Over the next few weeks, one seemingly insignificant word will surely capture the interest and scrutiny of countless media outlets – PRISM. The NSA, FBI, and several technology firms have entered into a mutual agreement that provides the government program known as PRISM with access to personal data gleaned from a variety of these tech companies. Internet service providers and popular social media sites like Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, and YouTube have agreed to allow PRISM unprecedented access to the online transcripts, records, and files of millions of users. While this is bound to become a hot-button political issue in the coming days, it does raise an interesting question – the NSA PRISM program notwithstanding, how secure is your data?
Investigating the fundamental design of a Google data center provides an example of the steps that a major tech firm takes to safeguard against data intrusion. The accompanying infographic helps to illustrate how the many layers of security in a high-end data center keep your data safe around the clock. Spanning several hundred thousand square feet and located among thirteen independent sites, Google data centers are built to withstand threats both internal and external. Google data centers, which are capable of handling over two billion web pages per day, maintain the security that is both physical and virtual in nature. NSA data centers are equally as sophisticated and will be sure to draw additional inquiry and scrutiny as news about the PRISM program continues to unfold.
At a Google data center site, barriers are employed that help prevents physical intrusion of the actual data center, and well as biometric and badging systems to control the flow of people and data in each center. All of this technology doesn't come cheap – one Google data center can use as much electrical power as one-sixth of the population of Denver, Colorado. At Google, data center security is of paramount importance. This infographic displays some of the more innovative ways in which Google, along with some of the other big tech firms, works tirelessly to protect the data of personal and business users – both foreign and domestic.