What are the security benefits and challenges of segregating IT environments, and how best are these challenges overcome?
Segregation of IT environments is a conventional technique, but one that remains just as relevant in today’s context, as organisations seek to limit intruders’ ability to move across the network easily and reach their target information or system. As organisations move to the cloud and coexist within the same environment, proper segregation is vital – the tools and techniques to accomplish this will vary according to the cloud service model.Yet many organisations still have a flat network, which can be of tremendous benefit to cyber attackers who have successfully gained access to a system, allowing them to move laterally at will and get to whatever they require to compromise and exploit information. A flat network does not just provide opportunities for malicious intruders, it can also enable accidental or negligent behaviour by insiders because it permits anyone to get to anything internally.
Segregation serves as an obstacle, which makes lateral movement difficult and isolates security issues. Whether it be a malicious attack or technical fault, proper segregation of IT environments can limit the spread to other internal areas, reducing the potential impact.