Network security is one of the main concerns with today’s commercial information technology. More businesses are operating remotely now more than ever, and information must be accessible on a potentially global scale. The growing popularity of the Cloud is changing the commercial IT landscape and helping accomplish this goal. However, this also means that security must change with it. Here’s why traditional network segmentation is not enough for this IT era.
How Traditional Network Segmentation Works
Traditional network segmentation typically follows one of three forms. One is a software-defined network that uses various network segmentation controls such as VLANs, overlay networks, subnets, protocols, ports, etc. Another form uses native hypervisors and cloud network controls, which utilize virtual network interface cards (vNICs.) Thirdly, host-based controls use firewalls to protect the network perimeter on the host level.
All in all, these three forms work within a model similar to a walled city. The wall is heavily fortified with guards placed around it. Anyone entering the realm is a potential threat, but if the visitor makes it past security, it is just another trusted individual.
How Cyber Attacks Work
Cyberattackers work with the times; just as commercial IT changes and develops over time, so their hacking systems adapt and grow in complexity. Nevertheless, today’s attack method can be more or less summarized into three steps:
- Gain access to a compromised, vulnerable device.
- Move laterally across internal users and applications to find a critical asset.
- Attack with malware, ransomware, or information theft.
Unfortunately, traditional networks cannot implement the security needed to beat today’s cyber attack technology.
Lack of Identity
In traditional networks, a user or application is allowed to access the business network based on its IP address. This means that although one’s IP address may be authorized to access important data, any user or application that is using that address can enter. It is like allowing a house guest to access your email account by giving him your Wi-Fi password. Since no one would do this, networks should request authorized credentials from a user or application before allowing them into the network.
Lack of Visibility
Traditional network segmentation also lacks the visibility needed to monitor network traffic. If networks used identity-based network security, it would become far easier to track network flow and catch suspicious activity immediately.
Why Microsegmentation Is Key
Microsegmentation is the answer to what traditional network segmentation lacks. Microsegmentation is the methodology behind zero trust security, in which no application or user is trustworthy in or outside of the network. Moreover, the network only sends outbound signals. Microsegmentation breaks up the network into multiple zones requiring two-step verification for each. With identity as the key, it becomes much harder for attackers to succeed.
Contact Axus Technologies for Your Commercial IT Needs
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