Network Segmentation Best Practices You Need to Know
When it comes to tackling a large plan or course of action, it’s helpful to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. The same approach is helpful for implementing network security measures, known as network segmentation.
Network segmentation is the process of dividing a large network into smaller sections isolated from one another, known as segments. This strategy can play a pivotal role in fortifying your company’s network, assets, information, and ultimately your reputation. But what exactly is network segmentation and why is it important? We’ll cover that and a few best practices for network segmentation. Keep reading to learn more!
Why Is Network Segmentation Important?
Network segmentation enables various aspects of your network to operate cohesively but not fall victim to a domino effect if a cybersecurity threat infiltrates your network. Since segmentation involves breaking up your existing, vast network into smaller pieces, you can swiftly and effectively recognize and remediate any threats that are attacking one part of your network before it spreads to another part.
This strategy is a crucial component of your enterprise’s cybersecurity strategy since it automatically strengthens your network. Instead of simply managing your broad, overarching network as one whole operation, chunking it out into sections that are then independently secured results in a stronger overałl network.
Utilizing the network segmentation approach is also more efficient and effective when dealing with multiple points of security or variances in security policy measures. In other words, if you have a database on one part of your network that mandates stricter security measures than other parts of your network, then you can more effectively manage that by making it its own segment. Thus, leveraging network segmentation efforts further provides better risk management than not employing it.
Types of Network Segmentation Approaches
There are a few different approaches to implementing network segmentation practices, including:
- Physical network segmentation: As the name suggests, this approach to network segmentation splices up the network based on physical hardware like routers and access points
- Logical network segmentation: This divides up your enterprise’s network into sections that make logical sense, such as virtual local area networks (VLANS) that might share hardware
- Firewall segmentation: Your organization’s network can also be pieced out by way of grouping firewalls together
Collaborate with your internal team to determine which method or approach is the best fit for your network and your organization’s needs; there’s more than one way to implement this cybersecurity measure!
Network Segmentation Best Practices
Employing a comprehensive, well-rounded cybersecurity strategy is paramount for your enterprise’s enduring protection against threats, attacks, and hackers. Part of this includes network segmentation, although it might seem daunting to tackle.
Let’s look at some of the best practices for network segmentation:
Start with the Least Privileged
Since not everyone needs access to every part of your network, start with those who have the most minimal access. Tracking along this line of thinking and assigning access via privilege and based on roles helps determine who needs access to which networks. This keeps your approach organized and nimble in the event that things change.
Monitor and Routinely Audit Your Network
As with rolling out most initiatives, it’s best to monitor and routinely audit the performance and status of whatever you’re working out. Here, of course, it’s essential to monitor and track user patterns and points of access within your network to see if changes need to be made or if there are blind spots in your segmentation strategy. Gaps in your cybersecurity posture will be found and exploited by hackers, so stay proactive and routinely monitor your network and its segments.
Limit Third-Party Access When Necessary
It’s always a good idea to keep access to your enterprise’s network and data restricted to third-party users or vendors—particularly since they are sometimes not under the same legal and ethical standards that your internal employees are held to. This is smart, practical advice for nearly any security measure, whether digital or physical, since these third-party persons don’t need excessive access. Evaluate what their basic needs would be on your network, if applicable, and don’t be afraid to enforce them.
Partner with Compuquip to Fortify Your Cybersecurity Posture!
With decades of experience and dozens of certifications, the experts here at Compuquip are eager to work with your enterprise to streamline your cybersecurity processes! Whether that entails advising you in the network segmentation process, automating your firewalls, providing big-picture technical guidance, or something else, we’re ready to help however we can.