July 1, 2022
While digital data storage solutions are often seen as the root cause of data breaches, the problem pre-dates the internet. Data breaches have been problematic since businesses started keeping records. However, while computing and digital data storage didn’t invent data breaches, they have influenced the frequency. Since the 1980s, data breaches have been on the rise, and public awareness of the issue became more commonplace in the 1990s.
Today, businesses with cloud-hosted servers and mobile workforces must keep their digital data secure, and they face harsher penalties for failing to do so. Data security is vital to maintaining trust, preserving your organization’s workflow, and in many cases, maintaining compliance with federal and state consumer privacy laws.
How Has Data Security Evolved?
Data center security and protection have grown significantly in recent years as more and more businesses of all sizes shift to relying on digital data. Digital security has much in common with physical security methods, and its evolution has followed similar adaptations. For example, like a medieval fortress, data center security initially focused on perimeter protection, securing the outer wall to make infiltration more difficult. These digital perimeter technologies include firewalls, intrusion detectors, and prevention platforms.
Unfortunately, relying only on perimeter protection leaves a data center’s interior without much defense. As a result, if an unauthorized user can pass through a firewall, they might have complete freedom to peruse your data at their leisure and collect information for unauthorized use. Fortunately, microsegmentation has evolved to protect your vulnerable interior in the event of a perimeter breach.
What Is Microsegmentation?
Picture a castle with not just one outer wall and a moat but also a heavily-fortified interior. A well-equipped army might penetrate the thick outer wall and moat, but once inside, they would face additional interior walls trapping them in place while defending archers unleashed their arrows from above. Castles like these took a little bit more time and engineering to build, but by the late 13th century, segmentation strategies like these proved their ability to keep more invaders at bay.
In this case, what worked in the 13th century also works in the 21st. Microsegmentation is a newer approach to data center protection that divides a data center into smaller, individually-protected zones. Instead of a single, hardened perimeter defense with free traffic flow inside the perimeter, a microsegmented data center has security services provisioned at the perimeter, between application tiers, and even between devices within tiers to identify and actively counteract threats. Therefore, the breach will be limited even if one device is compromised.
Why Is Microsegmentation Important?
To say your information is valuable is a giant understatement --- 60% of small businesses fail within six months following a data breach. Even if your business were to survive, the average cost of a data breach is over $4 million. To make matters worse, today’s data centers face nonstop digital attacks.
But here’s the good news: most data breaches are entirely preventable. Not only can microsegmentation prevent and mitigate data breaches, but it also integrates readily with a business’s current application design to provide layers of security. Combined with other cybersecurity tools, like a Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), microsegmentation is an effective solution to preventing a breach.
What Is a Next-Generation Firewall?
A Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is much like a traditional firewall, which blocks unauthorized access to your internal data and systems. However, an NGFW has a few additional features:
- Better ways to identify and block stealthy intruders
- The ability to identify and block risky apps
- Threat intelligence
- Potential upgrades to include future information feeds
- Techniques to address evolving security threats
NGFWs can be hardware or software-based, or they can be provided as a cloud service. A cloud-based NGFW is called a Cloud Firewall or Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS).
Fortunately, implementing microsegmentation is far less challenging and time-consuming than reinforcing a 13th-century castle’s defenses. However, it will take some time and expertise to put in place. If you’re considering adding microsegmentation to your organization’s cybersecurity solutions, Marco’s experts are available to answer any questions you might have and can implement a robust data security solution that’s in keeping with your organization’s needs and goals.