Rather than relying on the cloud or data centers, computing is now done at or near the source of the data, otherwise known as the edge. While the cloud is being leveraged for storage and computing power, things have become centralized. But distance can mean latency. Edge computing provides an answer.
By bringing the cloud to you, edge computing processes data from IoT devices, sensors, and other inputs rather than sending that data to the cloud to be processed. However, this leads to new security concerns that cloud security does not cover. Since edge computing includes distributed data processing, the security of each device plays a role in security as well.
Common Areas of Weakness
Edge computing security can be taken down by weak credentials, not patching or zero-day vulnerabilities. This doesn’t mean that relying on traditional security measures will keep your data safe. While antivirus software and firewalls have been used to keep hackers out, with the distributed nature of the edge and the multitude of edge devices, you must treat each device as a potential entry point for a bad actor. Likewise, your cloud security model does not protect you from vulnerabilities at the edge.
Improving Your Posture
To protect your network and your data, the first thing you should do is secure all edge devices or nodes. When you harden and maintain patching on edge devices, you are creating your first line of defense. The next line of defense comes from encryption. All data — and we mean ALL — should be encrypted in-flight and at-rest. Use multi-factor authentication and SSL/TLS security to protect and encrypt your data. Finally, you should have continuous logging and monitoring, preferably in real-time, to ensure visibility and the fast identification of an attack.
Edge computing is new and as with any innovative technology, lessons will be learned. Managing and securing the edge will likely come with some growing pains. But if you apply best practices now and keep up as things evolve, you can minimize your vulnerability.
Learn more about edge security by checking out our blog!