Network Segmentation: Necessary and Effective IT Threat Prevention

Network segmentation is an effective strategy for deterring threats to IT security. But with the extensive priorities faced by IT and security teams, it isn’t always considered a priority. Today’s rise in frequency of threats to network security, however, is bringing well-deserved attention to this strategy. Network segmentation can effectively deter cybercriminals, or, at minimum, limit damage, when implemented as a component of an overall security strategy.

Many major worldwide organizations and businesses are focusing on network segmentation. Should your organization or business take a step toward securing sensitive information with network segmentation? Perhaps you have questions.

Network Segmentation

What Does the Term Network Segmentation Mean?

Network segmentation basically means separating different parts of a computer network with the use of devices. It benefits organizations and businesses by including multiple departments within one network, yet keeping them separate for reasons of security and efficient operation. Network segmentation is a framework that can be used in data centres or at the location of your business or organization.

In a traditional network, every server and workstation is located on the same Local Area Network (LAN). That’s not always necessary, and the practice can cause problems. In many cases, these traditional systems may pose a threat to each other. Allowing them to communicate can create an opportunity for cybercriminals to jump from one system to another. Ease of connection could allow forms of malware to be generated across an entire network.

Segmenting breaks an entire network into smaller network sections. Groups of systems or applications become separate from each other. It’s not so easy for cybercriminals or malware to access and misuse or disrupt the information stored across an entire network. If cyber crime did occur, it could be confined to a single section, “segment” of the network.

Security is the Main Reason for Implementing Network Segmentation

Network segmentation acts as strong protection against widespread cyber-attacks. This is no insignificant feat since cyber crime is becoming more prevalent in 2021. How does network segmentation support security?

Segmented networks usually require separate codes or passwords to gain access to each segment.

Limiting access privileges and the use of specific resources to each segment or service within a network to those who possess a legitimate need to reach that particular segment makes sense for many reasons. Security is the most important one.

Network segmentation offers the opportunity to log events and note suspicious behaviour. These capabilities and requirements prevent breaches and increase the chances a breach will be noted before damage results.

In a segmented network, traffic is isolated or filtered to prevent or limit access between segments of the network.

Even if a hacker gains access to one segment of a network system, the rest cannot be reached without additional knowledge or effort. Thus, the security breach would be less comprehensive than it would be if the entire network remained connected.

Additional Perks of Network Segmentation

Network segmentation enhances network performance by limiting the number of users in specified zones. There will also be fewer hosts per subnet. This, also, minimizes the volume of local traffic, increasing speed and performance for users.

In addition to security risks from outside the organization or business, and increased network performance, it is important to segment networks to reduce risk from internal threats. Sometimes it’s inappropriate for employees to share information from other departments. And, some types of sensitive information could pose a danger if accessed by certain staff members.

Performing a Risk Assessment

When networks aren’t kept up to date with current security practices, including segmentation, organizations and businesses face danger. Damages due to cyberattacks and data breaches may be insurmountable. Performing an assessment of assets and determining whether your organization or business could survive a data breach can bring unsettling realizations.

Network Segmentation Provides Security Insights

A major advantage of network segmentation is that the damage can be controlled in the event of a data breach, cyberattack, or other threat, by limiting the attack to only the part of the network affected. Compartmentalizing networks by segmenting them prevents overwhelming, organization-wide damage.

Network segmentation allows the addition of multiple points of network monitoring. When performing multiple network checks, segmentation makes it more likely any potentially suspicious behaviour will be detected. The source of the behaviour and the impact the problem is creating on the business or organization will be easier to locate when network segmentation has been implemented.

Log events and internal connections, when enabled, allow administrators to identify patterns of suspicious behaviour. Being aware of how cybercriminals operate lets an organization or business implement actions to improve security. Administration members can then implement policies to help protect the noted areas of high risk.

Is Network Segmentation a new Trend?

Though network segmentation isn’t new, and the strategy isn’t universally implemented, it is definitely not outdated. Network segmentation is one of the best ways to halt cyberattacks and data breaches.

The frequency with which organizations and businesses are suffering cyberattacks suggests network segmentation could eventually become a mandatory practice. And, there will definitely be a demand for the subnet. Segmentation supports that requirement.

What Types of IT Systems are Most in Need of Network Segmentation?

Any network that uses the internet to function needs network segmentation. If a network is highly complicated, it’s even more essential to apply network segmentation to fulfill the security and user needs of the network security system.

If a network is not connected to online IT services, segmentation may not be needed.  But that’s not the case for most of us.

A flat network simplifies the number of switches needed. A flat network saves time initially. But it can leave your business or organization vulnerable to cybercriminals.

A breach can spell disaster for the enterprises’ future. Without network segmentation, if unauthorized access is gained, it can sweep across the entire network, allowing unauthorized individuals free-range to pilfer or alter information for their own purposes.

Determining the level of network segmentation that’s right for your organization or business ensures the security of stored and transmitted data. Compunet is your technology partner in Vancouver. Contact us for help in securing your network and your enterprises’ future.