Cybersecurity threats in the IT field are becoming a major factor to be considered. Ancient, perimeter security configurations that most of the organizations put in to practice are no longer effective to protect all organization's network. To curb this type of network security threat, many organizations are turning to network virtualization particularly the Zero Trust security model and micro segmentations as security techniques to reduce security incidences faced by different companies. As networks of different organizations are being virtualized and micro-segmentation security technique is becoming a plan merit for security teams where information is divided into the potion to give chance for network and security teams greater control and visibility over all data on every organization's network. Companies make use of these network security techniques to separate daily business data business data from other vital and most sensitive within the organization.
Physical network segmentation and micro-segmentation
Micro-segmentation is one type of security technique enabling fine-grained security strategies to be allocated to data center applications, up to the workload level. This, therefore, enables all security models designed to keep the network safe to be installed deep inside the information center. This is achieved by using virtualized, software approach (Hashemi, 2013). This creates secure zones in cloud deployment and in data centers allowing organizations to separate all workloads differently and establish them singly (Scott, 2018). This practice is majorly targeted to make all network securities more granular for easy control and management thus making network resistance to great attacks.
Physical network segmentation, on the other hand, is a security technique where physical networks are connected to particular hardware boxes and security of such network are often exercised by using hardware-based firewalls gating access to their network by different security policies such as IP address (Scott, 2018). However, this type of security technique is not viable as policies within the system are likely to break once the physical environment is changed. According to Hashemi (2013), security strategies can always be changed in a virtual environment and they can also be fixed to a virtual analogy when the network is redesigned. This makes security strategies very persistent.
Benefits of micro-segmentation
Micro-segmentation fuses security directly into virtualized workload without the need of hardware-based firewalls. Therefore, synchronizing security policies with virtual machines (VM), operating systems (OS), and virtual network is possible (Scott, 2018). Additionally, network security can be positioned down to network interface level and the security strategies can move with the virtual machine or the workload if in case there is a reconfiguration of the network. Hashemi argued that Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), traditional firewalls and other security systems are always are tailored to secure and check traffic reaching the data center in a north-south direction (2013). Micro-segmentation provides organizations with a bigger opportunity to control swelling amount of lateral communication between servers, avoiding perimeter-concentrated security tools (Hashemi, 2013). Micro-segmentation is very important such that, it will always limit possible lateral inspection of the organization's network by hackers if breaches occur.
Application of micro-segmentation sets down to the application, IT and network managers can minimize the risk of an attacker by hackers that attempt to compromise an organization's network by migrating from one compromised application to another workload. By providing this new solution to network challenge, it, therefore, decreases the network attack surface (Hashemi, 2013). According to Scott (2018), another vital drive for micro-segmentation is to increase operational efficiency. Access routing rules, control list, and firewall strategies can always be very cumbersome and may create numerous management challenges, making security policies hard to change in faster-transforming environments. Since micro-segmentation is specifically done in software, defining fine-grained segment becomes very easy, and IT can comfortably work to minimize the number of firewall based rules needed and to network segmentation policy (Hashemi, 2013).
Zero trust security
Zero Trust is a security technique on the notion that companies should not trust any idea inside or outside its perimeters as much as security threats of company's network perimeters are concerned. Instead, the company's network management team must verify everything making an attempt of connecting to its systems before granting access (Scott, 2018). Additionally, in Zero Trust Security, access control systems are moved to devices, actual users and systems from network perimeters. Application of this security technique ensures that policy engine substantiates user identity, validating their device and systems before permitting access. During this process, the system then constantly limits the benefits and access the user have on targeted system (Hashemi, 2013).
According to Hashemi (2013), Zero Trust Networking prevents lateral movement of data within the organization's network by including more granular perimeters through micro-segmentation within the network. Lateral movements of data from less to more sensitive systems by hackers are reduced when more parameters are added and when users are required to verify their identities at more than one location within the same network. In cases of a private network, privacy is very important, and therefore, trust is assumed not to exist leading to the addition of perimeter-based security models to ensure that organization's data are secure (Scott, 2018).
Hashemi, S. (2013). Cloud Computing Technology: Security and Trust Challenges. International Journal Of Security, Privacy And Trust Management, 2(5), 1-7. doi: 10.5121/ijsptm.2013.2501
Scott, B. (2018). How a zero trust approach can help to secure your AWS environment. Network Security, 2018(3), 5-8. doi: 10.1016/s1353-4858(18)30023-0
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