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How Is Network Edge Exposing You to New Security Challenges?

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Data collection and transmission from a large number of connected devices require a better processing and analysis approach. Network edge has made these tasks more accessible by bringing these tasks closer to data sources. The idea is to minimize data transmission as much as possible, but it has also exposed vulnerabilities creating new network security challenges.

According to State of the Edge’s Data at the Edge report 2019, the amount of data generated by 2025 will exceed 175 Zettabytes. This number of 10 times more than what was in 2016. As the data generation increases, it also provides hackers with a larger attack surface. Take Wishbone, for example. The app discovered that records of over 40 million of its users were being stolen and sold on the dark web. These incidents have become frequent and have started occurring on a day-to-day basis.

These incidents and reports rang a warning bell among the organizations and cybersecurity professionals to plan various security measures and map new policies to mitigate the rise of cybercrimes. However, the advancement in technologies and the promotion of IoT and AI-based platforms and applications led to an increase in cybercrimes that disrupts the network edge. At this point, all third-party network services, including employees, customers, and other stakeholders, meet.

Network Edge – A New Attack Zone

The network edge is the area where devices or local networks connect with the internet. It operates as an entry point to the network. The process decreases the pressure on data centers that get flooded with data from IoT devices, and therefore, there is a delay in response time.

For example, a firm’s network infrastructure consists of wired and wireless LAN with one or more data centers. These segments are operated and managed by their IT departments. With the emergence of IT trends, such as remote offices, the , and cloud-based services, the internet service providers became in charge of controlling the connectivity. “Network edge” is the meeting point of an enterprise and third-party network.

These days, the ongoing network traffic is monitored by the devices installed at the unsupervised network edge. Because of this, the network edge is emerging as a new “attack zone” for cybercriminals. As stats suggest, over 75 billion IoT devices will be connected to the web by 2025. It will create a need for proactive solutions at the network edge. In the coming future, the approach will be defensive and focus on maintaining the integrity of the network and data privacy.

To learn more about IoT related security risks and network edge protection, take a look at what Romeo Siquijor, an experienced IT business leader, has to say:

The increase in IoT applications and cloud services allowed advancement in technologies, but they also created challenges related to data security and management and network edge. Outdated configuration routines and policy management frameworks often prove to be the primary reason behind this discrepancy. They are incapable of adapting cloud-based transformation over traditional on-premise infrastructures. For instance, organizations usually transfer the controls of their cloud-based networks to third-party vendors. Unfortunately, these vendors get bombarded with all sorts of cyberattacks, including distributed denial-of-service (DDoS).

There was a 15% increase in DDoS attacks In the first half of 2020. The most significant DDoS attack was 1.12 TeraBytes Per Second, and there was a 77% growth in the attack size compared to 2019. The increment in the DDoS attacks is due to inadequate network edge security. If it continues, the vulnerabilities will grow, resulting in new challenges of network security.

Network Edge and Edge Computing

Network Edge and Edge Computing are two very different concepts even though they sound similar. Network edge operates as a boundary for a network that controls network infrastructure equipment by acting as an entry point for them. In contrast, edge computing deals with data centers and cloud-based resources. Edge computing brings the data closer to its applications. The traditional data centers’ traditional design is now decentralized and established to reduce the gap between applications and end-users.

The decentralization of data under edge computing adds another set of security challenges which includes frequent DDoS attacks, zero-day vulnerabilities, and several others. Making wise and strategic investments can help overcome the security risks associated with the network edge.

To combat any network security challenges, organizations must strengthen their network infrastructure security and follow policies to mitigate network-based attacks. The organizations will need a network security engineer to secure their network edge and other network parameters.

Certified Network Defender (CND V2) offers an innovative approach to learn secure networking practices and analyzing, securing the network edge and harden computing systems in a current IT infrastructure. It is the only certification that has a complete focus on network security and defense. The program concentrates on hands-on experience as more than 50% of the course is lab-intensive to ensure the application of real-world skills to counter security challenges. This helps them learn how to protect, detect, and respond to cyber threats and attacks. The globally acclaimed CND v2 is mapped to the responsibilities of the Department of Defense (DoD) based system/network administrators. It also covers global job roles and responsibilities.

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What is IoT?
IoT, the “Internet of Things” is the new-age technology that connects physical devices to the internet. These objects then collect and share data so that they can be accessible by other things too.

Read more: The Rise of an Era: IoT and Cybersecurity

What is zero-day vulnerability?
A zero-day vulnerability is an unaddressed exploit that is unknown to the public and overlooked by the individuals responsible for its mitigation.

Read more: 5 Cybersecurity Challenges and Trends

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