Why Transparency in Server Manufacturing and Supply Chain is Crucial for Data Center Security
With the rapid digitization of the world at large, data centers have become a crucial keystone to the modern economy. Data center security is top of mind these days, as growing stakes come with growing risks. In just this year, there have already been several high-profile ransomware attacks that affected businesses and even governments. Cybersecurity firm Cyble has found over 20,000 instances of DCIM (data center infrastructure management) systems that are publicly exposed on the Internet, vulnerable to hackers that can tamper with cooling systems, power supplies, or backup processes. Cyberattacks aside, hardware and supply chains can also be prone to security breaches, an issue of growing concern after investigations in recent years found spyware chips on the motherboards of a major global server provider.
You can protect your data center against these looming threats with a complete, multi-layered security approach, starting with the physical hardware platform – a secure server can provide the initial protections on which trusted higher-layer security controls can be added. But how do you know which servers and vendors can be trusted to keep your data secure? As a long-time manufacturer of servers running behind the scenes in some of the biggest companies in the world, we have learned that transparency in the manufacturing and supply chain is crucial to creating trustworthy and reliable products.
When looking for hardware providers, here are the five things you should consider:
1. Transparency about manufacturing facilities and processes
Does the company have a quality management system that covers all product lines and supply chains? Are there routine reviews in place to find ways to refine and improve existing processes? One way to test a company’s transparency is to ask for a tour at their manufacturing locations. A trustworthy provider should be comfortable putting their facilities and processes on display.
2. Transparency about raw material source and certified suppliers
Does the company have policies and information around raw materials, especially conflict minerals? Do they have stringent vetting processes for their suppliers that ensure compliance with the company’s material and labor policies? Not only should you be confident in the hardware created by your provider, you should be confident in the materials they are using in their products.
3. Transparency about labor and work conditions
What are the company’s labor policies and protections? Companies that are transparent about factory work conditions, employee benefits, and fair wages exhibit a higher level of work ethic that could indicate attention to detail and prioritization of security in the manufacturing process.
4. Automation in manufacturing processes
Automation and data-driven processes in manufacturing ensure high quality and precision, and reduce human error and potential for tampering. To provide robust, cutting-edge technology solutions for increasingly complex data center workloads, hardware providers should always be looking for more ways to streamline their processes while ensuring the highest levels of production capabilities.
5. Innovation and openness throughout the supply chain
Ultimately, a trustworthy server manufacturer should always prioritize transparency and security throughout the supply chain process, constantly seek innovation, and be open to feedback and opportunities for improvement.
With decades of history and experience in server manufacturing, Inspur’s production capabilities have undergone many changes over the years. Our Joint Design Manufacturing model allows Inspur’s production facilities and operations to be lean and agile to serve our clients’ evolving needs, necessitating ongoing assessment, improvement and optimization. Recently, Inspur was recognized as an ICD Supply Chain leader for our resilience and reliability and awarded for excellence by Harvard Business Review for our agile, flexible, and secure supply chain. Many of Inspur’s products have also been certified by Intel® Trusted Supply Chain to provide deeper product transparency and provenance. Inspur continues to strive for more innovative and effective ways to deliver trusted and resilient technology solutions to customers.
Learn more about Inspur’s manufacturing capabilities here.