Segmenting for security: Five steps to protect your network

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* Maintain. Network segmentation is not a “set and forget” undertaking. The network access policy, defined in firewalls, routers and related devices, changes constantly to cater to new business requirements. Ensuring that new changes do not violate your segmentation strategy requires a good degree of visibility and automation (this visibility is also useful to avoid outages or business disruption resulting from misconfiguration). The potential management overhead needed to maintain good segmentation is one of the reasons organizations shy away from it. But, proper segmentation is critical. A topology-aware network security solution that can automate the network segmentation process is vital.

Network segmentation is unquestionably an effective component in a defense in depth strategy. Organizations that implement it must be prepared to manage scores of firewalls, switches and routers, each with hundreds of rules, all of which will be affected by the network segmentation process and potentially by updates and changes, even after it is in place. A rigorous approach is essential, and a significant investment of time and staff is also required. But regardless, it’s a much easier to equip your organization with a secure defense through proper network segmentation than to explain to shareholders and the media how hackers were able to access millions of records on your system.

Reichenberg is the vice president of Marketing and Strategy for AlgoSec, a leading provider of Network Security Policy Management solutions.. Wolfgang is the president of Shorebreak Security, a leading Information Security consulting organization that specializes in penetration testing for NOAA and several other government and commercial entities.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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