As edge computing becomes more prevalent, the need for substantial cybersecurity measures increases. Edge devices are often located in remote or unsecured areas, making them more vulnerable to attack.
But what is edge computing? Edge computing is a computing paradigm (distributed) that moves computation and data storage nearer to the location where users need it. This “relocation” serves to improve response times and save bandwidth.
It is commonly used in IoT devices and applications, where data is generated and processed at the edge of the network before sending it to the cloud. Among its uses are more lightweight and flexible distributions of complex Kubernetes architectures like these.
Network design security
One of the most common risks associated with edge computing is poor network design. Managing and securing devices can be challenging when devices are spread out across different locations.
That is why it is crucial to have a well-designed network that considers all devices’ security. Additionally, the network should be able to handle the increased traffic that comes with edge computing.
Another risk is poor device configuration. Businesses that do not correctly configure their devices are at risk of hackers infiltrating their systems. This security risk is prevalent in IoT devices, often not configured with security in mind.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure that all devices are correctly configured before deploying. One way to do that is to use configuration management tools that automate the process without compromising security.
Maintenance and operations
Another potential risk is poor maintenance and operations. When devices are spread out across different locations, it can be challenging to keep track of them. That is why it is essential to have a good maintenance and operations plan.
This plan should include regular check-ups and updates for all devices. Operations personnel should also receive training on how to respond to security incidents. Doing this will help ensure that devices are properly maintained and operated to minimize the risk of security incidents.
One of the most critical aspects of edge computing is data protection. That is because edge devices often deal with sensitive data, such as personal or financial data. Therefore, it is vital to have a robust data protection plan to ensure that this data is not compromised.
One way to do that is to encrypt all data at rest and in transit. Additionally, a business must plan for the best ways to deal with possible data breaches that can come from within the company or from a threat outside the industry.
Another vital aspect of edge computing is application security since applications are often the targets of attacks. Therefore, every business should ensure that all applications are properly secured. One way to do that is to use application security testing tools. These tools can help identify vulnerabilities in applications to be fixed before they are exploited.
Another risk associated with edge computing is physical security. Devices located in remote or unsecured areas are more vulnerable to attack because they are not as well-protected. That is why every company needs to have a solid physical security plan. This plan should include measures such as the following:
- Securing devices in physical enclosures
- Using security cameras to monitor devices
- Restricting access to devices to authorized personnel only
Each company should take inventory of possible weak points in their physical security posture to know how to mitigate potential threats.
In addition to physical security, every business should also have a strong software security plan. Software security plans differ from physical security plans in that they focus on the protection of the software itself, which is often more vulnerable to attack than hardware.
One way to improve software security is to use application whitelisting. This technique allows only approved applications to run. Another way to improve software security is to use code signing. Code signing is verifying that code comes from a trusted source.
Finally, businesses need to be aware of the risks of poor device management. Many companies today lack a centralized system for managing their edge devices. This lack of centralized management can lead to devices not correctly updated or configured, increasing the risk of security incidents.
Every company must have a suitable device management plan to ensure that all devices are properly maintained. Doing this will help reduce the risk of security incidents while ensuring that devices are always up-to-date and running smoothly.
Edge computing is growing more popular as organizations seek to improve their agility and responsiveness. However, this new architecture also brings some unique cybersecurity risks that must be addressed.
By following the recommendations above and understanding the common risks associated with edge computing, organizations can enjoy the benefits of edge computing while keeping their data and systems safe.