The Internet of Things (IoT) is streamlining processes and allowing enterprises to collect huge amounts of data, but allowing all of that data to travel into the network and past the firewall also introduces a lot of risk. Many chief security officers (CSOs) are taking advantage of the intelligent edge concept, which handles the processing of data outside the firewall.

Instead of moving data from hundreds, or even thousands, of IoT devices and pulling it through the firewall, many enterprises are incorporating an approach in which raw data from IoT devices is processed in a data center close to where the data is collected, then brought into the enterprise system through a single point of connection.

This approach offers some important benefits, including the ability to eliminate backhaul over the enterprise network, which can cause heavy congestion as IoT investment ramps up. It also reduces latency for situations in which monitoring in real-time terms makes a difference in how business objectives are achieved.

By streamlining the way data is collected, the points at which a cybersecurity attack can occur are significantly reduced. If you have one point of entry for your data versus hundreds, you can more easily monitor activity and identify when there’s a problem. Raw data goes into the edge data center, where it is processed and turned into meaningful information, eliminating heavy, unprocessed traffic coming into the network. It’s easier to identify a security threat in neatly-packaged, processed data coming through a single point.

Beware the cloud: It’s important to note that the data coming into your firewall, despite coming in processed and from a single-entry point, is still only as secure as its prior destination. In other words, cloud security needs to be part of your concern in managing the intelligent edge approach. Cloud security is not as easy to control as on-site data processing, so make sure your team is handling it appropriately.

The stakes are high: Your team should be aware that by consolidating data into larger, processed packages for delivery into your network, the stakes are up. Your data set should be encrypted to protect it, because losing large sets of data makes it impossible to get a true picture of what your IoT fleet is monitoring.

One way to address these issues is to take the same approach to data processing at the edge as you are with your overall intelligent edge strategy: keep your cloud destinations limited for security purposes. By reducing the number of cloud locations used, you shrink the plane of risk and limit security exposure.

The IoT offers big opportunities for enterprises, but these opportunities also come with a lot of data that needs managing for measurement and analysis, as well as security risk. Contact us at Net Tel One Communications to learn about the options we offer for keeping your edge devices secure.