Why is Network Segmentation Important? What you Should Know

When you think of network segmentation, your mind may go to things like firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. However, there are a variety of other ways that you can protect your networks, as well. Using segmentation can help you improve performance, reduce system attack surfaces, and even ensure regulatory compliance.

Reduces system attack surfaces

The purpose of minimizing system attack surfaces is to decrease the risk of cyber attacks and protect assets. By understanding the attack surface, you can make a plan to minimize its size and limit the scope of a breach.

The attack surface consists of all the resources and applications that are accessible by an attacker. This includes physical, digital, and human vulnerabilities. An attack surface can also include third-party vendors.

A good way to identify your attack surface is to map all the networked devices in your organization. This can be done with a tool such as a vulnerability management tool.

The next step is to use this information to identify vulnerabilities. This can be done with a tool that allows you to scan your internal and external systems. This can be useful in identifying gaps in your security policies.

Another way to reduce the attack surface is to monitor user behavior. This can be done by reviewing logs, network connections, and network usage reports. These can help you to identify regular traffic patterns, bandwidth utilization, and endpoint behaviors.

You can also minimize the attack surface by limiting access to sensitive data and features. This can be done through a passwordless authentication method or using cryptographic keys.

A common approach for reducing the attack surface is microsegmentation. Microsegmentation is the process of splitting your data center into logical units, with each unit having its own security policy. This limits the number of attack vectors available to an attacker and reduces the amount of time they have to dwell on your network.

Other methods for reducing the attack surface are auditing and mapping the network. These two techniques can help to detect misconfigurations, rogue employees, and outdated software. These processes can also help you to keep track of the security posture of your organization.

Finally, analyzing the source code of the application you’re planning to launch can be helpful. You should be sure to carefully test the code to minimize the chance of vulnerabilities. You should also hide any parameters that are not in use.

Improves performance

Network segmentation has become an essential element of many networks today. It improves performance, security and reliability. It also offers opportunities for quick response to incoming threats. However, it is important to keep in mind that it can add complexity and increase overhead costs.

Network segmentation consists of isolating distinct areas of the network, known as subnetworks. This helps to prevent attacks from spreading throughout the network. It also limits the damage caused by a successful attack. It can help reduce bandwidth hogs and congestion.

To protect against a breach, organizations have to regularly conduct network audits. These audits can identify gaps in architecture and design. They can also highlight new resources on the network. Those gaps can be filled with solutions that centralize and manage traffic data.

Network segmentation also makes it difficult for attackers to move around the network. They cannot lateralize without passing through a firewall. This increases the probability of detection.

Using subnets to separate the network allows for easier monitoring and access control. The result is less local traffic and fewer hosts per subnetwork. This makes it easier for admins to respond quickly to network events.

Network segmentation can be used for cloud-based services and campus networks. It can also be employed in data centers. It can reduce network bandwidth while still providing consistent performance.

When network traffic is divided into subnets, it becomes easier to filter out unwanted traffic. This can also limit access to specific users. This can be done by implementing quality of service rules. These can prioritize latency sensitive traffic.

Aside from minimizing network disruptions, network segmentation can also improve the speed at which the security team can react to threats. Moreover, it provides more channels for alerts. This can allow the security team to be notified of suspicious activity on the network. This can also help the organization to better understand network traffic.

Despite its benefits, network segmentation can be a challenge. It can be confusing for security teams to deal with, and it can add complexity to troubleshooting.

When implementing network segmentation, be sure to monitor your network closely to detect and address any potential issues. This will help to prevent the loss of valuable data and ensure that your network is protected.

Ensures regulatory compliance

When you’re trying to comply with a regulatory body, such as PCI or HIPAA, you need to implement network segmentation. This will help you protect your organization’s data and IT assets from threats. It also simplifies compliance requirements and reduces the costs of compliance.

The need for network segmentation is growing because of the increased use of IoT devices. These devices are more vulnerable than other systems and need a higher level of protection. A well-built network can protect IoT devices from attacks, while keeping unauthorized users from gaining access to sensitive information.

Managing and implementing network segmentation requires careful consideration. For example, you’ll need to identify the data that needs to be protected, the level of sensitivity, and the security measures to be applied to it. Once you’ve identified the data, you can then divide it into segments.

Using firewalls, routers, and switches, your network can be logically divided into segments. Each segment limits access to certain systems or applications. For instance, you may create a segment for HR or finance department applications, while keeping the SWIFT system outside of it. This will make it easy to enforce security policies and respond quickly to an incident.

A segmented network helps prevent external intrusions and social engineering attacks. This type of network can prevent unauthorized users from gaining unauthorized access to the financial system. It can also help mitigate risk of a ransomware infection.

Using segmentation to manage the PCI compliance standards will keep credit card data safe. It can also ensure that the organization meets the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Having an external demarcation point allows you to control traffic between the segments and implement your security policies. The most common external demarcation point is a firewall or router.

If you have a large bank or multiple branch locations, you may need to segment your networks for regulatory compliance. You can also isolate mission-critical systems and devices.

The best way to get started is to assess your IT assets. Then, you can divide them into separate segments based on function and need. This will reduce the number of devices on a single subnet, thereby improving performance.

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