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Sep 12, 2023

Where There Is Edge Computing, Edge Protection Is Necessary


Edge computing has emerged as a viable solution for reducing massive bandwidth needs and improving response times. It has become so important for some enterprises that without it, said enterprises would not be able to move such large amounts of data without overwhelming their networks. But know this: where there is edge computing, the need for edge protection should be evident.

Network edges tend to be the most vulnerable because they are the first point of contact for security threats. When organizations do not take the necessary steps to protect the edges, they are actually inviting attacks. Hillstone Networks actively seeks to stop such attacks through state-of-the-art edge protection solutions.

The Basics of Edge Computing

In its most basic form, edge computing is the practice of deploying enterprise applications closer to data sources. Servers are placed at the edges of the network, which is to say at the points where a network connects to either the internet or another network. Why do things this way?

Reducing the proximity between enterprise applications and data sources improves response times. It reduces latency, allows for bigger data transfers without as much bandwidth, and mitigates data bottlenecks. In a world in which decisions are made based on the availability of real-time data, edge computing is necessary to keep up with the competition.

The Basics of Edge Protection

As for edge protection, it is a security strategy that concentrates on those edge connections. It is designed to reinforce the edges of a network so that cyber-attacks can be prevented at the earliest possible stage. Ultimately, you don’t want attackers getting past the edges. If they do, you have bigger problems to worry about.

There are three keys to successful edge protection:

  1. Implementing it with a variety of combined security measures, including firewalls and IDSs.
  2. Regular updates that guarantee edge protection efforts are keeping pace with the latest threats.
  3. Ongoing monitoring to ensure that edge protection solutions are working as intended.

Edge protection controls are only as good as the cybersecurity teams that use them. As with any other strategy, edge protection will not deliver if it is not deployed, monitored, and maintained according to industry best practices.

How Edge Protection Is Deployed

It’s important to understand that edge protection isn’t a stand-alone tool in and of itself. Rather, it is a strategy that utilizes a number of different tools in concert with one another. Hillstone Networks accomplishes edge protection through multiple strategies. Our competitors do as well.

Here are some of the more common edge protection controls currently being utilized by security experts:

  • Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) – ZTNA protects the edges by assuming no device or user can be trusted implicitly. Access is granted based on privilege alone.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) – IDSs are capable of detecting malicious traffic and activity. They are generally deployed to alert cybersecurity teams of potential attacks in their earliest stages.
  • Hardware and Software Firewalls – Firewalls are deployed to control network traffic. They can be configured to block malicious traffic on the edges.

Additional tools including intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) and secure web gateways (SWGs) are also on the table. To truly protect the edge as effectively as possible, security teams need to be ready and able to deploy every tool at their disposal.

Hillstone Networks believes that a secure edge better protects everything else inside it. We urge your organization to take edge protection seriously. Remember that the edge of a network is typically the most vulnerable point of attack. If yours is not hardened against attack, your entire network is vulnerable.