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Image of a control room with text overlay: "The Unique Design Needs of a Cyber Security Control Room"

The Unique Design Needs of a Cyber Security Control Room

Not all rooms are created equal. Mission critical spaces require more careful planning than most. With complex functions and demanding requirements, these critical environments have unique design needs.

As the global economy continues to digitize and data serves as a lucrative pull for criminals, cyber security control rooms have moved more to the forefront of mission critical. In fact, cyber security is becoming so important that in 2021, the White House issued an executive order mandating the improvement of the nation’s cyber security.

If your organization is looking to create a cyber security control room to manage the difficult cyber landscape, we can help. There are several unique design needs to keep in mind when planning your cybersecurity center. Here are a few:

Future proofing

Future proofing an operations center means designing it with dynamic flexibility to support potential future changes such as equipment upgrades or shifts in operational processes. When creating your cyber security control room, it’s important to build in features that allow it to shift with future needs. These features can include:

  • Simplified user controls for ease of use
  • A user interface that allows for quick display changes for shift of focus
  • A large video wall with the space and integration to display multiple kinds of data
  • The ability to share video wall content remotely

Proper ergonomics

Designing an effective room of any kind requires taking into account the people who will be using it. When it comes to the complexities and stresses of mission critical environments, it’s even more important to design with the operator in mind. . Cyber security control rooms are staffed for long shifts. Operators need to occupy these rooms for hours at a time, often in stressful situations. Conscientious, operator-centric design ensures that your operators can remain focused and healthy, therefore using the control room to its fullest potential.

Line of sight 

Line of sight is one of the fundamentals of operator ergonomics. Operators in a cyber security control room need to maintain situational awareness at all times, and the central video wall is a key component of that awareness. It’s important that the workstations are situated at a comfortable distance from the video wall, allowing operators to clearly see the data displayed. Viewing angles are also key to avoid head and neck strain. Based on the nearest distant viewer, the farthest distant viewer, and what will be displayed on the video wall, a sight line analysis determines optimal video wall and operator placement. When designing your control room, an integrator like Constant can conduct a sight line analysis for each position, minimizing any distracting or uncomfortable positioning so that operators can conduct their work comfortably and efficiently.

Environmental factors

Operators perform best when they feel best. Environmental factors such as lighting and temperature can make a significant difference in helping operators in your cyber security control room calmly respond to critical incidents. The room temperature and air quality can either enhance or detract from the working environment, so the inclusion of climate zones and air filtration in the design plan is helpful. A dedicated and separate server room for the AV equipment is useful for two reasons: it compensates for the heat produced by the significant amount of technology, and it keeps the noise level down so operators can focus. When it comes to the lighting in a control room, it’s important to strike a balance. As a best practice, control rooms should have indirect lighting that can be easily controlled by operators in the space so they can adjust as needed. Advances in video wall technology mean that the overall room can be much brighter than control rooms of the past without compromising viewability of the video wall, so operators can adjust based on comfort levels without worrying about inhibiting the display.

Consoles with ergonomic design

Furniture is a critical component of control room ergonomics. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can have a negative impact on both body and mind. It’s important that the consoles in your cyber security control room are designed to keep operators comfortable and alert. Mission critical consoles are not only optimized for ergonomics but also to adequately manage the significant equipment and cables necessary for daily operations. Consoles can also include variable worksurface heights so operators can adjust to their comfort levels. Sit-stand desks are a popular option that allows operators to adjust their desk to various positions throughout the shift.

24/7 reliability

In a cyber security control room, your technology and furniture absolutely need to be reliable. The video wall needs to run continually without downtime, so choosing robust technology is vital. Even a brief failure can lead to major issues when your organization’s cyber security is on the line.

Control rooms require video wall systems designed for 24/7 use, a level of reliability that not all displays are designed to provide. An integrator like Constant can choose the most reliable video wall components from the crowded display technology market and guide you toward the solution that will be best suited for your use case. Additionally, the video wall system design can have built-in redundancies and fail-safe measures to ensure uptime as well as a design that allows for quick and easy servicing.

Even the consoles in your control room require careful consideration to ensure they are durable enough for consistent use. While operations center consoles may seem like a significant investment, they are built to stand the test of time – unlike prefab office furniture. Constant’s custom control room consoles feature hardy, high pressure laminate finishes and an extruded urethane impact resistant waterfall edge designed to endure constant wear. Our consoles come with a lifetime warranty, meaning your operations won’t be disrupted by broken-down furniture.

Effective design for a cyber security control room requires proper planning

Cyber security control rooms are vital and complex, requiring significant planning during the design process to ensure they function as needed. Taking shortcuts in this process could prove costly in the future. If you don’t take the time to plan your design carefully, issues may arise including:

  • A congested space that doesn’t adequately accommodate workflow
  • No room for future changes such as the addition of people or equipment
  • A poorly optimized space that is uncomfortable for operators, leading to drops in satisfaction and performance
  • Technology that needs frequent replacement or servicing

It’s expensive to fix a control room – especially if  you’ve only just invested in it. It’s better to do it right the first time around, with trusted partners and thorough planning. There are a lot of elements that can affect how your space functions. The most successful projects take all of those elements into account before finalizing design plans.

It’s also important to involve partners before construction even begins to make sure everything goes smoothly. At constant, we interface with your architects, contractors, and interior designers before we even step foot on site to make sure that our work flows seamlessly with theirs. By having thorough conversations at the outset about your wants, needs, and other project partners, we can determine an informed route forward for sourcing, cabling, and everything else.

Designing your cyber security control room can seem overwhelming, especially when the success of the project is so vital. That’s why Constant works with you on the design all the way from concept through completion. Our experienced designers, project managers, installers, and service technicians will guide you through each step with expertise honed through installations all over the world.

To learn more about our mission critical video wall and furniture solutions for cyber security control rooms, contact us today for a design and budget consultation.

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About Constant:

Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around in the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.