Preventing Lateral System Movements by Attackers

A Paradigm Shift in Cyber Defense

Cyber crime is growing exponentially. Traditional security solutions are no longer up to the task of protecting our ever-changing, hybrid and modern data environments. Organisations have historically invested heavily in perimeter-centric security, in an attempt to keep malicious actors ‘out’. Traditional cyber security focuses on preventing breaches. However, the total prevention of breaches has proved simply too illusive. Securing the perimeter against cyber incursions is no longer adequate on its own.

No Longer a Matter of ‘if’ but Rather ‘When’

While there may still be some reluctance amongst IT security teams in openly admitting that cyber security breaches are inevitable, most now recognise that breaches of the perimeter defenses are unavoidable. Even worse are the statistics when it comes to breach identification. IBM advise that the average time to identify a breach is 207 days. That’s a considerable amount of time for malicious actors to patiently move - from system to system - in search of a valuable target. The average cost of a data breach in 2021 was also a staggering $4.24M. Thus, organisations need a new approach to cyber threat mitigation. One that cohesively and efficiently realises network virtualisation and enables the micro-segmentation of systems.

How Does Micro-Segmentation Work?

Micro-segmentation protects workloads by controlling inter-system communications, preventing lateral movements between applications by rogue actors. Its goal is to reduce network attack surfaces and improve breach containment. Micro-segmentation enables both flexible and precise security policies to be assigned across all zones, or to specific zones - all the way down to workload level. Such fine-grained controls ensure attackers face fewer potential weaknesses to exploit, even as the theoretical number of possible points of attack increases.


  • Secure and control application traffic at every workload.
  • Implement a compensating control for applications and workloads that cannot be patched.
  • Ensure consistent and continuous protection that automatically adapts to changes (e.g. movement of workloads or new capacity across application environments).
  • Enable AES-256 IPsec encryption for data in motion between a mix of Windows/Linux workloads or Windows/Linux workloads and VPN concentrators - with a single click and without additional hardware or custom software.

The ability to prevent lateral movements easily and intuitively is a paradigm shift for post-breach cyber attack scenarios.

Breach Mitigation

Micro-Segmentation Slows An Attackers Advance

Adaptive Control Over Inter-System Communication

Cyber breach identification is a major challenge for companies – even with the most modern and sophisticated threat identification systems in place. Rogue actors intimately understand the parameters in which they can act safely in a post-breach scenario - without drawing the attention of threat detection systems or security teams. Given the average of 207 days to identify a cyber breach, in many cases, a malicious actor is primarily limited by his or her patience in achieving their objective. Micro-segmentation changes that post-breach scenario significantly.

Decrease Your Attack Surface

By applying segmentation rules at the individual workload or application level, IT can reduce the risk of an attacker moving from one compromised workload or application to another. This decreases the potential impact of an attack and lowers the risk of a data breach occurring.

Improve Incident Responsiveness

Micro-segmentation solutions provide log information, to help incident response teams better understand attack tactics and telemetry - enabling policy violations to specific applications to be pinpointed.

Strengthen Regulatory Compliance

Using micro-segmentation, regulatory officers can create policies that isolate systems - based on regulatory requirements - from the rest of the technology environment. Granular control of communications with regulated systems reduces the risk of non-compliant usage and simplifies compliance audits.

Improve Operational Efficiency

Micro-segmentation provides visibility into the complete network environment and enables uniform security policies to be implemented - across hybrid environments. This makes defining, monitoring, and managing networks and access control policies easier and more efficient. Thus, micro-segmentation enables greater agility and simplifies historically complex operational activities.

Ease of Implementation

Historically, manually segmenting systems – in particular by way of internal firewalls – has been a time consuming and costly endeavour for enterprises. Equally, some of the micro-segmentation solutions on the market were initially unwieldy in their ability to segment systems. Leading, modern micro-segmentation solutions have however overcome the challenge of implementation. By utilising a listening mode, they are able to learn inter-system traffic patterns over time without impacting performance. This data is then eventually used to safely and intuitively segment internal systems - without impacting business operations.

By utilising a listening mode, micro-segmentation solutions learn inter-system traffic patterns over time without impacting performance.

The ability to slow a cyber attackers advances post-breach using micro-segmentation is critical to enterprises. We assist organisations to restrict the impact of cyber breaches, through deployment of adaptive micro-segmentation solutions. For more information on our micro-segmentation solutions and services or to discuss your requirements, please speak to Exagenica via:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8148 6865

Email: sales@exagenica.com