While businesses are struggling to protect their systems through elements such as firewalls, SDNs, and hybrid cloud platforms, cybercriminals continue to take advantage of constant network changes and breaches to execute attacks of all kinds. Considering that in some systems the access standards are extremely permissive; how to make our digital environments more secure? The answer seems to lie in networks segmentation.
Networks segmentation is a super effective strategy to contain threats to avoid their propagation within a system. If you still don’t know it or you’re not sure of its usefulness within your company; we recommend that you continue reading to discover all its advantages.
Why networks segmentation?
Corporate systems tend to constantly face great challenges to maintain the security of their networks. This is mainly due to the fact that an enormous amount of data interacts in the network; often protected by weak security strategies.
Considering that this data may include sensitive information from customers or the company itself, it is not surprising that cybercriminals use networks as a primary target for data theft. Among the most important factors that weaken network security are:
Lack of measures to make members of the organization aware of security issues
By not being well-informed, members of the organization become gateways for malicious elements of all kinds. The IoT era has allowed employees to access the corporate network without difficulty through unauthorized access points. This has resulted in increased vulnerabilities in the systems, leading to an increase in attacks such as phishing and other social engineering attacks.
Third party access to the network
Many companies deal with third parties that require Internet access. For example, a vendor may request the use of the company’s network to control and modify the settings of a POS system. Certain terminals placed in stores may require network access to transmit data, and some customers require Wi-Fi to use their mobile devices while shopping. All of these represent access points that are difficult to control.
The main difficulty with these unauthorized intrusions is that when a malicious element enters into the system; the traditional network architecture will allow it to expand seamlessly to the entire computing environment. This results in a total infection that is difficult to eliminate.
In this case, and aware that no system is exempt from attacks, the best strategy that can be carried out is the segmentation of networks.
What exactly is network segmentation?
Networks segmentation is a strategy that allows networks that are part of a system to be divided into “security zones”; or segments separated by firewalls. When configured correctly, the segments separate applications and prevent access to confidential data.
This limits the ability of attackers to rotate from one application to another and allows networks administrators to manage the quality of service across specific segments; to prioritize the most critical applications.
What are the benefits of network segmentation?
- Possibility to delegate the administration of subnets: network segmentation results in the creation of multiple subnets. This allows the decentralization of administration to delegate the management of each subnet to a different person. As a consequence, security teams can simplify the total management of the system; and their visibility on the attack surfaces of their computing environments is increased.
- Bandwidth Optimization: if multiple hosts on the same subnet communicate, they will only use the bandwidth allocated to their subnet, not the entire network.
- Ease of analysis and intervention: if you encounter a problem with a host (such as unusual bandwidth consumption), it will be easier to analyze its behavior and correct the malfunction when it is on a subnet (fewer machines) than on the entire network.
Good practices for network segmentation
Network segmentation is complex and requires constant and meticulous monitoring. This architecture is very secure when properly configured, but if not done properly; it can have adverse consequences for the company. To help you get started, here are some good practices you can follow:
- Use PKI, WPA2/WPA2/Infrastructure Enterprise and RADIUS/TACACS+ infrastructures: This provides a central repository of users or devices authorized to access the network by using certificates to authenticate the server and the device.
- Create and configure VLAN segments. A VLAN will allow you to group peripherals.
- Ensure that each segment has its own IP address configuration, routing mode, access control; and interfaces (Wi-Fi SSID groups, Ethernet, and VLAN).
Remember that security also depends on using the right tools. Then try to have a suitable security scanner that gives you full visibility into your networks, web applications, cloud services and systems in general. In this case, you can find an excellent option in Tenable.io; a security scanner based on the best technology on the market.
Do you want more information about Tebnable.io? Contact us now. At GB Advisors we have a team of experts in digital security that will help you choose the most appropriate tool to protect your systems.