Solutions Review’s Expert Insights Series is a collection of contributed articles written by industry experts in enterprise software categories. Scott Gould of Element Critical sets up an outpost at the edge, and guides us through building edge infrastructure security in 2023.
Edge computing helps businesses take full advantage of emerging technologies, reach new markets, solve latency issues, and scale their businesses. With these advantages and more, it is clear why organizations are distributing workloads beyond the core. In fact, according to a study from Gartner, by 2025, 75 percent of enterprise data will be generated and processed outside the traditional data center or cloud. As the number of workloads and data processing moves closer to network devices or edge locations, the importance of security at the edge also grows.
While edge computing can create many business opportunities, the rapid increase in diverse networking points has only increased IT infrastructure security concerns as businesses work to protect sensitive data as it travels from the core to the edge. As a result, these security risks are transforming how companies manage data and network traffic to ensure computing infrastructure remains secure. Datacenter providers play a role in this transformation by advancing physical security capabilities and offering a menu of partnered managed service solutions to enhance cybersecurity resilience and protect customer data and IT infrastructure.
Here’s what to keep in mind to make sure your edge infrastructure is secure in 2023.
Edge Infrastructure Security in 2023
With More Devices and Expanded Infrastructure, Security Should be a Priority
As the need and demand for internet connectivity rises, any device connected to a network must be safe, reliable, fast, low latency, and secure. IDC predicts that there will be 55.9 billion connected devices worldwide by 2025. That is a substantial number of vulnerable devices.
From a business perspective, private, high-speed, and low-latency interconnected networks benefit daily operations and delivering services and content. However, keeping the systems and connections secure is the challenge. By deploying distributed edge firewalls, utilizing private or virtual private networks via colocation data centers and on-premise or cloud environments, companies can distribute their security and compliance policies all the way to the edge where data resides. Direct cloud connectivity will require end-to-end encryption and dynamic virtual routing (VIP) with private gateways to exchange data from cloud storage and back to edge locations. Colocation providers offer an ecosystem of carriers and managed service providers that can assist in building secure networks, and data centers can provide physical security, such as preventing computing equipment from disaster.
Physical Security & Network Cybersecurity
High-performance data center providers have security frameworks in place to keep your data safe. With amenities like gated premises and on-site security staff monitoring access points, data center providers limit bad actors from reaching your systems. Once inside, there are steel security doors with biometric multi-factor authentication access, audible tamper alarms, access event logs, and video surveillance to monitor all site activity. Ideally, systems and hardware should be placed in a private suite or cage with steel-locked cabinets. This can provide up to seven layers of security for added peace of mind. In every location where your business needs a presence at the edge, these options should be available to protect your systems and networks.
From a network carrier standpoint, data centers connect clients with telecom network solutions designed to protect businesses from service disruptions or downtime from distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS). DDoS attacks are an issue for companies of all sizes and industries. With volumetric cyber-attacks on the rise, your network needs colocation solutions with proactive protection against DDoS attacks through enhanced resiliency and uptime.
While this approach is not new, the edge magnifies its importance, and validating your data center provider’s protocols is an essential first step in protecting your company’s network and infrastructure.
Location, location, location. Edge computing allows high-volume data typically processed locally to be delivered via a location outside the central core on the network’s periphery with low latency. This method of content delivery and distributed computing provides an exceptional customer experience. However, companies must now take the time and consideration to properly design and secure that physical edge as well as its programmatic parts.
Should a company’s edge network be near a geopolitical edge such as a state, provincial, or international border, the organization must be well-versed in what data can and cannot traverse across regional or defined country lines. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data residency laws across local and regional levels provide specifics based on industry verticals. Always keep in mind that data may have to travel across those lines before reaching its intended destination. Knowing those specifics, or relying on a trusted advisor to do so, can spare headaches or hefty fines.
Finding the Right Vendor at the Edge
According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global edge computing market is anticipated to reach $155.90B by 2030. This means many organizations will be making edge-related purchases in the next few years, requiring them to assess their security criteria and standards.
Selecting a secure colocation partner with network, compute, and storage solutions proliferated to the edge is vital to providing points of presence in all locations. For each point of presence, businesses should validate the layers of security in place that protect their edge data center deployments and ask about managed solutions to enhance network security measures in order to minimize the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
Over 90 percent of new operational processes will be deployed on edge infrastructure by 2024. The edge gives services and applications the ability to be more efficient by keeping data and computing closer to the users or applications that need it, providing faster processing speeds and lower latency. However, with these benefits comes added security requirements. When assessing edge infrastructure options, look for the most secure, scalable, redundant locations with the best connectivity choices. The right colocation data centers are an invaluable resource for meeting those demands.
- Outpost: Edge Infrastructure Security in 2023 - February 24, 2023