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The proliferation of distributed environments like Edge computing has led to a polarised IT landscape, which demands that organisations address both physical and virtual security concerns. Safeguarding networks and data from malicious attacks becomes imperative – and companies can leverage the capabilities of Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software.
A recent S&P Global Discovery Report revealed that 68% of companies intend to “increase their edge computing investments” within the next two years. Nearly half of the decision-makers cite the physical and digital security of devices, networks, and data as one of the most significant challenges in deploying Edge. Remote management and monitoring also add to the physical and virtual security challenge.
Beyond receiving alarms and notifications, DCIM can provide significant advantages for mitigating security and failure risks, particularly in Edge environments where distributed data centres and IT infrastructure are geographically dispersed.
Here are three areas to consider when securing local edge, distributed IT, and data centres.
1. Emerging trends: AI-driven hacking and disguised viruses
Hackers are constantly evolving their techniques to identify vulnerabilities and penetrate networks. A notable trend is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by hackers to identify weak points in technology. Defending against such threats can be more costly than launching the attacks themselves.
Another emerging tactic involves hackers disguising viruses as anti-virus software. They are also developing virus “engines” – essentially programmes that generate altered viruses that bypass all anti-malware software, posing a significant risk to cybersecurity.
These emerging threats underscore the critical importance for companies to adopt robust cybersecurity measures, safeguarding against both known and unknown threats.
2. Protecting network and devices from cyber attacks
Newer threats require a new approach to security, one that encompasses both network and device. Security framework, policies, and procedures must be in place to protect sensitive data across all devices and networks.
Software, big data analytics, and cloud computing can help to assess the risk associated with devices – this encourages customers to use their devices more confidently and to their full potential.
At Schneider Electric, our approach to security is built on a foundation of robust security policies and procedures coupled with advanced technologies such as encryption, authentication, and access control. We also work closely with partners such as Fortinet to develop and promote best practices for cybersecurity and to share information on emerging threats and vulnerabilities with our customers for them to remain vigilant. Our recent IEC 62443 cybersecurity certification supports our approach.
3. Safeguarding edge devices remotely
Power and physical security are crucial components of an effective cybersecurity strategy for the Edge environment. Power security can enhance the effectiveness of network and device security measures against hackers who have gained physical access to the infrastructure or devices.
As uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices become smarter, they also become potential entry points for hackers into the network. Remote UPS locations manage and support critical infrastructure and are connected to private networks.
A robust security framework must include physical and virtual security measures to safeguard these locations. This includes implementing firewalls, access controls, and other security measures to protect the network and data.
The imperative of remote Edge device management
Remote management of Edge computing is no longer an option but a necessity in today’s interconnected world. It provides companies with accessibility, control, proactive monitoring, cost optimisation, scalability, flexibility, and enhanced security.
At the same time, securing the Edge is essential for organisations to safeguard their networks, data, and critical infrastructure from malicious attacks.
To do so requires a comprehensive security approach through the support of the right domain expert that addresses both physical and virtual security concerns and encompasses all networks and linked devices.
Securing and unlocking the potential of Edge computing through partnership
Edge computing presents a remarkable opportunity to enhance customer capabilities and deliver comprehensive solutions that empower their organisation to thrive in the digital era.
With the growing prominence of Edge computing, companies are seeking reliable partners who can guide them through this transformative journey. Our EcoStruxure IT is a comprehensive DCIM solution that ensures business continuity by enabling secure monitoring, management, insights, planning, and modelling, whether from a single IT rack to hyper-scale IT infrastructures, on-premises, in the cloud and at the Edge. As referenced here, by leveraging our DCIM software, you can offer secure and efficient Edge solutions that meet your customers’ needs and drive their success.
For starters, you can estimate the potential value of DCIM monitoring and alarming for Distributed IT, using this DCIM Monitoring value calculator.
About the author
Michel Arres, Vice President of IT Channel and Alliances, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric
Michel brings over 30 years of channel expertise to drive effectiveness and growth at Schneider Electric. In his current role, he focuses on fostering strategic relationships and enhancing customer satisfaction globally. Previously, he served as the Vice President Secure Power for the DACH region, leading the strategic expansion of Schneider Electric’s data centre portfolio. Prior to that, he directed the extensive service organisations of Schneider Electric. Throughout his career, Arres has held key sales and marketing management positions within Schneider Electric’s IT division, showcasing a wealth of experience and leadership in the industry.