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Why Microsegmentation Begins with Identity

Why Microsegmentation Begins with Identity

Identity is the key to successful microsegmentation.

With the world becoming more connected than ever through digital means, businesses of all kinds and sizes also connect through virtual networks to the same extent. The fluid, on-demand nature of the Cloud makes business all the more efficient and flexible. However, it does open many potential security breaches, which is why zero trust security, which offers microsegmentation of the network’s components, is typical for the Cloud. What makes microsegmentation even more effective is when it begins with identity.

Microsegmentation Basics and Types

Microsegmentation is the essence of zero trust security. Instead of keeping all workloads, applications, and users in one network, every one of these components must go through verification before gaining network access. Within the network, a user must gain access to various parts of the network individually as well. 

Microsegmentation comes in three deployment types:

  • Software-defined networks with network segmentation controls 
  • Cloud networks controls with virtual NICs
  • Controls provided by the host that use firewall technology

The Role of Identity

The three microsegmentation deployment models all follow the basic rules of zero trust security, but there is one thing lacking. While microsegmentation helps to isolate multiple components of the network, it does not necessarily mean each segment is hard to access. The locks are just as important as the doors. These three models primarily use one’s IP address as verification, but this is not enough. Rather, identity should be the main key each workload and application need to access the network.

Workload Identity

Concerning workload identity, every authorized host and container need an encrypted identity within your Cloud network. This identity consists of multiple contextual attributes, including metadata from various Cloud services (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, etc.)


Application dependencies are the connections between network applications with each other and with authorized (and potentially unauthorized) workloads. Visibility is key to managing the flow of connections between different applications and workloads, which workload identity can help with significantly. 

Identity-Based Policy Management

Every security system agenda has a set of rules, or policies, that make it functional. In microsegmentation, the attributes used for identifying and viewing workloads and applications also help with encoding security policies. Overall, this helps to unify and organize security policies.

Identity-Based Policy Enforcement

Identity also helps with policy enforcement. In traditional models, the system uses IP addresses to identify who is allowed into a network or not, but zero trust security doesn’t trust these addresses. Therefore, it will use a device or application’s identity instead to enforce its security policies.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 at 9:32 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.