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5-Point Checklist to Enhance Your Defense with Network Segmentation

Rethink How to Secure and Control Access to Critical Assets

In the event of a breach, network segmentation can make the difference between major complication and complete catastrophe. An essential part of any proactive cybersecurity strategy, network segmentation works to divide the various parts of your network, reducing the attack surface of any given piece and helping to contain breaches when they do occur. With infection limited to one segment, IT security teams can respond more quickly, isolating and remediating just that piece of the network. This helps to minimize damage and disruption as well as reduce recovery time.

Network segmentation doesn’t just control the movement of malware, however — it also controls access and movement of data. Within each segment, organizations can define custom access and security controls based on risk and criticality, which can safeguard sensitive data from both external actors and insider threats.

For those considering this method to provide a more secure network environment, the following is a checklist as a quick reference to craft an organisation’s network segmentation strategy:

Identify and Classify Assets: Analyze and catalog the types of assets that exist within your network (such as servers, workstations and IoT devices). Then assign them to different segments based on their level of criticality and vulnerability.

Understand Communication Patterns: Determine how the various assets communicate with one another within your network and use this information to segment your network in a way that isolates sensitive assets and limits the spread of malware.

Implement Access Controls: Restrict access to sensitive assets and segments by implementing access controls, such as firewalls and VPNs. This will help prevent unauthorized access and limit the potential impact of a security breach.

Monitor Network Activity: Implement network monitoring and logging to detect unusual or malicious activity within the network. Doing so will help identify potential security threats and allow you to respond more quickly to mitigate them.

Conduct Regular Reviews: Periodically review and update your network segmentation strategy to ensure it remains effective in light of new security threats and changes to network infrastructure. This helps ensure that the network remains secure and that vulnerabilities are identified and addressed in a timely manner.

Conclusion :

Network segmentation is a crucial part of any proactive security strategy or business continuity plan. Implementing network segmentation not only makes it more difficult for attackers to gain access to your network, it also helps ensure that access for employees, contractors and others is limited to only what’s necessary. If a breach does occur, network segmentation can also speed recovery time and can greatly contain any resulting damages

By Debasish Mukherjee: Vice President, Regional Sales APJ at SonicWall Inc.

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