Challenges to Data Security in the Era of Edge Computing

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IT architects must now account for the exponential growth of IoT devices when planning for infrastructure updates. With the proliferation of sensors and monitoring devices, data and analysis have gone to the periphery, with applications spanning from smart buildings and electricity grids to industries, airlines, vehicles, and stores. Gartner estimates that by 2025, 75% of business data will be created and processed outside the conventional data center or cloud, demonstrating the extent to which the edge is expanding.

As a result of this expansion, malicious actors will be tempted to take advantage of security holes in edge devices and steal sensitive Information. Security issues in edge computing, such as lateral assaults, account theft, entitlement theft, distributed denial of service attacks, and more, may have far-reaching consequences. They present a significant obstacle to the edge data deployment methods used by security experts to guarantee the safe and reliable transmission of critical company data.

Risks to Data Security in Edge Computing

Since IoT and edge devices are often installed in locations remote from any centralized data infrastructure or data center, they are inherently more difficult to monitor from a digital and physical security perspective. IT architects must be aware of many potential threats related to edge computing security:

Secure storage of Information: Information collected and processed at the periphery lacks the fortified physical protection of data stored at a central location. Removing a disk drive from an edge resource or duplicating data from a simple memory stick might endanger sensitive data. Moreover, securing dependable data backup may be more challenging due to insufficient local resources.

Authentication and passwords: The lack of security-conscious operations staff to back up edge devices results in widespread laxity in password procedures. Password protocols are vulnerable because hackers use advanced methods to break them. For example, in 2017, a “botnet onslaught” (where bots were deployed to search for devices running default passwords) targeted 5,000 IoT devices on a university campus using 5,000 separate systems, all of which were seeking vulnerable passwords.

Data Sprawl: It becomes increasingly difficult to track and monitor when businesses install more edge devices to run a broader range of activities. In the long run, devices might exceed the limits of the edge, leading to congested networks and increased vulnerability. Increases in IoT traffic mean longer wait times and a greater risk of security breaches due to unprocessed data transmissions.

Take Advantage of the “5 Ps” Policy for Edge Computing Protection

The “5 Ps” of security are universal and should always be a part of edge protection:

When it comes to assets, people are usually the most vulnerable. There must be a shift in the cultural perspective about the significance of edge computing security, and people need to be taught cyber security strategies.

Policies and Procedures: Edge security should be properly regulated regularly, and individuals should be informed when and how to be cautious.

Process: To effectively reduce edge security risks, it is necessary to list the specific actions individuals should take.

Products: Businesses need to know what goes into a comprehensive cyber security solution, from the hardware to the software, the devices to the servers, and the operations to the information technology.

Proof: All of the above must be tested regularly to identify and address weaknesses. The security of edge computing is vulnerable if it is not tested and updated regularly.

Use Zero Trust Edge Access.

Applying a “zero trust” or “least access” policy to all edge devices is another significant answer to the security dilemma of edge computing. Here, cyber security experts provide just the level of access necessary for each piece of equipment to perform its function. Due to the limited number of servers and devices frequently interacted with by IoT devices, it should be simpler to implement a limited range of security standards. A security camera that uploads its footage to the cloud is one implementation. Using an access control policy, you can ensure that only those requiring access have access to the camera network’s various resources. It’s considerably more difficult for a hacker to harm other resources if just one device is hacked.

Protect the Connected Devices Physically

Edge installations are generally located off-site, making physical security an important consideration. There is a need for measures to be put in place by businesses to protect against the risks of people tampering with equipment in the physical sense, installing malware on assets, exchanging or swapping devices, and setting up rogue edge data centers. Hardware root of trust, crypto-based ID, encryption of in-transit and at-rest data, and automatic patching are just some of the methods that security experts may use to protect against tampering with edge devices.

Address the Issues Facing a Growing Industry

In the business world, IoT is revolutionizing data management and analytics. More than 41 billion IoT devices are expected to be deployed by 2027. Cybersecurity experts need to keep up with the newest best practices to guarantee that their edge computing architecture is just as safe as the core.