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Micro-segmentation: The best defense mechanism for an enterprise

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By Raja Ukil,SVP Enterprise Business, ColorTokens

We have all faced a time when things were not going well in our personal lives, and we continued to power through our professional ones – and vice versa. Ever wondered how we manage to do this? The answer is compartmentalisation. Psychologically, compartmentalisation is seen as a defense mechanism – a strategy our mind uses to protect itself during multiple internal conflicts. It gives us time to isolate our challenges and deal with them one at a time. The best of minds requires compartmentalisation and so does your organisation when it comes to cyberattacks!

Security Landscape

Today, the average time to identify and contact a data breach is 287 days, and the average data breach cost is US$ 4.24 million. This indicates a gap in traditional security practices, allowing attackers to infiltrate the ecosystem and stay undetected long enough to achieve their ultimate goal.

When digital adoption is at an all-time high, cloud-first is the new normal, and hybrid work is the preferred option, the traditional perimeter has long vanished, and the attack surface has increased significantly. What does this mean for existing security practices?

  • Detect and response solutions are insufficient to shrink the large time lag between exploit and response
  • Siloed stack of security technologies do not offer end-to-end visibility and are often protecting the known bad
  • High management overheads often lead to compliance failures
  • Inflexible hardware and network-based solutions cannot scale to handle today’s dynamic IT and application nature

Organisations need a new-age, proactive approach to cybersecurity that provides complete visibility into network traffic, helps discover vulnerabilities, prevents lateral movement and protects your critical assets.

Segmentation + Isolation = Survival

Just like your mind, your organisation’s defense begins with compartmentalisation – in this case, micro-segmentation. Originally used to moderate traffic between servers in the same network, micro-segmentation has evolved as the go-to practice to make security as granular as possible.

Achieved by creating zones within data centers and cloud environments, micro-segmentation isolates workloads and secures them individually. This helps system admins enforce stringent policies that monitor and control traffic to each segment based on a Zero Trust approach.

Benefits of Micro-segmentation

Micro-segmentation is not a silver bullet for security. However, it provides InfoSec teams with the necessary tools to discover, contain and prevent threats much faster. Gartner has also recommended it as one of the top security projects for CISOs. Some of its benefits include, but are not limited to:

Cloud Protection

By creating smaller “trust zones,” micro-segmentation vastly reduces the attack surface and provides granular, real-time visibility into all network activity. This helps detect suspicious movement early on, enabling security teams to act on it quickly.

Dynamic Environment Separation

Micro-segmentation helps limit access to sensitive data within the network. It segments the network by tagging workloads and applications instead of using IP addresses and VLAN memberships. This makes environment separation more adaptable to dynamic environments. It sets the foundation for a Zero Trust model with complete visibility and control.

Continuous Compliance

Ensuring regulatory compliance while tightening security is a mammoth challenge. From PCI-DSS to HIPAA and GDPR, micro-segmentation simplifies compliance by defining its scope and preventing lateral movement.

While micro-segmentation provides an array of business benefits, it is essential to know the suitable method for implementation. There are multiple approaches in the market, and organisations must identify their requirements to choose the correct one that works for them. Partnering with the right vendor can help.

In conclusion, when implemented correctly, micro-segmentation separates security controls from the underlying infrastructure and provides flexibility to enterprises in enforcing security rules in a dynamic environment. We have all heard the saying, “Don’t put your eggs in one basket.” Well, just like that, don’t keep all your valuable data and assets under one roof – where even the slightest bit of compromise can lead to colossal damage. Implement micro-segmentation today!

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1 Comment
  1. vinnie says

    Thank you for the such an awesome blog

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