Edge Security - Controlling the Edge of the Network
The perimeter is dead.
The resources of the modern enterprise or large corporation are no longer kept within the trusted, single, protective boundary of a central data center.
Large corporates are now more likely to use a segmented distributed IT architecture, where processing and transmitting are often carried out at the furthest reaches (or edge) of a company’s network.
Data now sits or moves through devices away from centralised data centres or cloud environments.
This requires different cyber security to the castle-and-moat model, and this is where ‘edge security’ comes in.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what edge security is and some best practices.
What is edge security?
The growth of edge computing (i.e., Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, mobile devices, remote network points and corporate endpoints away from a centralised data center or cloud) means that rather than relying on a centralised data center to store, process and distribute apps and data, corporates prefer their data to be processed at the edge by local servers or the devices themselves.
Think data centers at remote locations. Think built-in internet connectivity. Think sensors, security cameras, cash registers, routers, domestic appliances, online global gaming using local servers and other similar endpoints.
By processing and transmitting only the relevant data at the edge, edge computing allows companies to deliver applications and information much faster and more reliably.
However, edge computing can increase the risk of cyber security threats entering a corporate network. It can create many more potential entry points for attacks.
And this is when edge security becomes a vital part of your cyber security strategy.
The segmented perimeter that results from edge computing lends itself nicely to the zero-trust model of cyber security. The ‘never trust, always verify’ mantra of zero-trust is highly appropriate for edge security.
Deploying security at the edge allows you to keep pace in a complex and constantly changing digital environment.
There are many advantages to edge security.
With edge security you can:
- Be adaptive and more protected.
- Protect your data, devices and assets, meeting a threat closer to the source itself.
- Stop attacks before they reach your data centres or apps.
- Defend against massive scale attacks and respond to all spikes in traffic.
- Be better prepared for future threats. Easily deploy new solutions as they become available, scaling up as your business grows.
Components of edge security.
Edge security consists of several components, including:
Device security for endpoint protection.
As said earlier, edge computing devices can take many forms – IoT, etc. – and these endpoints can be anywhere. The move to working more from home has increased the use of edge computing devices further, e.g. laptops, smartphones and tablets. These all need managing and security.
Effective edge device security enables IT departments to easily manage and monitor these devices.
Cloud security for data protection.
This is critical, as the movement of information from the edge to the cloud and the cloud back to the edge makes this traffic highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Therefore, encryption of stored data and the flow of data between the network and edge devices is vital.
Network edge security to protect internet access.
With network edge security, the internet needs to be a trusted conduit to connect to company resources. Users need access to cloud and SaaS (software as a service) applications via the internet and this increases the security risk. However, web filtering, anti-malware and IP restrictions are just some of the effective network edge security tools that can be used to protect your network from attacks.
Edge security best practices.
Attacks on the edge are inevitable but succumbing to a data breach isn’t – there are plenty of best practices you can put in place, especially for larger businesses.
Remember that zero-trust mantra from earlier – never trust, always verify.
Trust no one.
All traffic within a network, whether at the edge or more central, should be considered a potential threat. Therefore, each user should be restricted to the least amount of data possible to do their job. Think of it as a kind of access on a need-to-know basis.
Ensure connectivity at the edge utilises multi-factor secure authentication and SSL/TLS security.
Ensure all data that passes through your endpoints, or is stored on corporate devices, is encrypted.
Invest in automation, otherwise, it’s impossible to ensure consistent security policies across a distributed edge.
BlueFort Security can help.
Edge computing has brought speed, efficiency and innovation, but it does come with new security concerns.
The digital ecosystem is changing all the time, but we can help you stay current.
Edge or endpoint security services from BlueFort help you to secure devices located at the edge of your network and to monitor incoming traffic, reducing the risk of compromise and improving availability and performance. Find out more about our endpoint security services here.
Bringing your security to the edge ensures your company will be adaptive and protected.
This article has come from part of our research that has uncovered some key findings that every UK CISO will want to know. We will be hosting a hybrid, interactive event that will be broadcast on the 15th October, 3:30 pm from a studio in London, UK to a live audience of CISOs and CTOs - Bluefort Live
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