Best Practices for Edge Computing Cyber Security with MQTT Server
Edge computing involves multiple interface points over a wide range of devices and locations. This infrastructure must remain secure to avoid any breach of data during transfer or storage. Before any network implementation occurs, cyber security for each device and interface within the edge computing network is critical.
In enterprise level IIOT applications, the network is made up of various edge devices, MQTT servers, protocols, users, and interfaces. It stands to reason that effective security involves addressing the strengths and weaknesses of each piece of the network separately. Securing IIOT applications is best done by evaluating the network to determine the weakest point(s) and applying levels of security. The highest level of security, like those used in banking, is achieved by breaking the security scheme into layers. Each layer reinforces the next, thereby giving the entire edge computing environment the highest overall security.
The first and strongest layer is the Physical Layer because it protects the physical devices within your IIOT network that are isolated from any outside connection or are completely encapsulated in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Next is the Transport Layer designed to protect edge computing devices utilizing public networks. This layer applies Transport Layer Security (TLS) with security certificate credentials from a Certificate Authority (CA), which means the device must have the proper credentials to transport data throughout the network. The third layer is the Application Layer, where MQTT server username/password authentication and the Access Control Lists (ACL) become vital to network security.
Understanding the edge computing pieces within an MQTT IIoT Infrastructureis important when working through each layer of security. The MQTT server is centralized and client applications connect to it to send/receive information. Edge devices are remotely located and used to gather, analyze, and transport data in real-time. MQTT Enterprise Clients are applications that can be both centralized or remote and utilize a subscribe/publish connection. Although each present as a different component, they use the same security protocols for connectivity.
The Cirrus Link Solutions Chariot MQTT server, strengthens your network security , whether you have a large complex enterprise or less sophisticated network, because it provides an end user interface for network-wide enabling/disabling inbound TCP ports, setting username/password authentication for subscribers, setting publish and subscribe rules, and remote configuring of edge devices.
When your edge computing need is not critical enough to use all three layers of security, the MQTT server provides a strong level of security for your network, Enterprise level infrastructures, requiring all three layers of security are enhanced by the level of security the MQTT server offers.