Effective Network and Micro-Segmentation Solutions
Networks along with applications and the data they store are indispensable for every business. Traditional approaches of a very hardened perimeter and services located internally have changed over the last decade, therefore so has the approach to IT security. Current solutions limit innovation, lack flexibility and scalability and do not provide the necessary insights and controls to protect their critical digital assets.
More importantly, their strategy demands a compliance and risk-centric approach, allowing them to detect control breakdowns in real-time and having the ability to timely respond to a threat.
Traditional firewalls are designed to inspect and secure traffic coming into an environment – north south direction. Network and Micro-segmentation provide greater control and visibility over the growing amount of east-west traffic across the organisation which bypass the traditional firewalls.
They also help to restrict and at the very least slow down lateral movement in modern enterprises, should a breach occur.
What is Network and Micro-Segmentation?
The aim of both network- as well as micro-segmentation is to be able apply Zero Trust security controls around the workloads of individual IT services.
By managing controls at the micro level, you prevent any unauthorised lateral movements between users and servers – and only flows that are explicitly permitted are allowed. Because of this, if a breach occurs, the initial compromised device has only limited access to any other devices and it is restricted from any lateral movement exploration.
Although network and micro segmentation are vital in dissuading any threats, they are even more efficient when they are layered with additional security measures. This is generally known as “Defence in Depth.”
How Does it Work?
To understand how these security techniques work, imagine your network as a large city. Each server or workload is a neighbourhood, and each building being a specific application, with cars and people representing data traveling between these parts.
If your network relies on only a single layer of protection to prevent breaches, your city has just a single wall encircling it (the firewall). Sure, the major entrances are patrolled and monitored, but once an intruder is inside the wall, there’s no way of protecting the neighbourhoods and buildings.
With Network segmentation, each neighbourhood or subnetwork in your city is protected by its own wall, adding another layer of defence. If you detect a threat that has breached the outer wall, you can easily lock down a neighbourhood by stopping data flow, preventing the intruder from doing any damage.
Micro-segmentation takes things one step further. With this technique in place, you can assign security policies to smaller sections of your network, even protect specific tasks and workload. Now, each building in your city has a security system, protecting it ‘round the clock and independent of your outer wall defences wherever these workloads reside.
These security techniques use several methods to enforce their policies. The most efficient way is to monitor and control data traffic throughout a network. By cutting off areas that devices don’t need to connect to, the scope of the damage is minimised, and it’s easier to negate the threat.
Why Should Your Business Segment Networks?
A single layer of network protection, like a solitary firewall, is easy to manage but presents hackers inside and outside the system a large surface of attack. Often referred to as a flat network.
Network segmentation creates multiple fall-back areas, creating layered defences around subnetworks.
Micro-segmentation, on the other hand, operates at a granular level. Each traffic flow in and out is inspected based on a common ruleset. These rulesets are all customisable and re-usable, allowing you to protect all of your environment, even if they cross into other networks or cloud domains. Micro-segmentation is purely a software technique, removing the necessity for expensive hardware installation and similar methods of security.
Network segmentation is also ideal if your business requires credit card transactions to operate. A special type of segmentation, known as PCI-DSS network segmentation, provides you with an elegant security solution for this purpose.
PCI DSS Network Segmentation - What is it?
PCI DSS, or 'Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard' network segmentation is a method to comply with the security protocols that are trusted by the payment card industry. The primary requirement of meeting this particular security standard is creating and isolating a dedicated subnetwork for the credit card data from the other computing operations.
PCI DSS network segmentation can help you to minimise the efforts that are required in order to ensure that your company meets the necessary standards for protecting cardholder information. This streamlined nature for network segmentation techniques can simplify the process of securing any sensitive data and can minimise the risk posed by malware and hackers.
Network segmentation as well as micro-segmentation are each effective techniques for security. You need, however, to have trust in the cybersecurity company that is installing the solutions in order to ensure that they accomplish their intended purpose. By partnering with the correct provider, you can be sure that your company is safe from threats and risks.
Why Choose Matrium?
Matrium Technologies has provided businesses in Australia and New Zealand with cybersecurity solutions and network visibility for almost 30 years. With our services, your company will enjoy the security and efficiency we offer with help from over 17 technology partnerships.
Call us today and protect your network.