Edge computing and local data storage offer a host of benefits to end-users and enterprises alike. Combined with the power of 5G, this technology can usher in a whole new class of applications. The characteristics of edge computing also support a wider implementation of IoT devices.
However, edge servers and edge-based devices and applications are particularly vulnerable to malicious attacks. In their rush to implement these solutions, companies often forego security considerations. What’s more, many devices deployed in the edge network don’t have the standard computing power that allows strong security possible in the traditional cloud network.
That’s why it’s increasingly important that edge networks are designed in such a way that cyber-security issues are resolved in the base design. It’s critical that the edge setup predicts and considers all types of attacks, implementing a security solution that ensures no data or functionality is compromised
Possible Cyber-Security Attacks that Need to Be Considered
While hackers remain ever-inventive, there are some standard cyber-security attacks that every company needs to worry about. In this article, we present the cyber-security issues that need to be resolved, and in Part 2, we’ll discuss possible solutions.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
DDoS attacks are very common. They are simple in design but very effective in rendering damage. In DDoS attacks, hackers usually infect devices with bots, creating a botnet. When desired, these bots can be used to launch countless requests that overload the servers and disable the processing of legitimate requests. Having infected edge devices, hackers now have access to edge servers. The consequences could be total loss of services and data.
Edge servers are typically less computationally powerful than cloud servers, making them more vulnerable to these types of attacks. What’s more, edge devices such as sensors usually have very simple hardware and are not designed to withstand high volumes of requests (source). Considering that DDoS attacks are very common and powerful, and that edge networks are particularly susceptible to them, any edge network must be designed to prevent such attacks.
Attacks Through Edge-Native Applications
Edge servers can be attacked from devices through DDoS, but applications running on those devices can also pose a problem. The application code could be designed with security holes or the authentication protocols can fail and enable easy entry points into the network. It’s crucial that communication between applications and servers is carefully monitored and secured.
IoT applications in particular are extremely vulnerable. DDoS attacks can disable entire HVAC smart systems. Damages can be catastrophic, especially considering the volume and type of data that can be lost or compromised. In the next article, we’ll discuss possible solutions to security issues encountered in the edge-cloud.
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