Micro-Segmentation

By | May 21, 2022
Micro-Segmentation

Cloud computing has become the hottest trend in today’s business world because it offers users the opportunity to store and process massive amounts of data in virtual environments. A major benefit of using cloud services is the ease with which data can be stored, the ease with which data can be manipulated, and the ability to create friendly user environments, and all at a budget-friendly cost.
Security issues, attacks, and vulnerabilities have escalated in tandem with cloud computing and cloud services. Micro-segmentation is introduced as a solution to this problem. Micro-segmentation allows users to create a secure zone in the cloud and data center, and further, this allows to isolate workloads smoothly. By this approach, users can implement security mechanisms for the applications in the cloud.

To ensure zero threat on the cloud, micro-segmentation allows users to create firewall policies. Further, this helps to limit traffic from all sides. Increased traffic in the network is the primary entry point for attackers, and if that is secure, applications can be secured. To reduce surface attack, there is a need to prevent the movement of threats that can possess’ serious vulnerabilities for database and application data. In multiple cloud and data center environments, micro-segmentation is also known as application segmentation or east-west segmentation.

The Process Utilized by Micro-Segmentation

Through micro-segmentation, users can allow specific applications and traffic while blocking other traffic in the network. To handle cloud workloads in a secure manner, this model is used as a zero threat and security model. Traditionally, data was stored on the cloud using a complex and expensive method. That has changed with the evolution of the cloud. Many users have turned to cloud computing to store and process large volumes of business data. For cloud services to be more secure, a Micro-segmentation implementation strategy is necessary. Therefore, it’s critical to learn how it works and what it can offer.

Though there are some challenges in using the Micro-segmentation foundation, one of them is the successful implementation of granular firewall policy. This firewall policy is specifically used to control host workload across different virtual machines and servers. Managing the policy life cycle, which supports changes to the applications and business, is one of the most critical challenges with Micro-segmentation. To deploy firewall policy, it is imperative to keep refining the policy and automation rules until the desired result is obtained.

Why Choose Micro-segmentation rather than Firewall Rules?

As opposed to a firewall, Micro-segmentation allows users to ensure security during actual use of the application and manage workload simultaneously. It helps to create a secure perimeter of operation for every workload and provides consistency across the network. Apart from this, a critical feature of using a micro-segmentation policy is that it helps increase visibility and control from zone-based firewalls.

There is an increase in attack surfaces thanks to the fact that most organizations now use virtual environments to manage workloads, meetings, seminars, and business-related activities. Workload automation helps minimize attacks and API-based attacks. Surface risk can be significantly reduced in different types of work environments by using the allow-list model. Using Micro-segmentation, it is possible to limit the lateral movement of traffic in compromised virtual machines.

System administrators use this approach to limit the network traffic because most of the attacks are executed through massive or unknown traffic in the network. Improvisation in breach containment and Micro-segmentation helps to achieve regulatory compliance with greater efficiency. SDNs also serve the same purpose to users, however, their concept and operation differ. SDN is used to virtualize the network function and divide the control data plane, and to implement the network intelligence of the software.

Features of SDN based Micro-segmentation

While micro-segmentation combined with traditional networking helps users control application and data, using the SDN approach gives more flexibility to system administrators. This system allows the administrator to manage security completely through software. Keeping this in mind, network and security virtualization vendors have started partnering with micro-segmentation to produce joint solutions for the users.

To handle increased sophisticated network attacks, network architect has started suggesting network segmentation where the network is divided into subnets. By creating subnets, sophisticated cybersecurity breaches can be controlled before they cause massive damage to the users.
Moreover, this helps to prevent attacks from happening from streamlined network operations. When we talk about traditional network segmentation, this works in monitoring network traffic from North-South mode, which means client-server architecture and interactions from the security parameters. Nowadays however, security breaches are mostly happening from the east-west direction, server to server, and that’s why there is a rising need for the use of SDN-based or traditional micro-segmentation.

More insight into Micro-segmentation

One can use a single server to host hundreds of workloads, along with its security requirements. In these cases, security is more important straight up at the application level, and it all comes down to micro-segmentation. In order to understand this more thoroughly, let’s suppose that the enterprise network is connected to the firewall, and network traffic flows from north to south.
When a single enterprise has a single or multiple locations, different services begin ahead, and there they are served from server to server, and traffic flows from east to west. To understand network threats closely and assess the level of risk properly, one needs to be familiar with the concept of network traffic direction. Only when we fully understand attackers, threats, and vulnerabilities can we achieve micro-segmentation.

Conclusion

The article discusses micro-segmentation in detail, including features, benefits, and the process for implementation. With the rise of virtualization and cloud networks, there is a need to re-define network traffic and policy rules for applications, and that’s why understanding Micro-segmentation in the cloud is so crucial. There are several differences between conventional and SDN-based micro segmentation strategies, as shown with an example above.
Through micro-segmentation, users can increase granular security and adopt firewall rules in a dynamic manner to make sure that their data centers and hybrid cloud platforms are secure. Granular security enables system administrators to strengthen and pinpoint security in real-time applications and services. Cloud computing on-demand can be completely secure if deployed on a micro-segmentation platform. An organization’s development and production systems are its primary building blocks, and they can be protected using a Microsegmentation strategy.

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