IoT and edge devices are frequently deployed far from a centralized data infrastructure or datacenter, making them fundamentally more difficult to monitor from both a digital and physical security standpoint. IT architects must be aware of the following edge computing security risks:
- Data Sprawl
As businesses deploy more edge devices to manage a broader range of operations, it becomes more difficult to track and monitor. Devices may eventually outgrow the edge boundaries, causing bandwidth overcrowding and jeopardizing the security of multiple devices. IoT traffic increases latency and can compromise security when data is sent unprocessed as it grows.
- Data Storage and Protection
Data collected and processed at the edge does not have the hardened physical security of more centralized assets. Vital information can potentially be compromised by simply removing a disk drive from an edge resource or copying data from a simple memory stick. Furthermore, due to limited local resources, ensuring reliable data backup can be more difficult.
- Passwords and Authentication
Edge devices are frequently ignored by security-conscious operations professionals, and many have lax password policies. In fact, hackers have developed sophisticated methods for breaching password protocols.
Edge Computing Cybersecurity Challenge
The acceleration of digital transformation within data centers, as well as the proliferation of associated applications, exposes new attack surfaces to potential security threats. These new attacks typically circumvent well-established perimeter security controls such as traditional and web application firewalls, making cybersecurity threat detection and remediation more difficult.
Defending against these threats is becoming more difficult as modern applications are no longer built entirely within a single data center—whether physical, virtual, or cloud-based. Today’s applications frequently span multiple servers in public clouds, networks, edge platforms, and as-a-service components, the location of which is unknown.
Furthermore, each service or microservice may have multiple instances for scale-out purposes, putting a strain on traditional network security functions’ ability to isolate them from the outside world in order to protect them.
Finally, the number of data sources and locations is increasing due to the distributed nature of modern applications as well as the effects of scale-out architecture. There is no longer a single gate in the data center that can observe and secure all data traffic, such as an ingress gateway or firewall.