• Richard Blech

Data Encryption for the Edge


Edge computing is a network principle that situates the processing, analysis and storage of data as close as possible to data sources or end users. By minimizing data transmission time, organizations can avoid the bandwidth limitations, network latency, reduced speed and resource limitations typical in the cloud.

An increasing number of organizations are executing fewer processes beyond the network edge and are moving those processes to local places, such as IoT devices, users’ computers or edge servers. In fact, researchers estimate that by 2025, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional centralized data center or cloud. The addition of more endpoints at the network edge will continue as the number of IoT and IIoT deployments increase and as 5G and 6G networks improve the range and capacity for connected devices. This means there will be even more data input, which in turn will entail more processing at the network edge.

However, the distribution of activity throughout a wide network of endpoints can make the data at the edge more vulnerable to hacking even as the reduced distance data needs to travel provides fewer chances for interception by cybercriminals.

Consider some of the use cases of edge computing: city traffic management, patient monitoring in the hospital, predictive maintenance in manufacturing and the remote monitoring of a critical infrastructure asset, such as oil and gas facility. The capability to locally analyze and process data where it is collected will benefit cases like these. And the data that is stored and transmitted back and forth between the endpoints and the network core are a prime target cybercriminals intent on disruption and financial gain.

DATA SECURITY CHALLENGES IN EDGE COMPUTING

Many of the data security issues that plague edge computing are not new. They are the same ones that have always been big challenges at the network core and in the cloud, namely securing data storage, authentication and access control. But there is no standard security framework for edge computing. This presents a significant security problem because edge computing introduces new vectors that can be compromised. For instance, cell towers, which are not as heavily monitored and secured as traditional data centers or even the cloud, can make edge of network deployments particularly susceptible to intrusion and can place data at risk. Edge computing also increases the complexity of a network, which can make protecting data difficult as it can minimize the visibility and control of a network.

One of the main data security challenges in edge computing is the securing of the endpoints. The endpoints of the edge of network can include local data centers or any device capable of computing. Organizations have to take particular care to secure the devices that are typically not designed with security as a main priority. Device manufacturers bear some responsibility, as it can be argued that it is negligent to not make security a priority during the design and development stages of devices that are intended to be used in enterprise networks. It falls to the organizations to use the technologies and policies necessary to protect on the devices used on their networks. Many devices, such as certain mobile devices or control sensors, typically have minimal storage and computation capabilities with reduced battery life and will require cybersecurity solutions that can account for and be effective in spite of those insufficiencies.

ENCRYPTION FOR DATA SECURITY AT THE NETWORK EDGE

Securing data in edge computing requires a Zero-Trust approach that operates on the assumption that all devices have been compromised and all access has to be strictly marshalled. Encryption is a critical part of this layered approach.

As with data located at or near the network core, data at the edge has to be encrypted at rest and in transit, and the type of encryption that is used to secure data matters a great deal. Encryption that has hardened cryptography is key part of a security framework that helps ensures that only those parties who are authorized to access certain data has access to that data.

Cryptosystems are necessary for virtually every type of network-connected device, application, and service. At some point, every device, server, system and application’s encryption will need to be upgraded or replaced. Planning and ensuring your cryptographic capabilities can effectively protect against strong cyberattacks will help sustain a strong security posture. For example, XSOC’s FIPS 140-2 validated symmetric encryption engine provides 512-bit minimum encryption security. In the event a device holding encrypted data is stolen or accessed by a cybercriminal, they will not be able to decrypt the data. XSOC-encrypted data is data that will remain unreadable and unusable to unauthorized parties.

XSOC CORP PROVIDES QUANTUM-SAFE ENCRYPTION FOR EDGE COMPUTING

With the adoption of edge computing, it is no longer efficient for an organization to stream most or all its data to the cloud or a data center particularly as data velocity and volume continue to increase. However, the need to safeguard data remains. XSOC CORP’s advanced data encryption solutions are designed to be easily integrated into all types of computing architectures. Our solutions, which include XSOC Cryptosystem, SOCKET, WAN-SOCKET and EBP, can be used by organizations of all industries that want to protect one of their most valuable assets. Let us demonstrate how our cryptographic data protections solutions work.