A lot of IT leaders approach security from the perspective of keeping people out, however when it comes to the edge that’s not possible, according to IDC’s Matt Eastwood. TechRepublic’s Conner Forrest met with Eastwood to discuss three ways businesses can ensure proper security in edge computing.

1. Using encryption

As the cost of edge computing decreases, encrypting all data becomes the best option for businesses, Eastwood said. “You don’t have to decide which 5, or 10, or 15 percent of your data is truly valuable enough to encrypt,” he said. “It’s just a ‘set it and forget it model’ and just apply it to all data.”

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2. Understanding the roles of IT and OT

As the IT and the OT operational layers come together, the IT standards will win out over things that were proprietary or obscure in the traditional OT layer, meaning you’re opening up footprints for attacks, according to Eastwood.

“The fact that people understand these IT layers means that they can be more broadly attacked, and will accelerate the need for new security models at the edge,” he said. In the past, it wasn’t that things couldn’t be attacked, it’s just that they weren’t understood well enough to gain attention from hackers.

3. Knowing what data to protect

Businesses are going to have a lot of data coming in from different sensors, and a majority of it will not be valuable. You’re going to see more intelligence at the edge, said Eastwood, that will help determine what data will be useful, and how to apply that data. “You’re really focusing on the right data, and not just all of the data,” he said. “It’s putting a bit more focus on what matters, and how to apply a security model to that.”

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