Having an effective cybersecurity structure in a private network is the first thing you need to protect your business. Since a compromised network might end up causing downtimes and profit loss, you need to put security before pretty much everything else. Thanks to the recent developments in the cybersecurity industry, we now have the means to fight risks.
One of these developments is the emerging technology of network segmentation. It’s been on the market for years. But with the increased use of personal devices and the hiring of remote workers, network segmentation is more popular than ever.
With a lot of articles online about network segmentation, it may be hard to get clear-cut information about it. We have covered all you need and explained what is network segmentation, and how it improves network security.
What is Network Segmentation?
Before we go explaining network segmentation in detail and compare it to legacy security frameworks, we need a simple definition. In simplest terms, network segmentation is the practice of categorizing a greater network into smaller chunks. This is usually done by putting switches or routers between these separate segments.
When compared to legacy solutions such as traditional VPNs, network segmentation revolutionizes the way networks are handled. In traditional security practices, users within a network are granted complete access to all resources. The authorization only takes place during the sign-in process.
This was mostly sufficient until the emergence of diverse company networks with cloud applications and the use of remote work environments. On that note, these two brought about serious concerns regarding how to control remote access and secure third-party apps and tools.
These are simply the reasons why network segmentation is so favored; companies need a way to adopt a least-privileged access approach to ensure data integrity. If you enable access to all resources within a private network; you put sensitive data at risk due to third-party and internal threats.
Another concern that contributes to the popularity of network segmentation is the vast adoption of remote work. People are now working from home, from their personal devices, or even in coffee shops. With an increased risk of compromised devices and connections, cyber attacks can be lethal if not controlled. Network segmentation helps IT admins draw boundaries on what users can access, thus controlling any cyber attack and decreasing the potential costs.
How Does Network Segmentation Improve Security?
Traditional cybersecurity services fail to deliver the granular security modern networks need. Network segmentation offers a more dynamic, easy-to-manage, and risk-free way to protect private networks. Let’s see some of the best benefits of network segmentation to understand why you need it.
1) Reduce the damage of a cyber attack
Thanks to network segmentation, IT professionals can trap hackers in a small network segment in case of a successful cyber attack. If your network is segmented properly with different access permission levels, the intruder will only have access to a specific and pre-determined segment.
Although this would still be a great risk, you would have enough time to fend off the intruder and protect the sensitive data on other segments with your divided network. Cyber attacks can happen, but if you can reduce the damage of one, you will still survive.
2) Increase network monitoring
Network monitoring is a crucial part of securing private networks. IT admins need a clear understanding of all the access requests or any other activities happening on a network. As you might agree, controlling and monitoring a network consisting of smaller components is much easier than monitoring a single gigantic network.
By setting up access levels on different segments, you can ensure that users are not crossing borders and staying within their predetermined limits. But of course, you will still have soft spots as in any other network, which monitoring helps greatly to fix.
In order to understand the deficiencies in a network, IT admins can perform effective audits thanks to improved monitoring ability. According to NordLayer, frequent audits in a segmented network provide valuable insights about vulnerabilities and help professionals reinforce their networks.
3) Limit third-party access
Most web-based businesses are getting some degree of help from third-party vendors. They are using SaaS applications, and other cloud-based tools, or partnering up with other companies. Since they need a way to work together, sharing resources with each other is common.
But if you do not utilize network segmentation, you might risk some of the valuable data on your networks being visible to the third-parties. Third parties do not have to be granted access to all resources, and it needs to be controlled.
By implementing network segmentation, you can instantly eliminate the risk rooted in third-party access by defining specific access permissions. Third-party services are not operated by you, so limiting their access to confidential data is a wise choice to prevent data breaches.
Network segmentation is an emerging practice used to facilitate network management and access control. It is a highly suggested measure that allows IT teams to achieve granular security. By using this modern approach on your networks, you can get valuable insights into what happens on your network each day, monitor access in detail, and prevent internal threats.