Many of the major cybersecurity breaches of the past several years boast a similar storyline: Hackers find an entry point — perhaps through a remote-access or third-party system — then move from one point to another until they have pinpointed their target. In defense, organizations scrutinize the security of their third-party vendors, tighten up their password rules, retrain employees and take a wide range of additional security tactics.
While all of the aforementioned security processes are important, one crucial defense remains a rarity: In far too many cases, organizations have not implemented network segmentation.
In a traditional network structure — still widely used by employers large and small — there are two basic network types: trusted or internal networks, and untrusted external networks. Those within an organization are generally granted access to the trusted network, using the company’s own resources, while other devices and users remain on the external network.
This traditional dual-network strategy has been unsuccessful in thwarting attacks for several reasons. For one, hackers only need to find their way into an external network to work their way toward sensitive data. And insiders, who have access to trusted networks, can pose a substantial threat that’s often greater than outside hackers.
A more effective way of managing network activity involves treating all traffic as “untrusted,” which means segmenting networks and segregating access so users can only access the minimum amount of data needed for their roles. In such a model, a network breach stays contained within a segment, preventing the malicious actors from propagating an exploit or navigating to additional network nodes.
It’s time businesses and other organizations take action to structure their networks in a segmented structure that mitigates the potential damage from a breach. Larger organizations should have the internal resources necessary to make the enhancement, and a third-party consultant can help make the process manageable.
Small businesses that may not have the infrastructure needed to build internal network segmentation still have options, including working with the support of a managed security provider.
Lunarline can help organizations large and small to make their networks more difficult to attack. For more information about the services and solutions we provide, contact us today!