Microsegmentation is a network security solution that isolates workloads and governs each one separately using policy-driven, application-level protection. These software solutions use network virtualization to divide and isolate different parts of data centers and cloud workloads, then deploy and protect them separately.
In addition to reducing visibility, detection, and remediation times, this aids businesses in better visualizing their assets and workloads. It also thwarts invaders from moving across the network. Businesses employ microsegmentation to increase network observability and protection for specific workloads.
With the implementation of microsegmentation in the digital environment, network security engineers can reduce the attack surface with the help of policy-based security controls. These controls keep applications and workload secure, even if invaders try to penetrate the perimeter defense system.
In modern networks, microsegmentation is recommended to achieve zero-trust security. Although microsegmentation technology is used for application-level security, the tools primarily focus on creating custom sandboxes, security policies, and isolated workloads.
Read more: What is Microsegmentation?
Top microsegmentation software solutions
Microsegmentation can significantly lower a company’s threat risk, improve resilience to attacks, and support productivity and profitability when independent security measures are developed for each segment.
Additionally, microsegmentation guarantees that critical information only reaches the parts of your company that require it, thereby decreasing traffic and increasing efficiency.
The following are top software solutions that offer microsegmentation along with other features:
Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto
Prisma Cloud is a comprehensive, cloud-native security tool that offers compliance handling for data, apps, infrastructure, and cloud-native workloads all through the development lifecycle. It protects hybrid and multi-cloud environments from a single user interface (UI) using a unified agent framework.
Network security engineers can protect cloud-native applications using Prisma Cloud, designed for large enterprises, providing comprehensive security and compliance coverage throughout the development lifecycle in any cloud environment.
- Compliance across public clouds, maintain posture, recognize and eliminate threats
- Secure containers and hosts throughout the application lifecycle
- Simple, effective, and easy-to-use permission system
- Strong identity security and enforcement across cloud environments
- Fast and easy setup
- Exceptional customer support
- Supports multi-cloud environments’ real-time monitoring
- There is room for improvement in identity and access management (IAM) control
- Firewall container policies need some improvements
A full-stack network and security virtualization platform called VMware NSX makes it possible to create a virtual cloud network.
Cloud frameworks, data centers, and application structures can all use the software-defined networking method that NSX offers. Within their data center, multi-cloud infrastructure, and container environment, users can join and secure apps.
The platform has strong automated provisioning, providing dynamic flexibility and scalability without sacrificing network speed or agility.
The large corporate market is well-known for VMware NSX, which enables users to deliver apps swiftly and securely. No matter where your applications run, these security policies can control and manage public and private cloud environments from a single window.
Users can alter security controls, and IDS/IPS can be used to block lateral threats. Customers can also save money by combining networking and security tasks on a unified platform.
- VMware NSX ALB (Advanced Load Balancer) provides enterprise-level multi-cloud load balancing and applications security
- Transform a Layer 3 fabric to support logical Layer 2 overlay extensions both inside and outside the data center boundary
- Supports both static and dynamic routing protocols, including IPv6 support
- Complete network address translation (NAT) and edge firewall functionality in each VRF (Virtual Routing and Forwarding) on the NSX Tier-0 gateway
- Complete data plane isolation across tenants
- Stateful Layer 4 to Layer 7 firewall including Layer 7 identification, NAT, and user identification
- Provides graphical interfacing for monitoring and troubleshooting, such as flow monitoring, packet capture, and trace flow
- Easily integrates with existing VMware vSphere environments
- Rules are fairly simple to handle
- Simple and fast step-by-step installation
- Easy migration from NSX-V to NSX-T with the Migration Coordinator tool
- Improperly configured rules can completely interrupt communication with NSX components, ESXi hosts, and vCenter Server(s)
- Packet acceleration and advanced networking options need more improvements
Illumio Core, formerly known as Illumio ASP, offers live visibility and microsegmentation for any workload. This includes VMs, containers, and bare-metal servers anywhere on-premises or in private or public cloud infrastructures. Plus, Illumio Core accomplishes this goal for the largest and most demanding computing systems in the world without relying on networks or hypervisors.
Illumio Core is a simple, quick, and effective microsegmentation tool that provides intelligent visibility, a radically simple policy authoring engine, automatic segmentation, and enforcement of policies to prohibit assaults from migrating.
- Visualizes data on the relationships, flows, and activities occurring in each workload
- Functions independently of location or kind of workload
- Uses flow history to generate and suggest the best microsegmentation strategies for each workload and application
- Provides insight into the exposure of vulnerabilities and attack pathways across apps by combining application dependency maps with vulnerability scan data from third-party vulnerability scanning tools
- Enables the encryption of data in transit whether it is transported from a cloud site to on-premises environments or within a VLAN data center
- Easy integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructures
- Excellent management interface that provides a good visual map of traffic, what is being blocked, what is being allowed, and so forth, makes the process of creating policies simpler
- Implementing rules and troubleshooting are relatively straightforward due to the quick configuration changes
- Application for logging into the system needs improvements
- The interface slows down a bit when there are more workloads
A comprehensive data center and cloud security solution called Guardicore Centra (formerly known as GuardiCore) offers a straightforward method for implementing microsegmentation controls. To safeguard crucial applications, it enforces network and process-level regulations and offers full visibility into application dependencies. It also reduces the network’s attack surface and finds and manages breaches in east-west traffic
Large businesses frequently use Guardicore Centra, which offers protection for an organization’s whole infrastructure. This software protects applications and workloads in hybrid and multi-cloud environments with any infrastructure like VMs, containers, bare-metal servers, and cloud instances. Specifically, Guardicore Centra supports AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure platforms.
