Microsegmantation is acquiring center stage in today’s digital world. Matias Katz from Byos talks about the benefits of hardware-based microsegmentation In cybersecurity
When it comes to microsegmentation, software-based security can be helpful, but it can’t achieve true microsegmentation on its own. Introducing a hardware component is the only way for organizations to achieve effective network microsegmentation at the edge and improve security with an additional layer of protection outside the host. In addition to these technical benefits, hardware-based microsegmentation also improves and assists organization-wide efforts related to overall security and IT, personnel, and workforce modernization.
These are six of the most valuable benefits of hardware-enforced microsegmentation:
1. Provide protection outside the host
One of the main reasons hardware-enforced edge microsegmentation is so effective is that it provides a layer of protection outside the host. Security software is likely to crash if its host operating system fails, for example, leading to downgraded security and creating vulnerabilities. In the same scenario, a hardware-enforced isolation device can remain fully operational because it sits outside the host and functions independently of the operating system.
With hardware-based microsegmentation, securing the endpoint keeps intruders out at the edge, while also making it easier to detect and remediate any attacks that find a way through that barrier.Hardware also provides CPU and RAM isolation to prevent attackers from gaining access to data stored there by the host. Security software solutions share RAM and CPU power with the host, which opens the door to dangerous information leakage. And where malware can disable security software by unhooking its functions, hardware-enforced security continues on unaffected by malware since it exists independently.
2. Eliminate limits on employee access
Somemajor companies compensate for the lack of hardware-based security by limiting the access employees have to their own devices. While restricting access may reduce the possibility of human error and lessen the impact of the attacks human error can invite, it is neither a particularly effective strategy nor an operationally efficient one. With limited access, employees are forced to go through IT in order to accomplish simple tasks, like installing updates. Organizations must then spend considerable resources deploying technicians to wherever the device is located in order to accomplish actions that are both common and important.
With hardware-enforced microsegmentation, any user can be an admin, because there’s no need for trust in either the user, the computer, or the operating system. Instead, Chief Security Officers can confidently rely on the endpoint isolation provided by the external hardware security.
3. Meet the needs of modern work culture
According to a study by Upwork, remote work will be nearly twice as popular as it was before the global pandemic by the year 2025, with as many as 36.2 million Americans working outside the office. In response, organizations are transitioning away from in-office dynamics toward distributed teams and are making remote and hybrid work-from-home structures their new normal. This shift makes it absolutely crucial for organizations to be able to secure and protect individual endpoints at a distance.
Hardware-based microsegmentation meets the needs of this modern work culture by doing just that. With each endpoint secured as a microsegment of one, employees can safely and confidently connect to corporate networks from anywhere in the world. Giving employees the freedom to travel and the access to download, use, and update the applications and tools that work for them allows organizations to unthrottle efficiency and build a better work culture, all while maintaining a robust security posture.
4. Reclaim network admin and IT resources
On the flip side of those freedoms, hardware-enforced isolation also relieves network administrators of a lot of the busy work that can come with software-based security solutions. Network admins spend huge amounts of time opening and closing firewalls, granting and retracting permissions, reformatting and managing corporate devices, and creating burner devices for executives traveling abroad, for example.
Eliminating that busy work with hardware-enforced isolation helps network and IT administrators recoup valuable time and resources and focus their efforts on more important tasks that require high-level training and experience. At the same time, hardware-based security keeps technicians from having to be on-site with a device in order to remediate issues. Hardware-enforced isolation enables remote troubleshooting and gives IT full control over the device without in-person user interaction. Technicians can address legacy and unmanaged devices without the corporate expense and the hassle of flying around the world at a moment’s notice.
5. Unify security across your entire device fleet
Corporate fleets are rarely limited to a single device type. More often, administrators are responsible for managing large quantities of multiple types of devices, all connected to different networks and subject to the respective networking configurations and security policies applied at each network’s perimeter. A single security admin might need to use one VPN to manage one network and a separate Team Viewer to access a second network (and so on).
Network management at this scale is incredibly complex, and with increased complexity comes increased risk. Achieving microsegmentation through an external hardware device makes it possible for administrators to unify an organization’s security posture across the entire device fleet, no matter how diverse or distributed it is. Hardware-based security creates a single consolidated console from which administrators can access any endpoint, without becoming dependent on the endpoint itself or the network it’s connected to. Shared and consistent security policies are present by default, and admins only have to manage one pathway in and out of devices.
6. Streamline the pathway to compliance
Hardware-based microsegmentation creates a solid foundation for achieving and maintaining regulatory compliance around industry-specific standards and expectations. By establishing and applying detailed policies and putting the proper security controls in place, organizations can streamline the pathway to compliance.
Edge microsegmentation offers real-time detection and control, empowering a better strategy for resilience and accountability. With just a few clicks, hardware-enforced isolation helps security teams more quickly and efficiently prevent, detect, and remediate threats.
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