Businesses have intentionally opted to shift to remote work after the recent pandemic, but the consequences are more than what they bargained for. Cyberattacks are at large, and businesses need to improve cybersecurity by utilizing the most effective options to secure their data and maintain a positive workflow.
Regarding cyberattacks, network segmentation is one of the few undeniably optimistic options to ensure a business’ cybersecurity. By employing the various network segmentation types, such as a firewall or VLAN segmentation, businesses ensure that their data is protected and external threats cannot disrupt workflow.
Understanding How Network Segmentation Works
As the name suggests, network segmentation divides the network into smaller sections or “segments.” This opens up the floodgates of efficiency and aids in security. Network segmentation is the technique that limits the full access to business data to specified individuals; nobody from outside the specified officials can access the data.
Much like the Zero Trust model, network segmentation isolates assets and disables free access to individuals. Only when they verify their identity can they access the respective assets. The key concept of cyberattacks is that the attacker enters the system and makes his way laterally; he disrupts the entire workflow. However, network segmentation stops the attacker right in his tracks; it traps the issue and isolates it.
Network Segmentation and Zero Trust
The Zero Trust strategy is one of the most vital measures against cyberattacks. It implements the “trust no one, verify everyone” policy that has deterred many cybercriminals. It eradicates the concept of implicit trust and ensures that every user must verify their identity at every step of the data-accessing process. The security is increased twofold by incorporating Zero Trust in the network segmentation strategy. Every network section then has an added layer of protection that is difficult to breach.
How Network Segmentation Ensures CyberSecurity
Most businesses refrain from opting for network segmentation because it is relatively arduous compared to other security measures. Detailed information about the network’s infrastructure is vital to implement network segmentation, and collecting that can be a lengthy process. The process requires careful attention as even a single gap in data security can have disastrous impacts on the company.
However, it also ensures maximum security for any organization in the corporate sector. Implementing network segmentation in your business easily outweighs any challenging setup issues you might face. The pros of this method are:
1. Slowing down attackers:
One of the biggest perks of network segmentation is that it restricts the attacker. When a breach occurs, the attacker is slowed down and trapped in that network segment instead of gaining free lateral movement. Breaking out of this chokehold can take a lot of time, enough for the business to be alarmed and implement instant measures to take out the attack.
Most attackers want the most crucial business data they can access. However, this data is the most secure and hard to breach. As a result, they try to enter through the neighboring data points and make their way to the main target.
Increasing Overall Data Security:
Network segmentation ensures that every segment you have divided your business data into has a standalone security system. This comes into play as soon as any of these segments is breached. If the attacker has to go through layers of security for each segment, it might deter them from the entire attempt. These segments serve as added cushioning to the internally-facing network assets.
Coupling with Principle of Least Privilege
Network segmentation goes hand in hand with the Principle of Least Privilege. By ensuring that your data is placed in different sections, you ultimately assert that no threat, internal or external, can breach significant portions of the business data. Most businesses lose their credible data due to hackers gaining access to employees’ credentials. However, the least privilege principle ensures no such attack is successful.
Sheltering Vulnerable Devices
Not all the devices of any business are equally secure. OInes with the most confidential data are more secure than other devices for regular use. Hackers are well aware of this and try to breach highly secured data by breaching relatively insecure devices. However, network segmentation ensures that devices or connections with relatively low security do not lead to more vulnerabilities in the system.
Best Practices for Network Segmentation
As effective as it may be, network segmentation is costly and time-consuming. Certain practices must be followed to make network segmenting optimal security of your business’ data. These are:
- Avoiding over segmenting
It can be easy to get carried away and create an excessive number of segments for added security. However, more is not the merrier in this case, as too many segments can also inhibit the accessibility for internal members.
- Auditing networks regularly
Accessing and managing control becomes trickier with the creation of so many network segments. Businesses need to make data-driven decisions about these aspects. For that, they need to implement accurate auditing practices, such as vulnerability assessments, to help make informed decisions about such cybersecurity practices.
With third-party vendors requiring access to your network’s data, it can be rather helpful to determine which access points need the most work. The regularly performed audits can contribute in this regard tremendously.
Cybersecurity is of paramount importance in the current day and age, and businesses must implement techniques such as network segmentation to avoid or minimize damages. Such extensive security measures can instantly discourage attackers or neutralize their malicious attempts, securing valuable business data.