Microsegmentation: The Next Chapter of Network Security

Microsegmentation: The Next Chapter of Network Security

We recently announced ECI’s innovative new partnership with Zero Networks, a collaboration bringing advanced zero trust security protections to our clients through Zero Networks’ industry-leading microsegmentation platform and shared additional details on our blog. To truly understand the value microsegmentation stands to bring to our customers, let’s explore the long history of network security – from the days of the traditional firewall and VPN data, all the way up to leading-edge Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and microsegmentation capabilities that protect today’s most fragmented and complex IT operations.

 

The Long Evolution of Network Security

This history of network security is an iterative one marked by cycles of increasingly powerful approaches being designed to protect increasingly complex enterprise systems against ever more worrisome cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Back in the 1980s, for instance, simple antivirus software from Norton, McAfee and other companies was often enough to do basic scanning on relatively modest systems. An entire database might only be 10 or 20gb, and lateral movement wasn’t much of an issue in an era when connectivity was limited and air gaps were the norm.

As the internet blossomed and compute power grew in the 1990s, a whole new class of “malware” began to emerge – malicious programs such as adware, spyware, ransomware, potentially unwanted programs (PUP), worms and similar attacks. This in turn, prompted the development of VPNs and firewalls. Lateral movement within systems became more of an issue, so basic network segmentation protocols were employed to create security barriers between IT systems, which in that era were still mostly on-prem and just beginning to shift to a growing cloud infrastructure.

Fast forward to today and the network security picture is far more daunting. Lateral movement is particularly worrisome as today’s robust connectivity across complex hybrid cloud architectures and vast third-party networks gives malicious actors a virtual shopping mall of valuable data and assets to target. This fragmented ecosystem of countless products and interfaces has fragmented network security as well, making traditional VPNs and network segmentation approaches less effective and virtually obsolete.

 

Microsegmentation is Today’s Gold Standard in Network Security

The leading edge of network security today has become ZTNA with the help of microsegmentation, which delivers zero trust security not just between network components, but between individual assets. Microsegmentation applies zero trust at the asset level through software-defined segmentation – allowing the “trust no one” ethos to play out at the granular level of “trust no asset.” Microsegmentation is particularly effective against ransomware, which is a top industry threat and thrives on lateral movement.

Even within the realm of microsegmentation solutions, the ECI/Zero Networks partnership represents the gold standard as a simple, agentless and unified zero trust platform for secure remote access and segmentation for any asset. It combines the best aspects of VPN and ZTNA and eliminates their flaws with a unique connectivity service inside the organization that is hidden from the internet and connected to MFA-based segmentation.

Internally, the ECI/Zero Networks solution uses full automation for client and server segmentation, including all communications between clients and servers. Externally, the solution’s unique connectivity services founded on MFA-based segmentation allow only approved devices that pass a valid MFA process to see the connectivity port. The benefits are tremendous for financial organizations that deal with particularly high value data and transactions across large, interconnected financial and IT networks.

Thanks to the new ECI/Zero Networks microsegmentation platform, our clients are helping write the next chapter in network security by applying zero trust security at the asset level without slowing down the speed of business. Furthermore, the ability to block even the most sophisticated attacks helps firms remain highly compliant with regulatory bodies, while acing pen tests and other criteria for obtaining cyber insurance. These combined benefits add up to a recipe for worry-free business acceleration in a truly modern workplace.

Learn more about the ECI/Zero Networks Microsegmentation services here.

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