Exploring Network Segmentation

Network security is an integral part of a cyber security strategy. The process of applying proficient network security is dependent on cyber security professionals who are required to conduct a thorough network analysis and have extensive knowledge of systems. An IT security team will require a substantial cyber funding programme to successfully deploy network security.

A part of extensive network security is applying network segmentation where necessary to break down a large network into smaller manageable chunks. Firewalls provide the opportunity for network analysts to divide a network by setting up virtual walls which prevent network traffic from a specific part of a network reaching another segment.

Network administrators can decide on the best ways to implement network segmentation in their organisation. A network segmentation policy which works best for one organisation is usually unsuitable for another business.

One of the main benefits of applying network segmentation is linked to the way in which a segmented network prevents an attacker from gaining any significant foothold over the wider network. If an element of the network is compromised, the adversary may attempt to find entry points to other areas of the network. However strong implementation of endpoint (systems) security can mitigate an attack and prevent access to sensitive data.

The segmentation method facilitates enhanced monitoring capabilities for a large network. With the use of network intrusion monitoring tools, a network analyst has the capability to detect malicious activity early. Network segmentation can also assist network administrators by assisting to improve performance due to reduced congestion.

Although network segmentation is an old concept going back to early IT systems security, however the approach is widely adopted. Most organisations are accustomed to applying some form network segmentation. Our suggestions for making the most of a segmented network are the following:

  • Invest in intrusion detection and protection systems.
  • Apply sandboxing techniques to monitor and process traffic in a simulated safe environment.
  • Adopt protection methods against distributed denial-of-service to prepare against large scale attacks.
  • Make use of advanced antivirus security systems for timely malware detection and analysis.