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Improving Campus Cybersecurity with Segmentation

The deep divide for better isolation of public and private network access is emerging as a viable cybersecurity strategy. Here’s how segmentation can help your campus.

Monitoring traffic and implementing policies to maintain a permanent security position is a challenge for campus security teams.

With growing and more complex networks, lower operating costs are achieved through the use of proven service models such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

In line with the proliferation of the model as a service, endpoint protection tools have begun to be considered all but not bulletproof by industry, government and leading cybersecurity companies to reduce security risks in their organizations.

However, many hard lessons have been learned when attackers have been able to circumvent the endpoint’s defenses by stealing malicious software.

Let’s take a closer look at these developments, how they affect e-security in terms of cybersecurity, and delve into a new emerging approach to networking, known as microsegmentation.

This is the end of the road for a VPN

As VPNs and VPN client software became a de facto method of accessing secure information resources, browser-based encryption and transport layer protection (TLS) evolved into its ability to isolate traffic directly from the device to the remote computing environment.

As the perimeter itself is no longer clearly defined and applications and data warehouses are located both indoors and in Cloud, users access via WiFi, mobile devices and web clients using browsers and applications to download from multiple devices and locations.

The sobering truth is that there are no silver bullets to protect the systems and networks from the enemy. The most adaptive method of protecting information assets and data always migrates back to the fact that there is no substitute for a multi-layered, in-depth defense strategy.

The main questions you need to ask are:

  • What are the best tools and strategies we can implement that are cost-effective and meet our needs?
  • How can we make sure we place the tools correctly to avoid misconfiguration?
  • How can we mitigate unauthorized access to protected information and data?

The current buzzword in the security industry is around Zero-Trust networks. The Zero-Trust model responds to the realization that the perimeter security approach does not work. Many data breaches occur because hackers have passed through corporate firewalls and managed to target other internal systems without much resistance.

The Zero-Trust architecture refers to security concepts and threat models that no longer imply that actors, systems, or services operating from the perimeter of protection should automatically be trusted. Instead, anything that tries to connect to these systems must be checked before access is granted.

There are many benefits to Zero Trust, such as the ability to have detailed access to registering and auditing transaction records. Proactively monitoring this technique on user and network activity can identify unusual behaviors and threats to systems or the network.

The main challenge of Zero Trust is to block access to multiple applications and systems without compromising performance. People need seamless access to secure data to work, communicate, collaborate, process, transmit and store information.

Another challenge for Zero-Trust networks is the high administrative costs and incorrect configuration, which limit availability and deny access to authorized users. To better understand how the Zero Trust works and its inherent shortcomings, imagine entering a house where each family member has a separate key and each door is locked and you needed a separate key for each door.

You will have to carry the keychain around with you wherever you go, which would certainly be a hassle. By conceptually linking it to a network, this method leads to processing and calculation of overheads, which reduces productivity and productivity.

The new world of microsegmentation

After extensive and comprehensive research, a logical conclusion became clear. One of the best tools for providing a network as part of a layered strategy for deep defense is by deploying an application-oriented microcentric network.

Microseg can be the answer to the cybersecurity challenges of most organizations. Microsegmentation is defined as: A security technique that allows fine-grained access control policies to be assigned to individual application processes. As a result, if breakthroughs occur, microsegmentation limits the potential sideways study of hacker networks and the better attack resistance achieved.

A software-defined microsecurity framework allows security teams to gain in-depth visibility, obtain a granular level of host-level segmentation, and enforce policies that can track workloads in a distributed and dynamic environment. This would allow consistent, active protection against the advanced cyber threats faced by organizations today. Microseg supports networking by creating security “zones” within a specific perimeter (whether local, within a single data center, or across multiple data centers).

By attaching fine security policies to individual system boundaries, the microseach limits a hacker’s ability to move sideways by protecting data (similar to assets stored in a bank safe), even after perimeter security has penetrated. Microseg can eliminate server-to-server threats in data warehouses, securely isolate networks from each other, and reduce the overall attack area in the event of a network security incident.

The advantage of microseg allows the IT industry to implement various security policies in the data center using network virtualization technology.

Microseg can mitigate and reduce the potential misconfiguration of information assets and boundaries by using virtualization and data division of the network traffic layer and create virtual “express bands” for high bandwidth and workloads such as video or collaboration servers.

It can also create isolated “data prisons” for sensitive intellectual property requirements. This information is then only available to limited users and applications where high-encryption and data loss prevention tools protect against internal threats, corporate espionage, ransomware, and complex nation-state stealth attacks.

Union for compliance

Lessons learned from thousands cyber protection and product evaluations, ranging from boutique retail applications to classified national defense applications, support the claim that implementing a microsecurity strategy within an organization’s IT infrastructure will increase its ability to comply with cybersecurity.

One example is the certification of the US Department of Defense’s (CMMC) cybersecurity maturity model. CMMC has five levels of divided security control baselines in 17 domains that must be met to achieve a certain level of certification.

Microseg applies granular access that is verifiable within a certain boundary (publicly available systems without a multi-factor authentication requirement) to extended and progressive boundaries that contain controlled and unclassified information (CUI) and personally identifiable information (PII). .

Administrative controls can be managed in separate domains and divided according to privileges and access levels. The benefits of using this strategy are to reduce the costs and resources required to protect network segments that do not require extensive security controls.

The development and production environment within the organization is another example of microsecurity. If a company develops software that needs to be tested by third parties that exist outside the organization, it is possible to isolate traffic specific to user training requirements that need to be streamlined.

The road to the future of cybersecurity?

While there are compelling reasons to trust Zero Trust, the network microseach offers significant benefits. A strong argument can be made for adopting this technique as part of an in-depth security strategy for most regulated industries and high-risk IT environments that collect, process, store and transmit personal information or other sensitive data.

It is possible to conclude that a review following emerging stealth and security damages from recent cyberattacks (e.g. Attack of the solar winds which compromises more than 18,000 government and public corporate networks) that the microsegment would exponentially limit the impact of the attack.

Microseg can effectively mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by excluding lower-priority services and applications by allocating optimized traffic to critical applications during periods of poor performance.

Microseg is increasing the speed of forensics and incident analysis by limiting the size of its collection of system journals and analyzing anomalies that could potentially be identified as cyber threats.

The verification of smaller data sets used for audit and compliance assessments is welcomed by most cybersecurity professionals who are burdened with a “data flood” and are “drunk on data” due to the huge amount of information that needs to be reviewed.

More importantly, the road to the future of cybersecurity is likely to involve the use of microseg, a next-generation technology with the ability to define network boundaries in detail. This may include defining development, research, production and segmentation of industrial control and IoT systems to levels that can never be achieved using legacy applications as a service, while improving industry best practices such as Zero -Trust networks.


Darnell Washington is President and CEO of SecureXperts. It can be reached at dwashington@securexperts.com. The premiere of this article is in a sister publication in CS Sales and security integration.

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