Network segmentation is an architectural approach that involves dividing a computer network into smaller subnetworks or segments. Each segment operates as its own small network, and each is subject to specific policies that allow administrators to control the flow of traffic between them. Through network segmentation, security personnel can prevent unauthorized users, including curious insiders and malicious attackers, from accessing sensitive information such as corporate financial records, customers’ personal information, and confidential data.
The primary goal of network segmentation is to enhance security by limiting the spread of threats and minimizing the impact of security breaches. By isolating sensitive data and critical resources in a separate segment of the network, organizations can prevent unauthorized access to these assets, thus reducing the risk of data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other security threats.
Segmentation can be accomplished using a variety of technologies, such as virtual LANs (VLANs), network firewalls, access control lists (ACLs), and software-defined networking (SDN). In some instances, automated tools and software can be used to help manage and enforce segmentation policies. In this article, we’re going to review the seven best network segmentation tools. Hopefully, this will guide you in the process of choosing the right one for your organization.
The Best Network Segmentation Tools
1. Cisco Secure Workload
Cisco Secure Workload is a cloud-native workload protection solution designed to provide visibility, compliance, and threat protection for multi-cloud workloads. While it is primarily a security tool, it can also be used as a zero trust-based network segmentation tool to help organizations improve their network security posture.
Cisco Secure Workload can be used for network segmentation by creating security zones within the environment. Security zones are logical groupings of workloads based on their security requirements, such as compliance regulations or sensitivity of the data they handle. By grouping workloads with similar security requirements, organizations can apply consistent security policies and controls across each security zone. For example, a security zone may require all workloads to have the same level of access control policies or encryption requirements.
Cisco Secure Workload uses security zones to implement network segmentation in an environment. Workloads with similar security requirements are grouped into a security zone, and security policies are applied to each zone. The security policies may include access control policies, encryption requirements, and other measures to protect the workloads within the zone.
Cisco Secure Workload also provides visibility into the traffic flowing between security zones, allowing administrators to monitor and control traffic to prevent unauthorized access or data leakage. The security policies are enforced by Cisco Secure Workload’s security controls, which may include firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and other security measures. Administrators can manage and monitor the security policies across all security zones from a centralized management console, allowing them to quickly identify and address any security risks within their environment.
The pricing and licensing plan for Cisco Secure Workload varies depending on the deployment model and the features you require.
2. VMware NSX
VMware NSX is a software-defined networking (SDN) and security platform designed to virtualize networking and security for data center, cloud, and enterprise environments. NSX decouples network and security services from underlying physical infrastructure, providing a virtual networking layer that can be abstracted from the physical network.
VMware NSX can be an effective tool for network segmentation, providing enhanced network security and control within virtualized environments. It provides a range of network security features such as distributed firewalls, network isolation, and micro-segmentation that enable the creation of logical network segments within a virtualized infrastructure. This helps to improve network security by reducing the attack surface and limiting the spread of threats within the network.
NSX uses software-defined networking (SDN) to abstract network functionality from hardware and create a virtualized network overlay. This enables network administrators to create multiple virtual networks that are logically separated from each other, even if they share the same physical infrastructure. Each virtual network can have its own set of security policies and controls, which can be enforced at the virtual machine level, providing granular security and control.
NSX also provides micro-segmentation, which allows administrators to define security policies at the individual workload level, rather than just at the network level. This means that each workload can be isolated and protected, even within the same virtual network segment. This can be particularly useful in protecting sensitive workloads and preventing lateral movement within the network.
NSX Cloud is licensed on a per-virtual machine (VM) basis, and the price is based on the number of VMs that will be protected with NSX. In addition to the base licensing costs, there may be additional costs for support and maintenance. VMware offers various support plans, including Basic, Production, and Premier support, which provide different levels of technical support, software updates, and other benefits.
Illumio is a network segmentation platform that provides comprehensive visibility and control over the network traffic flowing across an organization’s infrastructure. It works by creating a software-defined perimeter around each workload or application, enabling fine-grained segmentation and protection of network assets.
Illumio’s approach to security is based on separating it from the underlying network and hypervisor technology. By doing so, their technology can be applied to various computing environments, such as private data centers, private clouds, and public clouds. This enables them to implement a zero-trust micro-segmentation strategy that spans from endpoints to data centers to the cloud, which effectively prevents cyber-attacks and the proliferation of ransomware.
Illumio’s network segmentation technology is based on a Zero Trust model, which means that it assumes that no user or device can be trusted until it has been authenticated and authorized. This model allows Illumio to provide granular access controls to every workload, application, and user on the network, regardless of their location or device type.
One of the key benefits of using Illumio as a network segmentation tool is that it provides continuous monitoring and threat detection capabilities, helping organizations to detect and respond to network security incidents in real-time.
By leveraging machine learning and behavioral analytics, Illumio can identify and isolate malicious traffic or behavior, reducing the attack surface and minimizing the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks. Illumio’s segmentation capabilities are highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the unique needs of any organization. The platform can be easily integrated into existing security infrastructure, enabling organizations to leverage their existing investments in firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security tools.
Illumio’s pricing and licensing plans are not publicly disclosed, as they are customized based on the specific needs and requirements of each organization. However, they do offer a free trial for organizations to test and evaluate the product before making a purchase decision. Illumio’s licensing model is based on the number of workloads or endpoints being protected, and they offer both perpetual and subscription-based licensing options. They also offer a range of support and professional services options, including technical support, training, and consulting services, which may be included as part of the licensing agreement or purchased separately.
AlgoSec is a powerful network security management platform that provides several capabilities for network segmentation. One of the primary benefits of using AlgoSec for network segmentation is that it can automate and streamline the process, reducing the time and effort required to implement segmentation strategies. AlgoSec can help organizations identify and define network segments based on various factors, such as business units, security requirements, or compliance regulations. The platform provides automated discovery and mapping of the network, making it easier to identify the various devices and assets that need to be segmented.
