Network Segmentation: How to Limit the Damage of Malware

Network segmentation is a security measure that involves the physical or logical segmentation of a network into multiple segments, or subnets. By segmenting a network, organizations can limit the damage of malware and other malicious activity. It can also make it easier to identify and contain a malicious incident, as well as aid in compliance with regulatory requirements.

In a nutshell, segmentation is about separating a shared resource into separate parts. By segmenting a network, organizations can limit the impact of malicious activity, as well as create additional access control points. For example, if an attacker is successful in breaching one segment, they may not be able to access the other segments.

Network segmentation can be implemented in a number of ways. One of the most common is by using a segmented network architecture, in which the network is divided into multiple segments. For example, a segmented network might include one segment for the corporate network, another segment for the guest network, and a third segment for the internal network. Each segment is isolated from the others and access to any of the segments is controlled by access control lists (ACLs).

Another method of segmentation is virtual local area networks (VLANs). VLANs are groups of computers that are logically separated from each other, but still connected to the same physical network. VLANs are used to create isolated broadcast domains, which can help prevent malicious traffic from spreading across the network.

In addition to segmenting the physical network, organizations can also use logical segmentation. This involves using technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to create virtual boundaries between different parts of the network. Logical segmentation can also be used to restrict access to certain applications and services, or to prevent malicious code from propagating across the network.

Segmentation is an important part of a comprehensive security strategy. By segmenting the network, organizations can limit the damage of malware and other malicious activity. It can also make it easier to identify and contain a malicious incident, as well as aid in compliance with regulatory requirements.

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