Microsegmentation and Software Defined Network Segmentation

Microsegmentation is a software-based approach to managing firewall policy on individual network endpoints from a central management perspective. It is often deployed in data center and cloud environments to prevent attacks from spreading within an enterprise, by keeping some network endpoints from talking to other endpoints. Unfortunately, when organizations adopt microsegmentation they often leave out a crucial component in best-practice holistic enterprise security—their end-user workstations.

Attackers often gain their initial foothold within an organization by targeting end-user workstations via phishing or by exploiting browser vulnerabilities. From there, they are able to spread laterally and infect other workstations as well as attack the servers where enterprise crown jewels reside.

A holistic network segmentation strategy, including microsegmentation technology, is needed to protect servers and workstations alike—stopping attacks from spreading regardless of where they begin.

However, workstations move. Your employees need to access their data from different locations throughout your network throughout the course of a day. Microsegmentation technology that is designed to work only in data center and cloud environments can’t keep up with the dynamic nature of end-user workstations.

OPAQ’s unique, patented technology brings wider scope and scale to microsegmentation by protecting roaming users as they access data from anywhere in the WAN, as well as delivering all of the protection for servers and cloud workloads that microsegmentation projects demand.

Zero Trust Software-Defined Network Segmentation

Sooner or later, any technology designed to prevent attacks on computer networks will be bypassed, and when prevention fails, containment is critical. A defense-in-depth strategy targeting each stage of the kill chain is necessary to prevent security incidents from turning into breaches. Every organization must have not only perimeter security (antivirus, scanning, etc.) to protect Internet-borne north-south traffic, but also east-west protection against threats that are already inside, including malicious insiders, supply chain partner infections, and other sources of significant risk to sensitive data and systems.

Good network segmentation enables organizations to set up security policies for user and device access to specific network equipment, applications, and data. However, the traditional approach of segmenting networks at the hardware level is slow and costly to implement and can’t keep up with the pace of business requirements and regulatory changes.

Software-defined network segmentation allows you to segment your network in a virtualized, real-time manner based on device and user identity, independent from your physical architecture or network addressing. With a virtual security layer throughout your network provided by OPAQ’s microsegmentation technology, you can define narrow access policies that ensure sensitive systems are visible only to the users who need them. This type of access control is often described as a “zero-trust” security posture.

The software-defined segmentation approach can prevent infections from spreading from compromised workstations, effectively isolating and containing malicious activity. In cloud environments, this is an essential part of a security strategy to limit access between virtual machine (VM) instances as well as to enforce strong segmentation between cloud workloads, non-cloud resources, and user endpoints regardless of the physical network architecture.

OPAQ’s high-performant SASE platform puts a zero-trust security posture within reach, enabling organizations to enforce security policies for data center applications, workloads and at the oft-underprotected end-user workstation, thus better protecting your entire enterprise.

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