By: Michael Brunetti
The average time to identify a data breach is 279 days, with the average cost of a breach at $3.92 million. This demonstrates a major security gap where threat actors remain undetected after breaching a company’s defense, allowing them time to test lateral spread, view confidential data and trade secrets, and more. With more companies migrating to cloud environments, security strategies must adapt beyond traditional approaches.
What is Microsegmentation?
Microsegmentation is a network security technique that divides a network into isolated segments so businesses can visualize, monitor, and control traffic. This strategy reduces the attack surface and prevents unauthorized access, securing applications by allowing only specific traffic. Microsegmentation allows for far greater control over who can access resources and is the foundation for a Zero Trust security model.
Why Use Microsegmentation?
Stronger traffic control
Microsegmentation controls movement within network perimeters in ways that other security strategies cannot. With this solution, security professionals can assign privileges and police the resources available to specific networks, systems, applications, or users, overall tightening security.
When microsegmentation is in place, cyber attackers cannot access the full internal network through a weak endpoint. With proper segmentation and permissions in place, east-west traffic is contained within a network, and it is much more difficult for a threat actor to hop from endpoint to endpoint and reach sensitive data or gain further permissions. With microsegementation, managers will be able to visualize, isolate, and contain the attack faster than in an unsegmented network.
Smaller attack surface
With having isolated network segments and more precise access control across those segments, threat actors’ lateral network movements are constrained. Therefore, microsegmentation reduces the threat surface, which limits the damage caused by cyber-attacks.
As more companies are moving to remote work environments and either hybrid or fully cloud environments, implementing microsegmentation is an ideal solution to add to a company’s greater security strategy. With microsegmentation, a company can allow authorized access only to internal systems or applications that the user needs to be successful in their role. For example, a customized policy could be created that does not allow any user outside of the finance department access to the company’s bookkeeping system. As there is no reason for an employee outside of the finance department to access this system, this policy adds a layer of security because it will alert your security team to any potential bad actors trying to access systems outside of their permission.
Any businesses that process credit cards, participate in stock trading, or are engaged in transactions for the accounts of others face strict regulatory compliance standards, including those by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These regulations may, for example, l require all network traffic to be segmented and kept independent of any network traffic that happens when payments are being processed. Microsegmentation helps support this requirement and stop attackers from accessing private cardholder data and easily prove such to auditors.
Entara: Integrated Security Solutions Microsegmentation is a key strategy for supporting network protection and compliance. Entara delivers a complete and flexible solution through our partner Guardicore, now a part of Akamai, that enables deep application dependencies mapping and policy enforcement. Connect with us if you’re ready to strengthen your security systems.