We are an information-heavy society. We don’t discuss it as often as we talk about the fuel we put in our cars or whether we recycle or not, but it’s staggering to find out how much of this dependency on information, stored in centralized data centers, is actually to blame for our global carbon footprint.
UN secretary-general Gutierez was quoted in a recent article saying that “A 50% reduction of carbon emissions by the US was needed to help stop the planet slipping into a climate ‘abyss,’ with scientists warning the world must slash emissions in half by 2030 if it is to curb calamitous heatwaves, wildfires, floods, and societal unrest.” But not many of us consider the data we use as a culprit to growing carbon emissions.
But the hard facts are that it’s true. By 2025, the energy consumed by IT technology will account for 3.2 percent of total worldwide carbon emissions, consuming about a fifth of global electricity. We will have the same source to thank for more than 14 percent of globally released greenhouse gas emissions, by 2040. Huge, energy-consuming data centers are where it all begins. Their large footprint and the need to transport data to and from them have a hefty share in keeping carbon-friendly numbers up high.
For many green thinkers in IT, these unsettling figures point to Edge computing as the best solution to the problem. Edge computing means that operations are performed at the nearest processing unit that can handle them. Units are many, small, local, and distributed, rather than single, remote and gargantuan. They are powered by local renewable energy sources like wind or solar (where is available). Edge computing also comes with a bonus for IoT operations: reduced latency thanks to proximity. It makes perfect sense that running an operation at the closest point not only reduces latency but is less harmful to the environment.
The main issue blocking the way from global emission reduction in the field of IT in this specific case is security.
How so? Being locally managed does mean that actually, only part of the information on the sites goes to the cloud at one time so whatever goes out is safe. But the problem here is much bigger in stature. Let’s start with the physical sites themselves. IoT protection calls for round-the-clock security. IoT is what makes things converse with one another. Traffic lights, tollways, self-driving vehicles, key fobs, and picture frames. IoT devices need actual wiring and if there is a Wifi connection it must be secure as well. When sites are many, protecting them becomes difficult.
When a hacker infiltrates such a location, they can use it as a direct access point to the main local administration’s communication grids. It is then possible to use the location and data as a way to infiltrate, control and manipulate entire systems. All the information on the device can be compromised and the core network can be accessed. The devices themselves can also be tampered with. We are not dealing with stolen data anymore. The need for zero-trust in the physical environment is essential. Protecting the many moving parts of this system is a challenge that should not stand in the way of edge compute is becoming the solution for reducing our carbon footprint.
Making edge compute centers fully secure and compliant is the main difficulty that hinders industries from moving into a more sustainable future from an IT standpoint.
The link between the climate crisis and our growing need for information security is now clearer than ever. The move into a sustainable, greener future is safe using HUB Security‘s innovative, zero-trust edge solutions. HUB Security provides a combined response to the need for protection, together with external network data processing, working with fully distributed models that answer both needs, rendering the energy-guzzling datacenter behemoths redundant. A thing of the past.
Clean energy that will serve the infrastructure of the future needs to be secure to sustain and uphold the service of entire sectors. HUB Security’s edge solutions have the ability to power Distributed file systems, Blockchain for enterprise, and IoT systems so that they can make the essential move to clean energy using true zero trust global data processing.