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How An Innovative Approach To Network Segmentation Improves Data Security

  Josh Cronin     Jun 14, 2022

How An Innovative Approach To Network Segmentation Improves Data SecurityThe rapid implementation of digital transformation across all industries makes network management and security more complex. This heightened complexity increases vulnerabilities, leading to a greater frequency of data breaches along with a higher average cost per breach. Just last year, businesses experienced the highest average cost of a data breach in 17 years at $4.24 million, rising from $3.86 million in 2020. To stay protected, enterprises need to utilize efficient approaches such as network segmentation.

What Is Network Segmentation?

Network segmentation is an architectural method of splitting a network into multiple segments or subnets. This allows each segment to act as its own small network. In other words, this segmentation allows network administrators such as yourself to have full control over the traffic flow between subnets that is based on your granular policies. Simply put, this technique divides a computer network into smaller physical components. The high-level purpose of splitting a network is to improve network performance and security.

Network segmentation is one of the best approaches to take against data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other types of cybersecurity threats. In a segmented network, groups of servers only have the connectivity required for business use, which limits the ability of ransomware to pivot from system to system.

Benefits Of Network Segmentation

Businesses may hesitate when it comes to setting up network segmentation because subdividing a network into functional domains may seem intimidating. However, the benefits outweigh the challenges. The benefits of network segmentation include:

  1. Improved Operational Performance

There are fewer hosts per subnetwork on a segmented network, which helps to reduce congestion. Cisco provides an excellent example by sharing that, “a hospital's medical devices can be segmented from its visitor network so that medical devices are unaffected by web browsing.” This reduced congestion minimizes local traffic and ultimately leads to improved operational performance. And ultimately allows for improved patient-to-provider interaction as so much has already been asked of healthcare facilities across the nation.

  1. Limits Cyberattack Damage

Network segmentation helps reduce the time and effort spent recovering from a cyberattack. When a segmented network is breached, the activity of the hacker is restricted to a single subnetwork. Not only does this make the attack harder to spread, but it also gives security teams time to upgrade the security controls in the other segments, making it harder for the attacker to gain access to the whole system.

  1. Protects Vulnerable Devices

Not all devices in a network are built with enhanced security defenses. Network segmentation can help prevent cyberattacks on these unprotected devices by making them difficult to reach.

  1. Reduces The Scope Of Compliance

Network segmentation is an excellent way to boost network security, but it can also help reduce compliance scope. In a non-segmented network, the whole network is in-scope for compliance, which drastically increases the costs and effort needed to secure the business network. Utilizing segmentation-only systems or subnets limits the number of in-scope systems, in turn reducing compliance requirements.

A Fresh Outlook On Network Segmentation

Increased network complexity from the rapid adoption of digital transformation across the globe makes it more difficult for security teams to protect enterprise data and systems. The usual security approaches can’t keep up with the growth of digitization and protect large amounts of data. Fortunately, Cisco Security Segmentation Advisory Service provides a strategic and innovative approach to network segmentation. It helps organizations reduce risk, simplify their audit profile, and protect data.

Cisco’s segmentation service is customer-specific to help develop a model that will meet your business needs. By looking at an organization's network architecture, this service can also help you apply separate controls over different systems and data with a secure management system. Additionally, it incorporates reusable design patterns that can be used as your business changes.

The objective of network segmentation is to simplify the application of security by using a centralized management point. When this process is integrated, it helps reduce complexity and doesn’t need much maintenance.

Conclusion

Whether you’re trying to reduce compliance scope or enhance security in your business, network segmentation is an essential way to prevent cyberattacks from spreading across your organization’s network, keeping your valuable files safe. If you’d like to discover more about building an effective segmentation strategy for your business, contact WEI to work with our network security professionals today.

Next Steps: To learn more about agile network security solutions and services for your enterprise, download our Tech Brief, “5 Critical Questions You Need To Answer Concerning Your Cybersecurity Strategy.”

Tags  data security security solutions enterprise security Cisco network security Network Segmentation

Josh Cronin

Written by Josh Cronin

Josh Cronin, Presales Engineer at WEI, provides technical guidance and system design consultation for our customers during the presales process. Josh’s areas of expertise include converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, virtualization, and the software defined technologies that make up the SDDC. Josh holds several certifications from Cisco and VMware.

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