Skip to content
All posts

Securing Edge Data Centers

Native Zero Trust Data Center is the next-generation approach to edge data center protection

Edge data centers are smaller facilities located near the population they serve, providing compute resources and cached content to end users or in unoccupied locations. They can be standalone or connected to a larger central data center (e.g., hybrid mode) or multiple data centers (e.g., distributed mode).

 Companies across industries are taking advantage of edge data centers to deliver lightning-fast services, applications, and content to their customers. This is due to the ever-growing demand for real-time access as Big Data, cloud services, and streaming have become key components of today's technology landscape - businesses can no longer accept latency or delays when it comes to improving the user experience. Edge data center deployment is an increasingly popular solution that delivers the value-driven performance levels demanded by modern enterprises. Many emerging use cases could be considered for deployment in edge data centers. Key practical and field-proven use cases include:
  1. 5G deployments: The edge data center's decentralized small-cell network provides low-cost, low-latency support for high-density 5G applications (e.g., smart-city applications, private 5G networks).
  2. Data offloading: By filtering data near the source, low-cost edge centers can ensure that data generated at the network's edge no longer needs to be routed through congested data links.
  3. Video streaming and AR /VR: Low-cost, distributed edge data centers reduce streaming latency and deliver the performance that consumers and businesses demand.
  4. IoT sprawl: Low-latency edge processing is key to managing growing data volumes as more IoT sensors and devices are installed in homes and industrial facilities.
  5. Adoption of SDN and NFV in telecom: Deploying Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization in data centers enable the replacement of expensive specialized hardware and the rapid introduction of new functions.

Traditional security professionals face an enduring challenge in the ever-evolving landscape of edge data centers. These facilities require unique approaches to secure against increasingly sophisticated threats and risks, such as theft, vandalism, or physical intrusion, which may cause more severe damage due to their remote location from operations and response teams with limited human intervention available on-site, not to mention "dark" sites lacking any personnel presence whatsoever.

Furthermore, this distributed environment requires vigilance across multiple points rather than just a few central areas - creating new complexities for today's modern security managers. The physical attack surface is exponentially larger in edge data centers than in core data centers. However, innovative countermeasures and best practices enable a robust edge cyber security posture. Assuming the physical threats (fences, surveillance cameras, etc.) can be assessed, new technologies can be considered to protect data. Edge data centers are expected to take a new approach to protection, which can be called Native Zero Trust Data Center. Edge data centers are becoming highly resilient through the use of a robust hardware-based Confidential Computing solution.

Hardware-based Confidential Computing solutions provide the capabilities and methodologies to segment all workloads and security areas across the data center infrastructure to meet future requirements and changes in usage. Confidential computing platforms enable software-defined isolation boundaries enforced by hardware. In addition, the proposed solutions can also enable secure remote access and multi-cloud connectivity, as well as protect highly sensitive operational technology (OT). Some of the modern OT systems, such as security cameras and fuel cells, require connection to an unsecured and unknown external environment.

Therefore, OT infrastructure is a real attack vector that can stop or disrupt data center operations. A holistic cyber solution based on confidential computing can significantly improve data center security data center cybersecurity and provide for future large-scale changes.