Tuesday, February 7, 2023

5 Network Segmentation Case Studies

Network segmentation separates a large network into smaller, individualized parts. Companies perform network segmentation to strengthen their cybersecurity posture, since each segment enables setting particular security rules.

The following case studies can help companies see how network segmentation is being used by organizations in different industries.

5 network segmentation case studies

  1. ServiceNow
  2. Oil and Gas Refinery
  3. Modern Woodmen of America
  4. Clothing Manufacturer
  5. Children’s Mercy Kansas City

1. ServiceNow

ServiceNow is a leading IT service management provider. Joel Duisman, the company’s principal IT security architect, recognized the need to improve an existing network segmentation strategy. He wanted to strengthen the protection of the company’s core services and domain controllers.

He chose service provider Illumio to meet those needs and moved forward with a phased rollout. The ServiceNow IT team appreciated how Illumio offered real-time visibility and gave consistently high protection in a multicloud environment.

“I sleep better at night knowing that Illumio closes the doors on potential attacks against our domain controllers. The demonstrable risk to the environment is noticeably lessened,” Duisman says.

Industry: IT services

Network segmentation product: Illumio Secure Cloud

Outcomes:

  • Improved compliance with client audits
  • Provided flexibility across cloud and on-premises data
  • Enhanced protection of multiple systems without interruptions

2. Oil and Gas Refinery

Leaders at a major oil and gas refinery were experiencing unexplained data loss that made it more challenging to track emissions and otherwise stay in compliance with industry regulations. They hired the Champion Technologies team to troubleshoot after they couldn’t pinpoint the problem themselves.

Champion Technologies performed an in-depth site survey to compare the refinery’s current setup to best practices. Network segmentation was one of the recommended improvements. The providers also updated network components and provided monitoring software. These improvements give employees a better understanding of what’s happening on their network and ensure they get timely alerts to avoid regulatory fines.

Industry: Oil and gas

Network segmentation product: Champion Technologies provided Layer 2 network switches, Syslog software and segmented network

Outcomes:

  • Stopped a known data loss problem
  • Improved network security
  • Tightened industry compliance

3. Modern Woodmen of America

Modern Woodmen of America is a fraternal financial services organization that aims to bring clarity through services, such as retirement planning and life insurance.

The organization uses a self-service portal that members can access anytime and anywhere. However, its traffic management system only handled virtual infrastructures, leaving a significant segment of traffic unmanaged. The company worked with service provider 27 Virtual to transition to VMware NSX-T and solve that problem.

“The inability to set up segmentation policies and east-west firewalling across dev, stage, and prod environments created a security gap that could be exploited by sophisticated threat actors,” says Zach Lotz, senior network engineer, Modern Woodmen of America.

“Once an attacker gained access, they’d have free reign to spread throughout the network.”

However, migrating to VMware NSX-T caused notable changes.

“The best part of segmentation with NSX-T is the ability to start broad — development versus production — and then go more granular as needed, even down to the application level,” Lotz says.

“This allows us to lock down our network to the point where only known traffic can communicate while everything else is blocked. Any anomaly is quickly identified and dropped.”

Industry: Financial services

Network segmentation product: 27 Virtual assisted the client in switching to VMware NSX-T for its network segmentation needs

Outcomes:

  • A more modernized network infrastructure
  • Secure 24/7 access to apps by staff and members
  • Better security against unknown traffic

See more: Network Segmentation vs. Microsegmentation

4. Clothing Manufacturer

A clothing manufacturer approached Burwood Group because of a need to get back into payment card industry (PCI) compliance. The service provider performed a network discovery process to learn more about the manufacturer’s apps and how people used them. The team suggested a network segmentation strategy after completing that assessment.

This change allowed the company to go from more than 1,600 security policies to 234. Network segmentation also made it easier to stay compliant and be more proactive about cybersecurity.

Industry: Manufacturing

Network segmentation provider: Burwood Group

Outcomes:

  • Decreased security rules while reducing vulnerabilities
  • Improved the company’s cybersecurity posture
  • Minimized overall business risks

5. Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Children’s Mercy Kansas City is a 700-bed medical facility with a growing and varied collection of connected medical assets.

People also collaborated with multiple departments but lacked cohesive data security policies to follow when doing so.

Leaders chose Medigate by Claroty to enhance network segmentation capabilities and accommodate rapid growth. The product gave a risk-scored asset inventory to show people vulnerabilities within the facility’s connected devices.

“Medigate has been a necessary investment,” says Tarunjeet “T.J.” Mann, chief information security officer, Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

“They have provided the means for us to protect and monitor every connected device in a hospital at machine speeds.”

The solution also auto-generated security policies for each network segment, reducing potential threats and giving people better network oversight.

Industry: Health care

Network segmentation product: Medigate By Claroty

Outcomes:

  • Better asset visibility
  • The elimination of numerous manual and outdated workflows
  • More effective collaboration among staff

Bottom Line

These case studies show examples of how network segmentation is being used in various industries: IT services; oil and gas; financial services; manufacturing; and health care.

Clients selected a range of providers serving the network segmentation market for implementations: Illumnio; Champion Technologies; VMware; Burwood Group; and Claroty.

Together, the organizations’ network segmentation solutions improved numerous aspects of their networks:

  • Provided flexibility across cloud and on-premises data
  • Stopped a known data loss problem
  • Better security against unknown traffic
  • Decreased security rules while reducing vulnerabilities
  • The elimination of numerous manual and outdated workflows

See more: 5 Top Network Segmentation Trends

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