Does Microsegmentation Help With Ransomware?

39% of businesses worldwide – which is four in ten – reported having experienced cyber attacks and breaches in the last year. With the development of cloud-based operations in business, the problem of cyber-security is a critical one, and it is only set to grow more important as attackers learn new ways to infiltrate the system.

Ransomware, especially, is a problem that many businesses have had to navigate in the last few years. According to a recent survey, 90% of businesses were affected by ransomware over the last twelve months – which is a sizable increase on the 72.5% reported attacks of 2021.

This is why cyber-security innovations such as microsegmentation are so important. With businesses struggling to fight the tide, microsegmentation gives them a way to divide their network and put individual protocols in place to avert the risk. But what is microsegmentation and how can it help with ransomware? In order to understand this, it is first important to understand the concept of ransomware itself.

What Is Ransomware?

Put simply, ransomware is a thirty-year-old form of cyber-attack which employs encryption to hold businesses – or users – information for ransom. Data which could be critical is encrypted and unavailable to be accessed through any files, databases or applications, with a ransom assigned to provide access.

The public and private keys are generated by the attacker, with the private key available to the victim once the ransom has been paid – although it is nearly impossible to decrypt the files that are actually being held, even with the key that is provided.

There are multiple variations of ransomware, but each one is a significant obstacle for businesses and has the potential to completely debilitate or even wipe out the business entirely.

What Is Microsegmentation?

Microsegmentation is a process which splits a business’s network into secure, individual zones which spread the workloads and implements unique security procedures.

It offers a zero trust security principle, meaning it eliminates implicit trust that allows attackers to move around freely within the network.

One of the many benefits of microsegmentation is that it delivers unique visibility into all network traffic, allowing administrators to strengthen their security by creating specific policies for each zone. This subsequently reduces the attack surface without slowing development or innovation, giving security teams the ability to respond to data breaches and remediate them in a much shorter period of time.

How Does Microsegmentation Help Against Ransomware?

Whilst many API security protocols will focus predominantly on north-to-south traffic, microsegmentation is a different sort of protocol which places its focus on east-to-west, meaning it is aware of lateral movement between servers.

When ransomware attacks a business’s network, it does not just break through one wall – it has to breach a number of walls to spread and take hold of every piece of data. This means that multiple zones are being compromised, one after the other, like a line of dominoes.

Microsegmentation eliminates this issue, as each zone works on an individual level, meaning the ransomware is effectively locked out from communicating with alternate workloads. It might not stop the arrival of ransomware, but it diminishes the effects of it – so although it might get into the hardware, it cannot get through the network as a whole, as the network has been segregated in order to halt the spread.

The impact of microsegmentation is already being felt by a number of businesses that have wanted to implement a zero trust strategy. In terms of its fight against ransomware, it is an effective and efficient solution which makes it a worthwhile investment, which is why more and more businesses are beginning to make the leap – not to mention the other benefits that it can bring through effortless compliance, environment visibility and secure application access.

For ransomware, however, it is a true remedy to the continuing threat that is being posed worldwide.