As cryptocurrency ownership rates accelerate around the globe, the mining of bitcoin becomes a more necessary and valuable enterprise. The emergence of crypto mining farms is increasingly prevalent, with many taking up residence in formerly used warehouses and industrial facilities.
Because these buildings house computers designed to run as quickly as possible 24 hours a day—and often require electrical substations to power the operation—they face some pretty unique security risks. That means ensuring a high level of security is paramount, which starts with securing the physical perimeter via a specialized fencing system.
Risks & Vulnerabilities for Crypto Mining Facilities
Crypto mining farms typically encompass large areas of property with structures designed to meet the specific needs of operating high-performance computers around the clock. This often equates to a series of metal buildings with proper heat ventilation and access to immense amounts of power.
To generate the megawatts of electricity required to run not only the high-speed bitcoin mining computers, but also the fans and cooling systems needed to maintain their performance, many large-scale crypto mining facilities install electrical substations. As such, security risks are manifold. Threats include (but are not limited to):
- Theft of the mining computers and equipment
- Breach attempts from hackers interested in violating crypto exchanges or stealing mining resources
- Potential attacks on the power source itself
Any such disruption to a crypto mining operation can be extremely costly and dangerous. For these reasons, crypto mining facilities are best served by a smart security approach that includes not only online applications and anti-vulnerability tactics, but also on-site monitoring and surveillance as well as a strong fencing system for perimeter security.
Security Fencing Musts for the Crypto Mining Field
As with any type of facility that requires a high level of perimeter security, effective fencing solutions for crypto mining farms must focus on several vital elements:
- The strength of a high-security fence is generally determined by its construction, which impacts how difficult it will be to cut, break or otherwise penetrate, and how well it will maintain its rigidity when struck with extreme force. Some of the most common variations of perimeter fencing for high-security applications like crypto mining facilities include:
- Mesh panel: Combining high-quality, low-carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum alloy steel, mesh can be PVC coated or galvanized to resist corrosion and weathering, and it’s designed with unique spacing to safeguard against climbing and resist penetration. AMICO®, the world’s largest producer of meshes for security, offers the AMIGUARD® 7000 High Security Expanded Steel Mesh—one of the most formidable options for ensuring critical protection in a crypto mining setting.
- Palisade: Consisting of vertical steel pales (constructed from hot and cold rolled steel) secured to horizontal rails and mounted to support posts, palisade fencing is a particularly effective deterrent for intrusion and vandalism. It exudes an intimidating visual presence, lacks footholds, is resistant to cutting and features the advantage of height as well as the option for spikes at the top. This fencing option is strong, versatile, durable and low maintenance.
- Concrete: Highly impenetrable, nearly impossible to scale and capable of withstanding winds of hurricane proportions, precast concrete walls are engineered systems with an extreme level of security effectiveness and the added benefit of noise reduction—a particular concern for crypto mining facilities that generate immense noise from computer-operating and cooling systems.
- Chain Link: Typically constructed from galvanized steel, chain link fencing can be coated in vinyl for extra protection. This material is particularly weather-resistant, featuring durability against heat, cold and moisture. A low-maintenance, low-cost option, chain link can be reinforced with barbed or razor wire for a higher degree of security.
- A smart and sensible design is necessary for a fencing system to reliably secure a facility and deter intruders. That means it should not feature footholds or spacing that make climbing or scaling a possibility, and the assembly should not include fastening options that can be undone. There are considerations for single versus double-row fencing solutions, as well as height specifications. Some crypto mining properties integrate earthen berms and strategic landscaping into their security approach, which will impact the design of the perimeter fencing as well.
- A fence’s durability, or ability to resist corrosion against the elements and remain functional over time, is another major factor in high-security applications like crypto mining. Certain materials and coatings are more susceptible to rust, and some are better equipped to maintain material integrity in the face of humidity, extreme temperatures and wind. Lifespan and maintenance needs are an integral part of implementing the most appropriate high-security fencing system for a crypto farm.
- Any fencing system is demonstrably more secure when fortified by add-on features that deter intrusion and streamline monitoring. Such elements include barbed wire, barbed tape or concertina wire; lighting and surveillance in the form of security cameras; and omitted top rails and anchored bottom rails. These types of features can help maximize a crypto mining facility’s security approach and afford greater peace of mind.
The Critical Role of Access Control
Perimeter fencing serves as a primary defense mechanism in safeguarding a crypto mining facility, and one of the most fundamental factors for effectiveness is integrated access control. Smart and convenient access control elements support the facility’s ability to track people and vehicles entering and exiting the secure location, ensure the safety of on-site workers and protect physical and intellectual property.
Security gates and access controls used to be more demanding systems controlled by landline telephones programmed at the hardware or keypad level. But advancements have enabled these systems to overcome the challenges of limited visibility, lack of remote access and the need for in-person device programming.
Current gated access control systems are powered by internet connections or cellular networks and typically leverage keycards and/or individual pin codes (or even biometrics and scanners where the highest levels of security are required) for access. An electronically locked door or gate is connected to an access control server or IP network, and when the proper credential is entered or swiped, an electronic signal is sent to the door or gate, unlocking and opening it to enable entry for authorized entities.
Some of the most beneficial features of these automated access systems for crypto mining facilities include:
- Remote control from web browser or mobile device application
- Built-in cameras for recording or capturing photos
- Streaming video of entry and exit points
- Transaction records of ongoing gate activity, including time and date stamps
- Video and IP intercom systems
- Sensors and mechanisms that can detect objects in the gate’s path or resistance as the doors are closing
These access components, in combination with optimized fencing products, elevate the crypto farm’s effort to maintain constant security around the property, even as employees, maintenance workers and other individuals are needed to enter and exit the location.
If you are interested in more fencing tips, please download our whitepaper: 5 Commercial Security Fence Buying Tips Applicable to Any Industry Or Project.