What Does Working on the Edge Mean for Endpoint Security?
Unless you've secured each and every device on your network or cloud environment, your endpoints are actually entry points. That's because cybercriminals often view the end-users as their first targets when attempting an attack.
Everyone from hacktivists and nation-states to company insiders now threatens to compromise your data and devices.
You’re just one momentary lapse of judgement or single zero-day attack away from potential ruin. That is unless you step up your frontline defences. Comprehensive endpoint security strategies are evolving beyond the traditional antivirus solutions of the past. Check that you’re utilising all the tools available to protect your business from edge to endpoint.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is a general term for a cloud-based IT service environment located at the edge of a network. It's where user trust is most critical while user privacy is most vulnerable.
In the edge computing ecosystem, any employer or employee-owned device that connects to your network is potentially at risk. That includes your typical essentials like laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, all the way up to office equipment like printers. Targets can be as large as an entire server or ATM machine and as small as a smartwatch or voice-controlled device.
What Does it Mean for Security?
With BYOD (bring your own device) practises and IoT (Internet of Things) technology on the rise, hackers have more options than ever to launch an attack.
With BYOD practises and IoT technology on the rise, hackers have more options than ever to launch an attack.
If you want to successfully secure your edge nodes, keep these strategies in mind.
- The whole network must be visible to administrators. The best way to avoid a breach is to prevent it. Be sure there’s constant oversight to flag, check, and disrupt unusual behaviour before it escalates.
- Automated monitoring tools must be used by those administrators. Even with dedicated personnel keeping watch, it's important to utilise automated reinforcements. With the two working together, you can detect different types of irregularities and contain them in real-time.
- Data needs to be encrypted at rest and in transit. As SCX Central points out, "This is particularly important in the IoT world, as devices send potentially sensitive data to clouds that users cannot be certain are safe." If data can't be encrypted, a VPN is a good secondary security measure.
- There must be restrictions on access to manipulate data and network resources. "Due to the outsourcing feature of edge computing, if there are no efﬁcient authentication mechanisms in that place, any malicious users without an authorised identity can abuse the service resources in edge or core infrastructure", explains one IEEE research paper. The work goes on to recommend businesses leverage an ultra-choosy access control system that also uses encryption solutions.
As the adoption of edge computing has grown, so have the cybersecurity threats that increasingly make it your business' most vulnerable entity. If you have any chance at protecting your sensitive data, you need robust endpoint protection systems and solutions for every domain and device that touches your network. By using these technologies in conjunction with trained administrators, you can better detect and address attacks, pushing breaches to the brink.