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Edge Computing and Data Security: the ITAD Connection

edge computing

May 11, 2018

 

The rise of the “Internet of Things” and edge computing portends changes for data analytics on many levels. Gartner predicts that by 2020, over 20 billion devices will be connected to the IoT.

The vast deployment of IoT devices raises a whole host of new security issues for computer networks. As more devices are used to analyze data, the more potential access points exist. These include both software and hardware risks.

The good news? Staying on top of IT asset disposal is easy. You can continue to expect a low risk of data breaches from excess hardware through secure, responsible ITAD.

Edge computing hardware and data centers

Edge computing encompasses a wide range of devices. Basically, any device that creates data is an edge device. The resulting outgrowth of equipment is correspondingly large.

Edge computing equipment may utilize new or old hardware. It can be custom or repurposed equipment. From compute servers to storage-based hardware systems, there are many options for edge computing.

Data processed at the edge then goes for storage or processing at a data center, co-location facility, or the cloud. This use of edge computing is one of the drivers of data center growth. The efficiencies of edge computing, however, bring some risks.

Risks and benefits of edge computing hardware

Portable units, located remotely, are the signature of edge computing. The volume of data stored by these remote units is constantly increasing.

Depending on the type of unit, they are susceptible to loss or theft. Like any other hardware asset, attention to the lifespan of the product and careful tracking are critical.

Then, when returned, the unit will require proper disposal through reuse or recycling, including secure wiping. This adds additional pressure to an ITAD cycle that many organizations already struggle with.

ITAD needs: a growth forecast

Rapidly evolving technologies like cloud computing, big data analytics, and IoT have created unprecedented churn in IT equipment. In response, ITAD is being adopted more widely to mitigate both environmental impacts as well as data security risks.

The result, as reported by MarketsandMarkets Research: the ITAD market was valued at $10.12 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach $20.09 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 9.83% during the forecast period.

Some have predicted the demise of the cloud as we know it due to advancements in edge computing. With the constantly growing variety of computing strategies, it is unlikely that one method will dominate.

Creative hardware asset management strategies are the standard going forward. This will require increased tracking to ensure that organizations are responsibly managing hardware assets are maximizing ITAD potential.

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