ASSET SEGMENTATION: THE KEY TO CONTROL

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Automated asset segmentation and classification helps focus strong security controls where they are needed most.

Segmentation, an established concept, continues to deliver value across multiple disciplines. We are all likely familiar with the concept of market segmentation that is defined in Wikipedia as “a marketing strategy which involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers, businesses, or countries who have, or are perceived to have, common needs, interests, and priorities, and then designing and implementing strategies to target them.”

In IT, network segmentation is well known to increase network performance and security by isolating one network segment (zone) from others. For example, PCI (payment card industry) data within a network must be separated from the rest of the network to limit unauthorized access to credit card data.

When it comes to security and compliance, not all assets pose equal risk. Assets should be segmented into virtual groups based on attributes such as data classification, regulatory requirements, and business criticality. Ideally, multiple criteria can be applicable to the same asset to support specific security policies — for example, segmenting assets by data classification and geography to meet local data protection regulations such as HIPAA in the United States.

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