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May 14, 2024

What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Micro-Segmentation?


Hillstone Networks CloudHive is an advanced micro-segmentation solution that integrates deeply and seamlessly into a virtual environment. But before a customer can understand exactly what CloudHive brings to the table, a good understanding of micro-segmentation is in order. To that end, this post will discuss its benefits and challenges.

We invite you to contact us to learn more about micro-segmentation and CloudHive. If your organization utilizes a virtual environment, it is imperative that you take security seriously. Do not just assume your provider is managing all your security risks for you.

The Basics of Micro-Segmentation

Micro-segmentation is more of a security strategy than an actual hardware or software tool. It is a strategy that segments a network down to the workload level. In doing so, you are left with smaller, isolated zones that are easier to control. These zones are also more difficult to break into. More importantly, they make it harder for attackers to move laterally because each segment is individually protected.

A good visualization of micro-segmentation is a series of virtual machines that are segmented down. Even if a threat actor were to gain access to one machine, gaining access to the others would prove more difficult. Micro-segmentation puts up more barriers. It makes an attacker’s job exponentially more difficult.

The Benefits of Micro-Segmentation

Micro-segmentation can be implemented in numerous ways. It can be enhanced by firewalls, network virtualization, and a range of security policies controlling workload communication. The benefits of getting it right are abundantly clear:

  • Smaller Attack Surface – Threat actors have a distinct advantage when attack surfaces are large. The larger the surface, the more options attackers have. Micro-segmentation takes that advantage away by creating smaller attack surface.
  • Better Containment – When a given threat does make it through, micro-segmentation offers better containment. It can prevent lateral movement, thereby keeping other segments safe.
  • Improved Compliance – Hillstone Networks recommends micro-segmentation in jurisdictions where tight data segregation rules exist. Micro-segmentation makes compliance easier.
  • Simplified Security Management – Security management is simplified when security policies within a micro-segmented environment are automated. This limits the need for manual configurations.

The key to maximizing micro-segmentation benefits is customizing each environment. Virtual machines can be segmented in one way while application environments are segmented in another.

The Challenges of Micro-Segmentation

Despite the many benefits of implementing a micro-segmentation strategy, it does have its challenges. At the top of the list is integration. CloudHive integrates seamlessly with VMware, FusionCompute, and other. Not every micro-segmentation tool does.

When integration is seamless, maximum security is realized. But when an organization needs to rely on workarounds to make tools work, security may be compromised. This suggests that an organization’s choice of micro-segmentation tools makes a difference.

Two additional challenges are as follows:

  • Complexity – Although micro-segmentation can simplify security management through automation, managing the segmentation itself can be quite complex. Larger and dynamic environments are harder to manage than their smaller counterparts.
  • Operational Requirements – Micro-segmentation works best when implemented with granular security policies. But defining and enforcing such policies requires a lot more effort. It increases the operational overhead an organization must manage.

At Hillstone Networks, we believe that the benefits of robust micro-segmentation far outweigh these three challenges. Micro-segmentation is one of the best ways to keep threat actors at bay by limiting their movement within a cloud or network environment.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about micro-segmentation or our CloudHive solution. Our number one priority is making sure our clients are protected against cybersecurity attacks at every level. Micro-segmentation is just one of the tools we utilize to enhance client security.