- Flow visibility, microsegmentation, breach detection, and response in a single platform
- Streamlined security configuration and administration
- Scalable to accommodate performance and security needs for any size environment
- The application-aware visibility outlines application dependencies before security policy creation
- The three detection techniques — Dynamic Deception, Reputation Analysis, and Policy-Based Detection when combined— build a powerful security perimeter to avoid live attacks
- Dashboard and user interface are fantastic
- Visibility of processes and connections on each host
- More granular protection where security administrators may lock apps down to individual services
- Threat intelligence that quickly thwarts active threats greatly aids in understanding the footprint of the attacks
- When using the terminal server, security engineers cannot exclude user duties for each session, thus the long-term maintenance of the security policies might be improved with automation features
- Sometimes performance is slow, especially when it comes to creating maps
Nutanix Flow provides application-centric security from network threats, malware, and ransomware with compliance monitoring. Flow enables enterprises to implement software-defined virtual network security without the hassle of setting up and administering extra products.
Flow’s application-centric policies provide complete visibility and traffic management. With the help of this policy model, administrators can put precise restrictions on the sources and destinations of traffic. The same policies allow for the visualization of traffic between and inside VMs.
An essential component of a defense-in-depth approach against contemporary data center threats is the granular level of control.
- Single dashboard provides policy-defined visibility into communications and vulnerabilities of all applications and services
- Ring-fencing and audits quickly divide application and data access without requiring physical management and to construct compliant networks
- Security engineers can quickly deploy tagged firewalls with a zero-trust approach to segment and defend users, apps, and data from cyber threats without affecting existing infrastructure
- Partner connectors created for Flow Network Security provide application tiering at the OSI L4 level with the potential to develop further inspection at L7
- Application-centric network rules for virtual machines
- Suitable for any network structure or architecture
- Management of policy changes linked to VM lifecycle
- Features for compliance auditing and reporting, including HIPAA, PCI, NIST, and other standards
- Boost performance using external network inspection and policy tools
- The configuration of the original blueprints is the most challenging aspect
- The disaster recovery environments, which run Nutanix Flow and AHV need some improvements for them
Cisco Secure Workload
Cisco Secure Workload is a data and cloud protection tool that offers a zero-trust policy to keep workloads protected on-premises and in cloud environments. This product identifies abnormalities in the workload process, prevents threats, reduces the risk threat surface, and stops lateral movement.
The solution uniquely encircles every workload to guarantee that businesses can always keep their data, network, and apps safe and secure. Cisco Secure Workload is constantly building firewalls around every workload layer across the ecosystem to ensure organizations can protect their applications.
- Provides personalized recommendations based on the unique environment and application needs
- Application component visibility and control at the granular level, with automatic compliance detection and enforcement
- Automatic NIST vulnerabilities help you make judgments regarding data stream
- Automate application segmentation policies to keep track of every packet and flow going to and coming from workloads
- Easy installation and customization
- Continuous visibility and demand-level authorization controls across all workstations and storage devices, regardless of location
- The interface might be made more logical
- Virtual machine recovery should be made simple
Why is microsegmentation important?
The changing landscape of technology means that traditional security solutions are becoming less effective at protecting networks from cyber attacks.
Security has become a primary concern as more businesses embrace digital transformation and cloud adoption to drive the industry forward. Microsegmentation allows organizations to implement a zero-trust approach in existing infrastructure to deliver security tailored to their specific needs.
To ensure effective security, organizations need a distributed, extended internal firewall built to protect east-west traffic—one that can easily allow network segmentation and microsegmentation of all applications.
By itself or as part of a zero-trust approach, segmentation divides the data center infrastructure into smaller zones, allowing better control and visibility of traffic flows between workloads.
Benefits of microsegmentation
Organizations that have adopted microsegmentation have realized numerous tangible benefits.
Restricted lateral movement
Microsegmentation significantly reduces attack vulnerability, so an attacker will find it more challenging to switch from one compromised workload to another.
Reduced attack surface
Without impeding progress or innovation, microsegmentation offers visibility into the entire network environment. Early in the development cycle, security policy definition can be incorporated by application developers to prevent new attack vectors during application deployments or updates.
Improved operational efficiency
Microsegmentation helps eliminate standalone firewall appliances and ACLs (Access Control Lists). This means IT teams can create stronger security postures with fewer tools.
More robust regulatory compliance
Security engineers can create security policies to segregate workloads and applications from the rest of the infrastructure.
Improved breach containment
Security teams may monitor network traffic against specified policies with the use of microsegmentation, which reduces the amount of time it takes to respond to breaches.
Streamlined policy management
Managing firewall policies can be made easier by switching to a microsegmentation architecture. Utilizing a single, consolidated policy for threat detection and threat mitigation as well as subnet access control is an emerging best practice for greater security.
How to choose the right microsegmentation software
A crucial component of network and workload security is selecting the appropriate microsegmentation software. The software you use should provide visibility into data flows and enable you to regulate that flow throughout your company’s network.
A good microsegmentation tool should have strong capabilities for monitoring east-west traffic and all communication ports. It should also limit access to critical data and applications, a key function of zero trust security. Then, you can use that tool to implement special security policies for each segment of your network.