Cybersecurity and Network Segregation

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Is going offline and segregating your network the only way to be truly safe in our modern cyber landscape? Should government and other crucial organisations systems be exclusively offline? Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, explains the pros and cons.


“Segregating networks is nothing new for keeping them secure and limiting the access for non-authorised personnel or machines.

“Limiting who can and cannot gain access to your information can be quite difficult to achieve, especially if you have a potential open gateway to the rest of the world.

“Of course on paper its achievable, and simply a case of having the correct security measures in place, but as we have seen so many times before cybercriminals and malware are very good at ignoring security protocols and doing as they wish.

“If you segregate your network making it isolated, then you have greater control over what gets installed, with no ability to talk with C&C servers or the ability to upgrade/download other malware the potential for successful attack is considerably lower.

“It does come with its disadvantages, with so much software these days checking and getting its updates direct from the internet, the onus on keeping operating systems and applications up to date is solely on the technical department.

“This will involve a lot more work and effort in keeping everything running smoothly on the latest versions.

“Limiting access is much easier as you only have to deal with the users themselves, but that’s not to say it’s going to be an easy task. With more and more attacks coming from inside even limiting access will not guarantee being 100% safe.

“If your circumstances allow closed networks to work for you, then this could increase the security of your data.

“The problem is that these days everything is expected to work together - off site access, remote working and worldwide communication.

“They are all expected to co-exist seamlessly with no user impact, once you start making things difficult or limiting the ability of others to share or use data, then there’s an increased chance mistakes will be made.

“With the assumption that certain security methods do not need to be enforced as it’s a closed network, could lead to other dangers if it is breached or compromised.

“The very definition of a network enables “people or things” to connect and share knowledge, and having modern, tried and tested security features together with the right expertise is a better way to tackle the problem.

“Understanding what could go wrong, putting in multi-layered protection to safeguard against all scenarios and correct data or traffic monitoring is a much better way of securing your data.”

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