Edge computing exposes organizations to a number of security risks, but these can be mitigated with proper planning.
With the explosive growth of IoT devices and the accompanying deluge of data, companies are under more pressure than ever to find ways to reduce latency and improve performance. This is why edge computing, the technology that brings computation and data storage closer to the devices that generate the data, is becoming increasingly popular.
According to a recent research by Research and MarketsThe global edge computing market is expected to grow from $11.24 billion in 2022 to $155.9 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 38.9%.
TO SEE: Don’t hold back your enthusiasm: trends and challenges in edge computing (TechRepublic)
But as with any new technology, there are risks inherent in using edge computing.
The risks of edge computing
Security vulnerabilities at the edge
One of the main risks of edge computing is security. Adopters are aware of this, as evidenced by a recent AT&T survey in which 1,500 companies were sampled. The survey found that companies expect to spend between 11% and 20% of their edge investment on security.
Security is a major risk for several reasons:
- Data processed outside the traditional corporate firewall is more vulnerable to attack.
- Edge devices are often deployed in uncontrolled environments, so they can be subject to physical manipulation or damage.
- As more and more devices store data at the network edge, so do virtual security risks: Deploying hundreds of edge computing devices, for example, creates a larger attack surface and opens the door to security breaches such as DDoS attacks.
- Identifying and deploying edge devices also poses new challenges for security teams. Edge devices are often spread over a large geographic area, making it difficult to physically secure them all. Because edge devices are often connected to other devices and systems, they can provide attackers with a way to gain access to an organization’s network if they are not sufficiently secured.
Therefore, appropriate physical, network and cloud security measures must be taken, such as: Secure Access Service Edge must be present to protect data being processed at the edge. Otherwise, the risk of a security breach will outweigh the benefits of deploying edge computing.
The cost of edge computing
Cost is one of the most important considerations when assessing the viability of edge computing. While the potential benefits of deploying an edge network are significant, the costs associated with managing and maintaining an edge environment can quickly become prohibitive. This is especially true if the edge deployment is not carefully planned, executed, and managed. For example, as new IoT endpoints proliferate, managing them effectively from a centralized location can become increasingly complex.
In addition, because edge computing requires hardware and software, companies must carefully consider total cost of ownership before deploying an edge solution. Hardware costs can be significant as businesses often need to purchase new devices or upgrade existing ones to support edge computing. For example, companies may need to purchase new routers, switches, and servers to support an edge deployment. In addition, they may need to upgrade their network infrastructure and bandwidth to accommodate the increased traffic generated by edge devices.
Software costs can also be high as companies often need to purchase or develop new applications specific to edge devices. These applications must be able to operate in a distributed environment, manage the data generated by edge devices, and integrate with the rest of the organization’s IT infrastructure.
One way to keep costs under control is to partner with a managed services provider that offers comprehensive support for edge deployments. This can help ensure that the implementation is successful and that any cost issues are resolved quickly.
The sheer volume of data
The sheer volume of data generated by edge devices can also pose a challenge for businesses. Edge devices generate large amounts of data, which must be stored, processed and analyzed. As a result, companies must have the infrastructure to support this data growth and be able to manage and use the data effectively. Companies unprepared for this influx of data may be overwhelmed and have little visibility into what’s happening at the edge of their network.
Fit edge components into existing network architectures
Another challenge that companies face when implementing edge computing is fitting the new edge components into their existing legacy network architectures. Edge devices are often deployed in remote locations and need to communicate with the rest of the organization’s IT infrastructure. This can be challenging because many existing network architectures are not designed for edge devices. As a result, companies may need to make significant changes to their network architecture or purchase new network equipment to support an edge deployment.
Edge computing is becoming more and more popular as more and more companies want to reap the benefits despite the risks. While these risks may seem daunting, they can be effectively mitigated by taking a careful and considered approach to implementation.