Network Segregation and Network Segmentation for Cyber Security

11 Jun 2019, MOQdigital

Cyber Security

Copy of MOQdigital Jan - Mar II (56)Network segregation and segmentation are tools that businesses can use to reduce their security risks in a digital environment. Ransomware attacks have been on the rise as technology evolves and becomes more and more common in the workplace – and the results of an attack can be devastating for businesses. With the impact, including ransomware ransom costs and downtime, the loss of customer loyalty, lost data, potential fines, and the cost of restoration – all companies should be making moves to reduce their risks and improve their Cyber Security. Deploying countermeasures such as network segregation and segmentation can do this.

  • Network Segregation: refers to the separation of critical networks from the internet, as well as from other internal networks. It also enforces rules for communication between hosts and services.
  • Network Segmentation: involves splitting larger networks into smaller segments, usually through firewalls, local area networks, and other techniques.

Both of these strategies are capable of reducing the risk of ransomware attacks and can improve cybersecurity measures across an entire organisation – regardless of their size. Both are also recommended by the Australian Cyber Security Centre as an effective countermeasure against ransomware attacks.

Network segmentation and segregation can also help IT personnel perform better by enhancing auditing and alerting capabilities, both of which provide critical insight when it comes to identifying a cyber threat and deploying an appropriate response. This allows IT teams to become more agile and efficient in a Future Workplace and more capable of enhancing Digital Transformation within a company.

Implementing Network Segregation and Segmentation

When it comes to implementing segregation and segmentation within a network, the aim should be to restrict the level of access users have to sensitive information without compromising how an organisation operates. To do this, business leaders need to understand who needs access to what and why, and how to monitor and manage this access on an ongoing basis.

Both segregation and segmentation can be implemented via several techniques and technologies, including:

  • Implementing server and domain isolation with Internet Protocol Security
  • Implementing storage based segmentation
  • Implementing filtering technologies such as volume encryption
  • Utilising Cross Domain Solutions for sensitive connections.
  • Applying demilitarised zones and gateways between networks
  • Using technology layers through network and routing protocols, virtual hosts, host-based security, content filtering techniques, and more.

For implementation to be successful, all network segregation and segmentation technologies must be driven by an appropriate network architecture that is compliant with company requirements. It is crucial that network systems and architecture works together to ensure that a strategy is both relevant and well adopted across an organisation.

Steps for Implementation

Implementation strategies should follow five common themes to be effective, regardless of which technologies and solutions have been chosen for the network:

  1. Technologies should be applied at more than just the network layer.
  2. Principles of privilege and need-to-know must be applied across an organisation.
  3. Hosts and networks should be separated based on their sensitivity to business operations.
  4. Access policies should be capable of identifying, authorising, and authenticating access for all users, hosts, and services.
  5. Network traffic should be whitelisted instead of blacklisted, and access should only be permitted for good network traffic.

Network segregation and segmentation, as with all good security strategies, should be an asset for business – not an obstacle. A good security strategy will allow a company to thrive in a digitally driven marketplace and not get in the way of their success and growth.

Good security strategies also take time to understand and implement, and business leaders should be working to understand what solutions are going to better their business, rather than applying which trends are common at the time.

If you are looking to improve security across your company, get in touch with MOQdigital today. Our consultants can help you find a solution that is tailored to your business – and that will help your company to evolve successfully for years to come.