In a few of my recent posts, I’ve talked a bit about using defense-in-depth strategies featuring network segmentation as a core part of a strong cybersecurity posture. But, what is network segmentation, and how does it benefit your business?
A Quick Explanation of Network Segmentation
Network segmentation is, to put it as simply as possible, the practice of dividing a larger computer network into several small subnetworks that are each isolated from one another.
While many cybersecurity experts extol the benefits of keeping the different parts of a network isolated from one another, it seems that few organizations have fully implemented the practice. In fact, according to data cited by CIO, “although virtually all information technology professionals believe network segmentation is an essential security measure, less than one-quarter of organizations actually implement it.”
The Benefits of Network Segmentation
One reason why many businesses might not have set up network segmentation is that it can be a chore to set up—requiring detailed information about the network’s infrastructure so segments and control points can be created without leaving any gaps or workarounds to bypass the security, strong security controls, and major reworks to both the network architecture and the business processes that rely on it.
However, the benefits of segmenting your network can massively outweigh the challenges. Some key benefits of network segmentation include:
- Slowing Down Attackers. One of the biggest benefits of using network segmentation is that it can buy you extra time during an attack. If an attacker successfully breaches your network, and that network is segmented, then it will take some extra time for the attacker to break out of that segmented portion of the network to get at the resources they really want.
- Stronger Data Security. By segmenting networks, it becomes easier to protect the most sensitive data that you have on your internally-facing network assets. The creation of a layer of separation between servers containing sensitive data and everything outside of your network can do wonders to reduce your risk of data loss or theft.
- Easier Implementation of a Policy of Least Privilege. Having strong network segmentation makes it easier to restrict user access to your most sensitive information and systems. This can be invaluable for protecting that information if a user’s access credentials are compromised—or abused. In other words, network segmentation helps you to protect your business against insider attacks as well as attacks by outsiders.
- Reduced Damage from Successful Attacks. Because strong network segmentation can help keep attackers from breaking out of a system before you’ve contained the breach and cut off their access, it can help to minimize the damage caused by such breaches. There’s a world of difference between the time, money, and effort it takes to recover from a breach where the attacker was only able to compromise a single workstation and a breach involving thousands of financial records across your entire network.
I cannot stress enough the importance of creating a defense-in-depth strategy for your business that leverages strong network segmentation and numerous cybersecurity tools to reinforce that segmentation.
To get help creating a cybersecurity plan for your business to follow, or if you want to learn more about how you can segment your network to increase security without impacting your business, then contact Compuquip Cybersecurity! We have years of experience in helping enterprises implement new cybersecurity architectures that help protect their business interests.