How to Build an effective Micro-Segmentation Strategy in 5 Steps

How to Build an effective Micro-Segmentation Strategy in 5 Steps
The Men explain the Micro-Segmentation Strategy

The tech world has witnessed significant changes in the last decade. With almost every business and process going online, cybersecurity risks have increased significantly. As we recognize the efficient benefits of cloud and virtual technology, we also have to recognise and cure the increasing cyber-attacks happening through virtual structures. Here is where secured network access technologies like Micro-segmentation security and Zero Trust security come as a major boon.

Building a Micro-Segmentation Strategy

We all are in the transition of shifting to the cloud, remote desktops and virtual technologies. Though as it has made our work more flexible, attackers have got new and easier opportunities to breach our systems.

As per the Tessian report, it was found that close to 47% of employees cited phishing scams to be their distraction while working from home.

This shows how organizations and companies need to be more dynamic and granular with robust security solutions to prevent these increasing numbers. This is carried out intensively with the help of Micro-segmentation.

What is Network Micro-Segmentation Security and Why is it Important today?

Micro-segmentation is an effective security practice that divides your network into different segments. These divided isolated segments are monitored and controlled individually so that each segment gets the highest attention.

The network micro-segmentation strategy aims to diminish the surface of attack and prevent unauthorised lateral movement. This security practice allows security managers and engineers to isolate environments, applications, and hybrid networks with specific secure zones.

It is vital to implement micro-segmentation in today’s era, where security breaches are multifold and huge in the perimeter. As per Ponemon’s cost of data report, the average time of detecting a data breach is 279 days, and the average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million.

These numbers signify how data breaches and security attacks could affect an organisation’s functioning completely. Being the reason why building a system of micro-segmentation is so relevant and important today.

5-Step Strategy for Building Micro-segmentation

The five important steps for building an effective segmentation strategy are as follows:

Step 1 - Identifying the High-Priority Assets

The initial step is to identify which assets are worth having maximum security. These could be important applications, databases, systems, etc. Identifying the high-priority assets will clear your direction of focus as to where your security efforts should be more inclined. The high-priority assets should be facilitated with fine-grained segmentation to ensure maximum security for these kinds of assets. This can be managed by granular access control effectively.

Step 2 - Navigating connections end-to-end and assessing vulnerability data

This step involves mapping or navigating the whole connection structure between remote connections, environments, workloads, and applications. Assessing the whole connection would also lead to performing data vulnerability scans.

This will help you detect the loopholes and assess the parts of your connections most vulnerable to any possible data breaches. Once you understand which part is the most exposed one, you can deploy your segmentation accordingly.

Step 3 - Deploying the right types of Segmentation

Depending on your required security needs, there could be different types of Segmentation strategies. One should understand their needs and choose the most probable option for their security segmentation accordingly. The different types of segmentation to choose from involve:

  • Vulnerability-based Segmentation

This type of segmentation gives major significance to real-time vulnerability assessment and management. This segmentation could reduce the speed of breaches by reducing the exposure of vulnerable data.

  • Application-based Segmentation

This segmentation segregates individual applications with individual security segments. The most valuable applications can be separated with a high-security segment that gives it the utmost importance and monitoring.

  • User-based Segmentation

This segmentation lays down the utmost security for a particular user logging into a particular workload. The user is segmented with the workload that is only allowed to contact servers to which the user has access.

  • Location-based Segmentation

This segmentation segregates each security segment with each location of the data centre or cloud database. This could be very useful if you have locations in multiple countries, and for each location, you need each segment of maximum security. The data centres or other locations having sensitive data and information could be availed with high-security segments.

The above were a few of the many segmentation options you get to implement a micro-segmentation strategy. In the end, it clearly depends on which category you need the highest security for regarding location, environment, user, application, vulnerability, etc.

Step 4 - Frame your network micro-segmentation strategy as per your operational security needs

To carry out this step, firstly, you would have to identify the areas of your operational environment. Here you will have to assess the need for fine-grained segmentation for areas requiring high security and coarse-grained segmentation for areas requiring low.

This will help you assess the exposed areas of your operational environment and the areas which require much importance. Following this, you can set your timelines and decide the segmentation you need for high-risk as well as low-risk operational environments.

Step 5 - Try and Deploy!

Once you are clear with the segmentation strategy, you are going to deploy, test and try the segmentation and make sure everything is aligned perfectly. As the segmentation process might change the functioning of the areas, the alignment with the functions should be managed perfectly.

For instance, if you are deploying a location-based segmentation to a particular data centre, you should make sure that your security segmentation is completely compatible with the data centre's operational functions. This enables you to not have any effects on your operational functioning and, at the same time, carry maximum segmented security.

In Conclusion

The process and implementation of micro-segmentation could have multifarious benefits on your system and environment. It could help you have extensive control over your locations, environment, data, users and all other areas of your organization structure.

Not just the segmentation but effective security practices like zero trust security and Behavioural Biometrics could make your system effective against cyber and virtual malpractices.

We here at InstaSafe are completely dedicated to achieving our clientele goals of hardcore security to their cloud and virtual functioning. We enable all kinds of security segmentation measures and data protection actions to help you function carefree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Micro-Segmentation Strategy

  1. Why is Micro-segmentation important?

Micro-segmentation is a crucial network security measure that can help an enterprise to safeguard its data from malicious attacks. Micro-segmentation divides your network into different segments.

Since these divided isolated segments are monitored and controlled individually, each segment gets the highest attention, significantly reducing the chances of a data breach.

As compared to network segmentation, micro-segmentation functions at a more granular level.

2. What are the benefits of micro-segmentation?

There are several benefits of micro-segmentation. If you are going to implement ZTNA, micro-segmentation becomes an essential step. Here are some other benefits of micro-segmentation:

  • Network-based threat detection
  • Enhanced endpoint protection offering effective security
  • Endpoint separation enables regulatory compliance
  • Protection for cloud workloads and data
  • Improves breach containment
  • Protection from advanced persistent threats (APTs)
  • Support for centralized policy management

3. What is micro-segmentation in Zero Trust security?

Micro-segmentation is a technique that divides a network into smaller segments, and each of these segments acts as a secure zone, isolating workloads and applications from one another.

By implementing a micro-segmentation strategy, organizations can enhance network security by limiting lateral movement within the network and containing potential threats to specific segments. It allows for more granular control over access and communication between assets, minimizing the impact of a security breach and improving overall network security.

4. What are the security benefits of micro-segmentation?

Similar to network segmentation, Micro-segmentation divides the network into different and small segments, creating secure network bubbles for specific workloads and apps. Since the network is divided into smaller chunks, monitoring and vigilance become easier. As a result, it offers more control over access to sensitive data, enhancing overall network security.

The difference between Micro-segmentation and network segmentation is that the former functions at a granular level.

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