Monday, April 22 2024

Microsegmentation allows a company to divide digital assets into smaller, more secure groups, which makes it harder for cybercriminals to take over a company’s data center.

What is Microsegmentation?

Microsegmentation refers to cyber professionals building layers of cybersecurity protection between groups of digital assets or individual cyber assets. Adding these layers inside instead of only around a company’s cyber infrastructure, like a firewall does, the data center becomes segmented. The microsegments make it more difficult for a cybercriminal to affect all of a company’s sensitive applications and data storage locations because each grouping has its own cybersecurity barrier.

How Microsegmentation Works

The other main qualities of a microsegmentation offering are its ability to apply a company’s cybersecurity policies across a corporate network and to visually demonstrate traffic through the network, which allows cybersecurity professionals to make better cybersecurity choices.

Network microsegmentation is often automated after deployment, allowing for continuous implementation of cybersecurity decisions through a company’s infrastructure as it expands. Scalability and the ability to be used on cloud-based data centers are also crucial features of microsegmentation security. Many microsegmentation tools are utilized in a cloud environment, which is constantly shifting as different assets alter and expand a company’s cloud infrastructure.

Additionally, many microsegmentation software offerings have asset discovery, threat detection, and policy recommendation features that allow cybersecurity professionals to secure a company’s data and traffic in ways beyond those that they may have originally thought of.

To further secure one’s data center, many microsegmentation offerings have third-party integration capabilities, which allow the cybersecurity method to work with hardware, like routers, and third-party cybersecurity products, like firewalls.

Why is it Useful?

According to a June 2023 report from Gartner called the Market Guide for Microsegmentation, companies’ security permitters have become more fragmented due to an increase in hybrid and remote working environments as well as cloud-based data centers. The security fragmentation creates the potential for more security gaps that cybercriminals can exploit through methods such as ransomware and firewall attacks.

The Gartner report states that many security and risk management leaders across various industries and sizes are adopting microsegmentation technologies to further their companies’ cybersecurity posture. The report explains that microsegmentation makes it more difficult for malicious hackers to move throughout the company’s network, even if they breach the company’s external defensive barriers.

Microsegmentation, by focusing on creating cyber defenses in between digital assets, sets itself apart from older forms of cybersecurity, such as firewalls, enabling companies to maintain a microsegmentation zero-trust posture against cyberattacks.

What Microsegmentation Vendors Provide Services? How do they Differ from Each Other?

Since microsegmentation cybersecurity offerings are still in their infancy, the amount of offerings and their capabilities can be limited. However, such solutions do exist. Below are pros and cons lists for a few of the solutions. The lists are based on overall customer sentiment across review websites.

Cisco

Cisco’s Secure Workload platform (formerly Cisco Tetration) allows one to monitor network traffic in real-time. Many customers liked the fact it can build on a company’s security policies. However, many also disliked how complex Cisco microsegmentation is to use and navigate. 

Pros

  • Custom insights about the best microsegmentation strategy for a given business
  • Easy to see the security posture of each application in a workload environment
  • Utilizes a zero-trust strategy when determining security weaknesses
  • Analyzes company security policies
  • Highly scalable technology

Cons

  • Looking at data over a longer timeframe causes the application to lag
  • Usability of models 3.5 and earlier is poor
  • Difficult to understand metrics without specialized knowledge
  • Memory protection, backup, and restore functions could be improved
  • Needs better customer support

Elisity

For Elisity’s Identity-Based Microsegmenation, many reviews highlight the company’s diligence in responding to user feedback but also reference concerns about the age of the company. The platform’s other pros and cons include:

Pros

  • Receptive to user feedback about product improvements
  • Platform implementation is quick
  • Easy to manage without specialized skills
  • Minimal certificate requirements to utilize successfully

Cons

  • New product with a limited user base
  • Uncertainty about the young company’s future and its offerings
  • Requires advanced licensing to use

Tufin

Tufin Orchestration Suite, previously known as Tufin SecureCloud, offers network cybersecurity coverage on every step of the cybersecurity policy setup from design through auditing. However, many negative reviews focus on the limited nature of the product. Individuals mentioned the following about the software:

Pros

  • Great policy management and network mapping features
  • Easy to view and manage file infrastructure
  • Effective security auditing for compliance purposes
  • Step-by-step deployment
  • Stable and reliable product

Cons

  • Difficult to pair with other micro-segmentation offerings
  • Reporting function needs further development
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Limited features

Akami

Akami’s Guardicore Segmentation Platform pros include how easy it is to install and clear graphics that allow for actionable insights. The cons include confusion over how Akami Microsegmentation determines segmentation clusters. Here is the extensive list of pros and cons:

Pros

  • Easy to use as well as install and uninstall features
  • Sharp analysis that uncovers problem areas
  • Clear graphics make insights actionable
  • Flexible for growing companies as data assets change
  • Quick customer support

Cons

  • Would be beneficial to understand how the platform segments assets
  • Data has to be exported to be filtered for insights
  • Difficult to integrate with Kubernetes environment
  • Struggles with complex environments, such as systems with multiple IP addresses

The Future of Microsegmentation:

The Gartner Market Guide for Microsegmentation report predicts that “by 2026, 60% of enterprises working toward Zero Trust architecture will use more than one deployment form of microsegmentation, which is up from less than 5% in 2023.” The predicted increase comes as more companies attempt to minimize the potential damage against attacks such as phishing schemes, ransomware, and firewall breaches.

Indeed, in October 2023, cyber insurance underwriter Corvus Insurance released a report on ransomware. They state in the report that there has been a 95.41% increase in data leaks due to ransomware since last year, making 2023 a record-breaking year for data leaks.

Overall, microsegmentation tools can be useful for companies as they bolster their cyber defenses against the latest trend in cyberattacks.


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