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Breaking Down Data Center Certifications

There are more than three million data centers across the country—that’s one data center for every 100 people! For many enterprises relying on these facilities to store and share data, the challenge isn’t necessarily finding a data center, but finding the right data center for their needs. In addition to reviewing a facility’s capacity and location, examining the certifications it holds can help IT managers determine its reliability and reputation, and if the facility is right for their organization.

However, which data center certifications should you look for? What do they mean? We’ve done the research for you and put together a short, informational guide on some of the top certifications.

SOC 1 Type 2

A SOC 1 Type 2 certification contains all the elements of a SOC Type I certification, which includes information on how a facility performs critical risk assessment procedures and whether it can achieve certain objectives on a given date; however, a Type 2 certification brings in more rigorous testing. During the Type 2 certification process, an external audit firm examines whether a facility can achieve certain objectives over the course of several months. The SOC 1 Type 2 certification process provides a more thorough look at how the facility and its entire staff performs.

What the SOC 1 Type 2 Certification Means for Customers:
Maintaining a SOC 1 Type 2 certification ensures a collocation facility can consistently maintain controls relevant to security and business processes that are key for the provision of the service.

ISO 27001

The ISO 27001 certification is the international standard that provides a framework for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) to provide continued confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, as well as legal compliance

What the ISO 27001 Certification Means for Customers:
This data center certification monitors the safety and performance of a facility’s cybersecurity and privacy protection measures. It’s important for customers across all types of industries, because it ensures their data, and their customers’ data, is as safe as possible.


The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) certification serves as an information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card schemes, and it enhances global payment account data security. To receive PCI DDS certification, a collocation facility must meet a rigorous set of safety standards, set forth by the PCI Security Standards Council.

What the PCI DDS Certification Means for Customers:
This data center certification is beneficial to customers handling cardholder data for payments. It ensures customers can safely process electronic payments. The PCI DDS certification is especially important for the retail industry, which processes more than 100 million credit card transactions per day.

Our Approach to Data Center Certifications

American Tower is committed to providing the fastest and safest collocation environments possible at our Metro Data Center in Atlanta and at our Edge Data Centers across the U.S. From large and small enterprises, to medical facilities, to vendors who provide services to various types of businesses, our facilities serve a range of customers with needs as different as their businesses. American Tower seeks out certifications that ensure quality and security for a broad range of industries.

The American Tower Metro Data Center maintains SOC 1 Type 2 and ISO 27001 certifications. Our Edge Data Centers are all ISO 27001 certified. All of our facilities are in the process of receiving their PCI DDS certifications. American Tower is also examining several other certifications and standards to further ensure the security and performance standards of our collocation environments, including National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-171. The NIST helps federal agencies adhere to the Federal Information Security Management Act and helps agencies protect their information.

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