Secure Your Network With Micro-Segmentation

Written by Albert Finch

Micro-segmentation is a useful tool or a security technique to protect our devices and users from being targeted by cyber-attacks. When used effectively, it enables us to easily limit users and devices on the network, while reducing IT costs. It is a feature often deployed in the IaaS and PaaS spaces, but it has been relatively scarce in the healthcare space.

Many IT professionals worry that micro-segmentation will harm productivity. However, that is not true. In a world where we need to securely share healthcare system data, the real productivity of micro-segmentation comes through more secure networks.

Even if it is only used by administrators or security teams, micro-segmentation can be helpful.  it limits access to data at the endpoint. That means no more alerts about high volumes of unique device activity. Segmentation protects your organization and its data without affecting productivity.

Micro segmentation security greatly reduces the number of management tasks you need to do. That means you can focus your time on more important things, like:

  • Organizing your users
  • Creating trust rules
  • Organizing the network
  • Configuring vulnerability scanning and runtime analysis
  • Defining effective policies

Define, Establish, and Communicate Trust Rules

The goal of micro-segmentation is to set up a “secure perimeter” around each section of your ecosystem. Each segment is defined by security policies that limit how and where devices can connect. These policies should also limit how and where data can flow within those segments.

The default rules that we build for micro-segmentation are easy to set up and easy to configure. We set up basic segmentation around services to limit network access, but if we increase the risk of a breach, our rules can also be expanded. The more complex micro-segmentation we build, the more rules we will have to build and the more work it will be for admins.

Securing Networks With Micro-Segmentation Has Arrived

Micro-segmentation is a great strategy to secure your network and reduce your operational costs. That’s because micro-segmentation is a low-cost way to bring your security policies to a real-time situation. As businesses move more IT resources to cloud environments, segmenting your data can also be a highly cost-effective solution. If you are using a hybrid of cloud and on-premise IT, it is possible to implement micro-segmentation in your hybrid environment.

Cybersecurity professionals may be worried about adding security measures to ensure that they can’t be read by malware. They don’t need to be worried about this. Micro-segmentation works because it limits what devices can access, not what software and services you run. Therefore, it’s very unlikely that malware will be able to access your data from outside the protected zones of the micro-segmentation.

How Micro-segmentation Works

Just like any other type of security measure, it’s important to understand what’s happening at the edge of micro-segmentation and how it works. When a device connects to a network, it sends a request to the network. The network then responds with a response. The response includes the destination IP address.

In this way, a typical endpoint or host will talk to the network and see what it offers. That’s why we use the phrase endpoint or host instead of server. That means that a micro-segmentation network will block requests from non-malware devices (such as a Jabber server or VPN server) while allowing legitimate requests.

This approach also means that if a device wants to access the internet, it will have to find a way to access the internet through the segmented network. This additional requirement means the networking system has added some additional protection that wasn’t there previously. The network needs to block DNS requests to certain domains, and the device will have to accept some additional security measures, like two-factor authentication.

Now, you can see that micro-segmentation protection is in effect at the edge, but it’s not actually a firewall. Micro-segmentation will take full advantage of security tools, such as firewalls and virtual private networks (VPNs). While micro-segmentation is always improving, you might need to add more security measures after micro-segmentation placement. However, as the threat landscape changes, micro-segmentation can adapt. It’s a perfect way to mitigate the risk in your hybrid cloud and hybrid network environment.

Benefits of Securing Networks With Micro-Segmentation

Now you know how micro-segmentation works and how it’s a good option for building security into your network. It’s also a good option if you are struggling to build security into your hybrid cloud. Cyber attacks are on the rise and evolving constantly in cloud-integrated solutions. Micro-segmentation is one of the best ways to ensure that the perimeter remains secure.

Here are a few primary benefits of securing networks with micro-segmentation:

  • Minimize the number of devices, systems, and configurations exposed to the outside of your network and reduce the number of possible entry points, and threats to your organization’s data
  • Stop malware from infecting external hosts on the network by isolating them from other hosts and the outside world
  • Minimize risks from external devices by limiting what they can access and limit what software can be run on them
  • Protect the network from compromise by limiting what people, devices, or software can see

Thus, with micro-segmentation, you can prevent malware from accessing your files and ensure that your network’s server does not give criminals a path into your network.

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Micro-segmentation may seem like a complicated process. That’s because, for the first time, organizations have the ability to protect the full range of data in their hybrid cloud and hybrid network environments. It is not a new concept, and many other industries and companies are already using micro-segmentation to some extent.

Micro-segmentation offers a simple and efficient solution to a previously-unrealized need. That’s why it is now the leading solution for building security in any hybrid cloud environment. Your networks will continue to become a strategic asset as more and more hybrid cloud solutions gain traction in the marketplace.

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Albert Finch

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