Once the network is mapped, AlgoSec can help organizations implement network segmentation strategies by generating firewall rules for each segment, ensuring that traffic is properly routed and isolated. The platform can also assess the risk associated with each segment, helping organizations prioritize their segmentation efforts. Another key benefit of using AlgoSec for network segmentation is that it can help organizations ensure compliance with industry regulations and best practices. The platform provides automated compliance checks and can generate reports that demonstrate compliance with regulations such as PCI DSS and NIST.
AlgoSec offers multiple deployment models, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployment. AlgoSec offers both perpetual and subscription-based licensing plans for its network security management platform, depending on the deployment model. For on-premises deployment, AlgoSec offers a perpetual license with annual maintenance and support fees, while for cloud-based deployment, it offers a subscription-based licensing model. The pricing is based on the number of devices managed and the specific features and capabilities required. The choice of pricing and licensing plan depends on the organization’s specific needs and requirements. A free online demo is available on request.
Tufin is a network security platform that provides a range of solutions for network segmentation. Tufin enables organizations to gain complete visibility and control over their network, automate security policy changes, and manage firewall rules. One of the primary benefits of using Tufin for network segmentation is that it simplifies and automates the process. Tufin offers a range of deployment options for its network security platform to meet the needs of different organizations. The platform can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid solution that combines on-premises and cloud components.
Tufin provides automated network discovery and mapping, making it easier to identify the various devices and assets that need to be segmented. This helps organizations gain a better understanding of their network and enables them to create more granular security policies that align with business requirements. Tufin also offers a range of features and capabilities for implementing network segmentation strategies. The platform provides policy-based automation and compliance checks, ensuring that firewall rules are configured correctly and that they comply with industry regulations and best practices. Tufin also enables organizations to define and enforce security policies based on business context, such as user groups or application requirements.
Another key benefit of using Tufin for network segmentation is that it provides a centralized platform for managing security policies and firewall rules across different devices and vendors. This enables organizations to ensure consistency and compliance across the entire network and simplifies the management of complex, multi-vendor environments.
Tufin offers various pricing and licensing plans for its network security platform. The pricing for Tufin’s network security platform is based on the specific needs of the organization, and the platform can be tailored to meet the requirements of small, medium, and large businesses. The pricing depends on the deployment model, features, and the number of devices managed. For on-premises deployments, Tufin offers a perpetual license with annual maintenance and support fees. For cloud-based deployments, Tufin offers a subscription-based licensing model that is billed on a per-device or per-user basis. A free online demo is available on request.
6. Akamai Guardicore Centra
Akamai Guardicore is a network segmentation platform that provides organizations with granular control over their network traffic, enabling them to detect and prevent cyber threats. The platform is designed to provide organizations with a powerful and flexible tool for securing their network and protecting critical assets and data from cyber threats. The platform uses a combination of software-defined networking (SDN) and micro-segmentation technologies to isolate and protect critical assets and applications within an organization’s network. This allows organizations to limit the impact of cyber-attacks and minimize the risk of data breaches.
Guardicore Centra utilizes a range of data collection methods, including agent-based sensors, network-based data collectors, and virtual private cloud (VPC) flow logs from cloud providers, to gather detailed information about an organization’s IT infrastructure. This information is then contextualized through a flexible and highly automated labeling process that can integrate with existing data sources like orchestration systems and configuration management databases.
This contextualized data is used to create a dynamic visual map of the entire IT infrastructure, allowing security teams to view activity down to the individual process level, both in real-time and historically. These insights into application behavior enable teams to quickly create granular micro-segmentation policies using an intuitive visual interface. Centra’s micro-segmentation capabilities are further supported by a set of innovative breach detection and response capabilities, creating a powerful security solution for organizations looking to secure their IT infrastructure.
Guardicore’s platform offers a range of features, including policy-based segmentation, application dependency mapping, and visibility and analytics tools. The policy-based segmentation feature allows organizations to define and enforce granular access controls based on user identity, network location, and other factors, while the application dependency mapping feature helps to identify potential vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in the network.
Guardicore also offers integration with other security tools and platforms, such as firewalls and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, to provide a comprehensive and cohesive security solution. Their pricing model is based on several factors, including the size and complexity of the organization’s network, the number of workloads or endpoints being protected, and the level of support and services required.
7. Fidelis CloudPassage Halo
Fidelis CloudPassage Halo is a comprehensive security platform designed for cloud environments. Halo is built on the cloud, for the cloud and it automates security controls and compliance procedures across various cloud models, including public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud environments.
The Halo platform is particularly suitable for environments that are:
- Distributed Halo can securely manage application infrastructures across data centers and IaaS platforms and enable easy migration of workloads between cloud service providers without the need for reconfiguration or relicensing.
- Diverse Halo can secure an extensive range of asset types and workloads and leverage agentless connectors for IaaS and PaaS cloud security posture management.
- Dynamic Halo can accelerate security operations to keep up with rapidly changing application infrastructures and secure new resources as they are added, modified, or expanded.
Halo can be used as a network segmentation tool to enhance the security of cloud-based assets. CloudPassage network segmentation capabilities help organizations enhance the security of their cloud-based assets. Halo offers network segmentation capabilities through its micro-segmentation feature. This feature allows organizations to define granular security policies for each workload or application running in their cloud environment. It enables organizations to restrict network access based on the identity of the user, the type of workload, and the specific network segments to which they are allowed access.
Fidelis CloudPassage Halo pricing and licensing depend on several factors, including the number of cloud assets to be secured, the level of security controls required, and the duration of the subscription.