Smart Industry 1/2019

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Smart Communications Security

Akamai has

240,000 edge

servers worldwide.

Elmar Witte,

product marketing

manager for security, Akamai

Technologies

photo ©: Akamai

connectivity solutions. “Since these

are usually mission critical and highly

interdependent, breakdowns of individual

components can have drastic

and lasting effects on business,” he

believes.

How can applications that live out

there at the edge be secured? A

wide range of providers offer solutions,

often based on very different

approaches to the problem. Finding

the right one for a particular company

can be daunting – to say the least.

Edge security needs to follow the

business case instead of the other

way around.

Edge Security as a

Service

In order to bring online services closer

to their customers, enterprises do not

always need to invest in their own

edge infrastructure. In fact, there are

a number of providers willing to offer

Edge as a Service (EaaS).

One of them is Massachusetts-based

Akamai, whose Intelligent Edge platform

currently runs on more than

240,000 servers around the world.

“We are very close to the customers

of our customers,” asserts Elmar

Witte, product marketing manager

for security at Akamai. He claims

there is a big difference to more

traditional cloud providers because

Akamai is focused on services such

as media delivery, web performance

monitoring, and security, whereas

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft

Azure typically rent storage

space and computing power. “Our

Thyssenkrupp

Steel

implemented its

first edge data

center, provided

by Riottal, as far

back as 2017.

Limelight reduces

network

latency by

routing conferences

through

its proprietary

global network

backbone.

Steve Miller-Jones,

vice president

of product strategy at

Limelight Networks

photo ©: Rittal

performance services speed up the

delivery of online applications and

online content,” he says.

A good example from Witte of a

“cloud first” strategy is a use case of

a large international banking firm

which initially spread its cloud development

over various platforms

including AWS, Azure, and Google

Cloud. It then decided to realize

uniform security standards over all

its services by integrating Akamai

into an edge-based security layer. In

addition, it opted for Akamai Edge

Platform to increase the speed and

performance of their websites and

online applications.

Another edge security specialist,

Limelight Edge Compute, has gone a

different route by reducing network

photo ©: Limelight Networks

latency for operators of online conferencing

solutions. “These users expect

perfect voice and video quality no

matter where in the world they use

the service,” says Steve Miller-Jones,

vice-president of product strategy at

Limelight. Slow loading and buffering

can exacerbate transmission delays,

frustrating customers and leading to

more support tickets, not to mention

loss of business. “Limelight reduces

network latency by routing conferences

through its proprietary global

network, thus offering uniform service

quality worldwide, which makes

our customers very happy indeed.”

First and Last Defense

Enterprises that prefer to build and

operate their own edge infrastructure

can turn to specialist vendors offering

security elements as add-ons, creating

a kind of bulwark system to protect

their assets at the edge. One of

these, Netscout Arbor Edge Defense,

has been described by its manufacturer

as the “first and last defense

against incoming and outgoing cybersecurity

risks.”

Dr. Martin Klapdor of Netscout believes

that demand for edge security

will explode over the coming years

as 5G mobile technologies go operational.

Smart cities, mobile health

services, augmented reality, and autonomous

vehicles are all in very early

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