre and telco market. Although many small and medium sized facilities in commercial buildings and POP sites supporting legacy services are reaching the end of their service life, the locations are often well suited to Edge computing requiring a complete refresh and updated approach. DIAL is bridging the gap between commercial and technical real estate and edge computing to create innovative technical and funding solutions.

Satisfying real estate, IT and investment criteria objectives

DIAL was appointed and acting in partnership with an international real estate and infrastructure fund to explore an interesting commercial property acquisition with a data centre twist on the US West Coast.

Expertise. Support. Processes.

Virtual develoment manager

The DIAL team acted as the investment fund’s virtual development manager to assess the long term potential of the deal and in particular the option of developing a modern data centre facility.

The deal was based on the disposal of a commercial building by a global 500 company, the building incorporated a corporate data centre with the complication that an existing occupier of the data centre was required to continue to deliver services after the building was sold.

In order to act quickly DIAL established a JV business to support the deal and to negotiate with the real estate broker, whilst investigating and evaluating the options for the site.

An international team was assembled to evaluate the site options and provide valuations of the building based on the development options.

Our Objectives

The primary objective was to establish the suitability of redeveloping the existing building as a modern data centre and creating an additional facility on the adjacent land.

The technical team engaged with the local planning authorities and power providers to establish the parameters for the development and established a new site master plan based on modern data centre requirements and the local market opportunity.

Creative thinking

The resulting evaluation identified a number of challenges and limitations with the initial data centre development ambitions so alternative development options were also evaluated.

The DIAL team reworked the financial model based on a sale and partial leaseback model working with the incoming investors to take a medium term view on returns based on a scaled back data centre development and re-purposing the building for commercial office use as the base case. If needed the DIAL team would take operational responsibility of the data centre for the duration of the ICT providers contract to minimise risk othe lease back element of the proposed transaction.

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