Welcome to the trusted edge

BrandPost By Jeroen Mackenbach Engineering Technologist, Edge Portfolio, Dell Technologies
Oct 31, 20235 mins
Edge Computing

Start building a cyber-resilient infrastructure based on zero-trust principles that span between your multicloud, your data center, and your edge.

man sitting on edge of cliff
Credit: iStock

The edge is where the action happens, where your employees and equipment do their work, and where customers and clients interact with your brand. It is where data is created, collected, and acted on to create a better customer experience and constituents generate immediate, essential value for your business. Edge computing can be used to power a digital city, the electrical grid, an airport, or even a hospital. For these use cases and many others, edge computing gives you the ability to analyze and act on data at the source so you can rapidly uncover efficiencies, improve experiences, and make innovation real.

Unfortunately, as you extend computing out to the edge, your organization becomes increasingly vulnerable to security risks. This is no small matter, as edge computing systems are often running critical applications. Just imagine the devastation if a hospital got hacked and the infrastructure and healthcare devices were taken offline, which we have seen happen before. Or if someone got into the municipal systems and started playing with a utility plant or the traffic lights. These situations may sound more like a scene from a movie, but they are not a thing of the future. They have happened and will happen today.

As you can see, security breaches at this level can have a devastating impact on people and your business. And that’s not even taking into account changing regulations that are being enforced globally to protect consumers. This puts liability for data breaches onto the companies that were victimized.

To help organizations better protect themselves against sophisticated cyber criminals, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) outlined a novel approach to security, called zero-trust architecture (ZTA). It pivots away from the “trust but verify” philosophy of the past and treats every entity as a new security perimeter that needs to mutually authenticate itself before gaining access to any resources.

Zero-trust security principles can be a game changer for your security posture at the edge. But to be effective, they need to be applied to edge platforms across your entire stack, including devices, operating environments, applications, data, and connectivity.

It’s not easy to secure edge assets

Despite the urgency, edge infrastructure is incredibly hard to protect. In any given organization, there can be dozens or even hundreds of applications and devices used for things like running cash registers, telco base stations, manufacturing sensors, healthcare devices, and so on. This proliferation of devices and data represents an expanding attack surface for cybercriminals.

Unlike a typical data center that can enforce strict access controls and other physical security measures, edge devices are within arm’s reach by design. Critical infrastructure, such as servers and storage, are rarely locked up and often left unattended. In many industries, such as manufacturing, retail, and healthcare, devices and sensors are connected in machine-to-machine (M2M) scenarios with no user awareness. Further, many device or equipment identities are unknown as they might have no security posture.

Dell Technologies helps you simplify edge security

Dell Technologies is committed to helping you simplify edge operations — including security. That is why we are working to make the design and integration of this architecture easier to adopt, to help you achieve zero-trust outcomes at the edge.

Our Dell NativeEdge platform leverages the power of edge computing to revolutionize application delivery in a secure environment. At its core, NativeEdge provides seamless edge, core, and cloud deployment; integration with multiple cloud platforms; and centralized control. It also centralizes the deployment and management of edge infrastructure and applications across distributed locations and helps you securely scale edge operations using multicloud connectivity, automation, open design, and zero-trust security principles. These zero-trust security principles help you secure your data pipelines from source to application, at the edge, or in the data center or cloud.

NativeEdge includes advanced security measures such as data-at-rest encryption, user access control, a private app catalog, micro-segmentation, and security orchestration. It uses telemetry and analytics to proactively assess your edge security posture without having to rely on audit experts to visit every site. And it enables secure device onboarding (SDO) coupled with a hardened and secure edge operating environment, which is essential for the reliability and security of your edge deployments.

With the ZTA design principles inherent in Dell NativeEdge, you can rest assured that devices, users, networks, applications, and data are continually tested and validated across your edge, data center, and hybrid cloud environments.

To learn more, watch the webinar recording of How to Protect Your Edge Estate and How NativeEdge Can Deploy It, or check out the Securing Your Edge Environments with Zero Trust Technology vlog.