The cybersecurity landscape is both large and complex. Unfortunately, the increasing use of edge computing (and related technologies like IoT) will not magically simplify things. That in no way implies that businesses can’t develop a more secure edge architecture. Since, by definition, they are transferring infrastructure, applications, and data well beyond their central or primary environments, it is merely a (significant, in all likelihood) shift to their threat model.
Edge computing improves user experience immensely, but at the expense of introducing important security issues. A lot of those worries—access control and management, data transmission, and a ton of new internet-connected devices should be well-known. Even in highly distributed, diversified edge situations, they are by no means insurmountable.
Companies should keep the following facts regarding edge security in mind. Firms should use it as a starting point checklist of interrelated essentials to take into account as they plan and organize their security priorities in their edge architecture.
Limiting incident impact through segmentation and isolation
Granularity is a term that also relates to infrastructure and networks. In an edge architecture, there are more possible points of breach the more endpoints or nodes there are.
Enterprises must ensure that security controls are applied at the edge location level and that any compromised edge location can be isolated without affecting the other compromised edge locations.
Conceptually, this is comparable to other forms of isolation and segmentation used in container and Kubernetes security, such as limiting “east-west” traffic. Things do happen; thus, there is no such thing as zero risk. Organizations shouldn’t let a single weak edge node or container image act as a wide-open gateway to their application or network.
Supply chain security is indeed more paramount than ever
Software supply chain security has emerged as one of the hottest topics in enterprise IT at the beginning of 2022. That’s because the majority of software depends on other software to be produced, packaged, and delivered, much like in other supply chains. Even large development teams employ a significant amount of code that wasn’t created from scratch.
In addition to software, edge computing also uses a variety of hardware and other infrastructure, some of which are not, by default, hardened.
Companies that already consider all aspects of their IT supply chain will be in a good position in this regard; those that don’t would be wise to utilize their edge use cases as justification for the beginning.
It is best to employ a layered strategy for security, as with other distributed patterns
It is true at the edge, in the cloud, in the data center, and in the corporate offices that there is no all-encompassing security solution that will completely eliminate all risks. Even a single application has numerous layers, as does the IT stack. So too, should the security posture. The justification for a multi-layered approach to security is strengthened by edge computing.
Although the specifics might be different in an edge setting, the fundamental idea here is still valid: To secure intrinsically dispersed systems, it is essential to use a carefully thought-out combination (or layers) of procedures, guidelines, and tools that significantly rely on automation in all instances. (And in fact, edge architectures and containerization and orchestration are increasingly likely to intersect.)
Access and permissions should be used sparingly by businesses
For edge security, according to security experts, a more detailed approach to user permissions (including non-human users) and behavior is inevitable.
It’s time for enterprises to start implementing and deploying MFA/2FA. And numerous experts agree that the Zero Trust paradigm is the best option in edge architecture. Firms should not offer access to anyone or any system if they don’t actually require it.