Edge Computer Security Part - 1

Edge Computer Security

Edge Computing, the term sounds kinda like something the tech guy from a movie would say right? But what if I told you, that you are actually much more familiar with edge computing than you know? 

We all have played video games before, and we all know what having a high ping feels like. But even though we have really good internet connectivity, some games just do not go below 100 right? Why's that? That's what we're gonna looking into in today's blog. 

So slap your modem and hold on to your socks as we dive deep into the world of  Edge Computing.

So What Is Edge Computing?

So the formal definition is: "All the computing that takes place at the edge of the network, and more specifically in applications where real-time processing of the data is required."

But what does that mean?

Let's take the example of a Pizza joint.

Say you wanted a three-cheese pizza. In a  chain or franchise, the recipe comes from the owner, right? But let's say the worker making the pizza can't make it because he doesn't have the cheese and sauce to make the pizza. So he packs his bags and gets on a flight to go and get the cheese for your pizza from the central hub.

By the time the dude be back, you'd be ready to renounce pizza for the rest of your life.

But that's not what happens, is it?

The worker pops into the back, whips out the cheese and sauce, and makes you a pizza within twenty minutes, and with an added discount on Thursdays, and thus, single-handedly ruins your diet plans.

Now, this scenario actually helps depict what happens in a network. Let's say you had a Tesla, and you were depending on the autopilot feature. If the software had to wait to get a response from the central server every time the car had to go left or right, the number of teslas that drove into a tree would be astronomical.

So instead, what happens is the data is computed on-site, and decisions are made then and there.

So when you go back to that definition, it makes more sense.

Edge Computing in Gaming

Going back to the initial question, why is the ping so high? One of the reasons is probably because the Edge Nodes (Also known as Gamelets) are too far away or have excessive traffic.

The Gamelets typically are one or two hops away from the client, and this reduces the ping as opposed to not having and Gamelets.

So, How do we Make Sure It's Secure?

Now that's the million-dollar question, isn't it? Now that the data isn't restricted to a single source and is all over the place, making sure it's safe is one of the biggest concerns with respect to Edge computing.

Common threats that Edge computing faces:
  • Malware
  • Ransomeware
  • Advance Persistent Threats
  • Spear Phishing
  • Bots
  • DDoS
  • Password Attacks
  • Rogue Software
  • Maladvertising
A significant problem with Edge Node security is that edge nodes are not necessarily homogeneous. This means that some nodes could be resource-constrained,  and thus limiting the choices to secure them.

Some Security Measures

  • Password Authenticated Key Exchange (PAKE):

PAKE protocols are designed for a pair of users to establish a secret session over a public unreliable network. In  PAKE protocols, it is assumed that short passwords are pre-shared between various users.

Potential Problem: When working with IoT devices, it is not safe to assume that the devices are preloaded with the passwords as they are produced by thousands of factories with possibly varying standards.

Work Around: Using a variant of the PAKE (Called a vPAKE, click here for more info)
  • Encrypting The Data
There are five main Crytposystems:
  1. Identity-Based Encryption
  2. Attribute-Based Encryption
  3. Proxy re-encryption
  4. Homomorphic Encryption and
  5. Searchable Encryption
We'll go deeper into the other ways of securing the Edge nodes in the upcoming blogs.



Yuexin Zhang, Yang Xiang, Wei Wu, Abdulhameed Alelaiwi,
A variant of password-authenticated key exchange protocol,
Future Generation Computer Systems,
Volume 78, Part 2,
Pages 699-711,
ISSN 0167-739X,