Edge computing areas within the enterprise can offer an excellent place to host IoT security solutions. In many IIoT cases, simply putting a gateway between many existing industrial endpoints and the company’s other computing resources can accomplish this. This practice enables industrial enterprise operations to implement contemporary security technologies without having to replace existing IIoT enabled machinery. This edge security approach also helps IIoT implementations in a real time operational capacity by providing a lower-latency management model, since the IIoT endpoints are not calling back to a cloud or a data center for instructions and processing. By compartmentalizing security within IIoT edge networks, it creates a new space to locate security elements that standard endpoints are not equipped to handle on their own.
Edge computing can greatly improve the efficiency of gathering, processing and analyzing data gathered by arrays of IoT devices, but it’s also an essential place to inject security between these inherently vulnerable devices and the rest of the corporate network.
First designed for the industrial IoT (IIoT), edge computing refers places placing an edge router or gateway locally with a group of IIoT endpoints, such as an arrangement of connected valves, actuators and other equipment on a factory floor.
Because the lifespan of industrial equipment is frequently measured in decades, the connectivity features of those endpoints either date back to their first installation or they’ve been grafted on after the fact. In either case, the ability of those endpoints to secure themselves is seriously limited, since they’re probably not particularly powerful computing devices. Encryption is hard to cram into a system-on-a-chip designed to open and close a valve and relay status back to a central control pane.