Why is Network Segmentation Important?
Network segmentation is a cyber hygiene best practice that helps strengthen a business’ security and mitigate damages from a data breach. According to the Cost of Data Breach 2023 report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach has surged nearly 30% to $4.45 million per breach. Meanwhile, companies in the U.S. spend an average of $9.48 million per breach, according to the latest report.
What is Network Segmentation?
Network segmentation, also called network partitioning or network isolation, divides a network into multiple subnetworks to improve performance and security. Segmentation aids in traffic flow. Creating barriers in a network can help limit or stop traffic flow, reducing the amount of traffic from unauthorized personnel and making it easier for teams to monitor any suspicious activity.
What Are the Benefits of Network Segmentation?
Some network segmentation benefits include:
- Improved performance. Limiting the number of connected devices reduces network traffic. As a result, network congestion results in faster, more efficient performance.
- Stronger security. Monitoring traffic becomes easier for IT managers because subnetworks are only accessible to their appropriate teams. Suspicious activity can be easier to detect since it may break the pattern of routine activity.
- Limited damage. If cyberattackers manage to breach the network, they are faced with more walls of protection. Segmentation prevents lateral movement since the attacker is restricted to the area they have breached.
- Reduced scope of compliance. Segmentation separates data from other systems, which makes it easier to manage compliance. Compliance requirements will only apply to each specific system rather than the entire network.
Network Segmentation Best Practices
Best practices to consider when implementing a network segmentation plan include:
- Frequently monitor your network. Monitoring and auditing your network regularly can help you recognize the difference between standard and suspicious activity. The faster you notice a breach, the quicker you can resolve the problem.
- Follow the principle of least privilege (PoLP). The principle of least privilege is a cybersecurity concept that restricts users’ access to only the necessary permissions to perform their duties. PoLP strengthens network security while making it easier to monitor and track traffic.
- Enforce a Zero Trust security model. Zero Trust is a cybersecurity approach that requires users to be authenticated and authorized at every stage of digital interaction. Requiring verification at every level reduces the chances of outside parties entering a network.
- Restrict third-party access. Limit the number of third-party visitors accessing your network.