How Visa Protects Your Data


Somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard is the biggest and most advanced U.S. data center, and prisons are easier to enter. Visa’s top-secret Operations Center East is an 8-acre facility that looks like any other industrial park in a sleepy suburb, but the serene setting masks hundreds of cameras and a crack team of former military personnel. Hydraulic bollards beneath the road leading to the OCE can be quickly raised to stop an intruding car going 50 mph. A car going faster than that would be unable to navigate the hairpin turn, sending it into a drainage pond that functions as a modern-day moat. The data center can withstand earthquakes and hurricane-force winds of up to 170 mph. In the event of a power outage, on-site diesel generators have enough power to keep the center running for nine days. In fact, they generate enough electricity to power 25,000 households. Once you get clearance from the guard station and a roving security guard in a golf cart, you must surrender your identification and be fingerprinted. In an era when mobile purchases on smartphones and tablets are an $11.6 billion industry, security is a necessary obsession at Visa. The fortress is home to 130 workers who are tasked with keeping hackers from stealing your information. You’re welcome.