The need for visibility into and control of physical and digital assets wherever they reside has become a key priority with the growth of edge computing. Here are some best practices for protecting your edge ecosystem.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in just about every industry around the world. That’s a positive development, because it leaves companies more resilient, more agile, and better equipped to handle any future disruptions. But the shift has not come easy for many organizations.
For starters, the IT skills gap is still acute. And that often leaves IT departments that are newly focused on now-critical upgrades short on resources for everyday activities such as infrastructure monitoring.
In particular, the growth of edge computing creates the need for visibility and control of physical and digital assets wherever they reside. Fortunately, best practices can help stretched IT departments and the organizations they serve continue to innovate to meet the challenges of a time of unprecedented upheaval even as they continue to maintain critical IT assets.
This interactive e-book provides an overview of the current security landscape at the edge and offers proactive steps for securing and protecting assets that constitute your edge ecosystem.
IT leaders say they’re increasingly turning to edge computing—that is, on-premises servers, sensors, smart machines, and other devices that function independently or in conjunction with the cloud—to realize a host of benefits.
These are the top-cited benefits, ranked by the percentage of respondents citing them in a recent IDG survey.
REAL-TIME DATA PROCESSING
REDUCED OPERATIONAL EXPENSES
REDUCED NETWORK LATENCY
However, during a time of rapidly increasing security threats, 73% of small and midsize organizations associate edge computing with security concerns. Here are their top concerns.
Lack of physical security:
Additional attack surface:
Many attack vectors due to heterogeneous computing environment:
Not enough network visibility:
Devices not built with security in mind:
Despite their security concerns, IT leaders find that the benefits far outweigh the potential drawbacks of edge computing. They simply need to consider a security and environmental monitoring solution for their edge deployments, according to Greg Johnson, a sales director at Schneider Electric.
One reason for the explosion in the number of devices: Compute is quickly moving closer to where it is used. That means at the edge. And that can increase the risk of physical harm, including water damage, high temperature and humidity, fire, and other conditions that can bring down business-critical applications.
Cost-effective, integrated solutions are needed to mitigate these threats to physical IT environments.
But the edge revolution, like other elements of digital transformation, has gone into fast-forward due to the pandemic, straining resources. And IT departments short on staff may struggle to keep up with maintenance activities such as infrastructure monitoring.
IDC predicts that by 2025 there will be 55.7 billion connected devices worldwide, 75% of which will be connected to an Internet of Things (IoT) platform.
“IT professionals are shifting IT priorities in 2021, with the acknowledgment that they need eyes and ears on-site,”
“IT professionals are shifting IT priorities in 2021, with the acknowledgment that they need eyes and ears on-site,” says Greg Johnson, a sales director at Schneider Electric. “They also need to know, when there is an outage, how quickly they can recover.”
Because of the pandemic in 2020 and the rise of the edge, security is front and center for many organizations. In IDG’s “2020 Security Priorities Study,” 34% of the participating IT leaders said they’ve prioritized upgrading IT and data security to boost corporate resilience.
That’s because unauthorized or malicious access events not only threaten compute availability but also leave enterprises vulnerable to costly compliance violations.
All of which means that IT organizations need new capabilities that don’t strain budgets or human capital. They need:
Increased visibility into critical infrastructure components, physical and digital
Data-driven recommendations based on intelligence
Visibility into cybersecurity vulnerabilities
IT organizations succeed best in meeting challenges at the edge by taking a strategic, integrated approach to cybersecurity and physical security.
“There’s an air gap between physical infrastructure like power and cooling and the IT stack,” Johnson says. “A dedicated partner helps fill that gap for those who engage the right vendor.”
The APC NetBotz family of edge devices from Schneider Electric delivers:
These capabilities and others mitigate risks at the edge through a wide array of intelligent sensors, camera clip captures, configurable alerts, and robust management options.
STRATEGIC RESPONSE TO THREATS AT THE EDGE
THE EDGE CHALLENGE
THE RISE OF EDGE COMPUTING
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APC NetBotz in Action
For more information, visit APC.COM/netbotz
Four-megapixel HD cameras with video storage provide monitoring for unusual activity.
Adaptability and resilience
Expansion pods make NetBotz deployments highly scalable.
Easy deployment and configuration
Intuitive setup keeps IT staff free for other priorities.
Badged access control
Physical security options keep components physically safe.
Intelligent sensors detect temperature extremes, water, smoke, open doors, and more.
Physical monitoring and controls mitigate the risk of insider attacks and human error.
Highly customizable alerts let IT staff members know of potential incidents in real time in ways that make sense to them.
Third-party software integration
Seamless third-party IT management integration via Schneider Electric EcoStruxureTM is vendor-neutral for maximum compatibility.
A secure, cloud-based platform enables remote management anywhere, anytime.
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