Partner Jared W. Hays is quoted in the Legaltech News article “Access Denied: Data Centers' ‘No-Entry’ Policies May Benefit Law Firms.” The piece explores the impact for law firms of data centers implementing “no-entry” policies, prohibiting visitors, customers, customers’ contractors, and non-critical employees and vendors from facilities in light of COVID-19. Hays noted that even prior to the pandemic, most colocation facilities and data centers limited entrance, “Even in normal times, there’s really mostly restrictive access.” He added that data centers, as standard operating procedure, require several levels of approval and security checks and visitor badges and escort visitors to final destinations.
Hays cautioned that firms should check a new “no-entry” policy against their contract and also confirm that is in accordance with local statues regarding restricting access. “There could be liability for a provider in these types of restrictions. I think it’s important from the provider’s perspective that they word their policies carefully and try to limit the amount they are restricting access to what is only necessary.” He adds that the newly restrictive policies are not a guard against all risk. While many cyber risk surveillance and mitigation tools are available to data center employees’ remotely, malfunctions may be possible with fewer employees present. “Where I would be concerned [is] when we are having to delay preventive maintenance and delay inspections. If we are not checking, our hardware might have problems down the road. If you put that stuff off too long, the risk of electrical and mechanical failure increases because it’s not supposed to operate so long without that maintenance.”
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