NordLayer - Network Security

Network Segmentation

Good maintenance, modern solutions, and robust network security must achieve a solid defense against risk and unauthorized access.

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What is Network Segmentation?

Proper network segmentation is the process of sub-diving a network into areas defined by access permissions assigned to specific teams and employees. Unique security controls limit lateral movement and unauthorized access to create a more secure and risk-free environment and monitor user activity. Organizations utilize segmentation to ensure employees, team members, and contractors alike access only the data center and resources they need to perform their role—nothing else.

Network segmentation scheme
Network segmentation scheme
Network Segmentation scheme


Benefits of Network Segmentation

Improved performance

Segmentation reduces network traffic congestion by controlling and separating avenues leaving device performance unaffected and running at an optimal level.

Limit cyberattack damage

Segmenting separate areas also limits the scale of attacks should they occur. Therefore, a potential malware infiltration localized to one area of the network will not spread across the entire network.

Accessible for everyone and easy to manage
Protect vulnerable devices

Segmenting separate areas also limits the scale of attacks should they occur. Therefore, a potential malware infiltration localized to one area of the network will not spread across the entire network.

Reduce the scope of compliance

Regulatory compliance need not be an expensive venture. With segmentation, auditing and payment processing stay separate from the rest of the network, so costs only apply to in-scope systems.


How does Network Segmentation work?

Network segments are outlined sections of a network—the nature and scale depending on their purpose and the devices or users needing access to them. The process works by assigning specific permissions to access these network areas, ensuring that only authorized users can access them. These areas can contain sensitive or essential assets, so proper access control prevents them from falling into the wrong hands.

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Segmentation examples

Network scheme without segmentation

Without Network Segmentation

  • Data accessibility for unauthorized users
  • Increased risk of data breach
  • Reduced visibility and monitoring
Network scheme with segmentation

With Network Segmentation

  • Protect endpoint devices
  • Reduced attack surface area
  • Improve network performance

use cases

Network Segmentation use-cases

Understanding your organization’s needs is the first step towards implementing effective segmentation. Consider the data or resources you’re protecting, your users, and who needs access to them.


Ensuring your users have the correct access permissions is imperative to the success of network segmentation. It’s best practice to conduct a review on user needs. The privileges each have provide a directory of user roles, segments they require access to, and who is assigned full access rights—for example, your admins. This practice applies to your whole network.

When you have one or more screening routers that act as a firewall, segmentation allows for separation of the external network from the network perimeter and then internal network—giving greater assurance that users have legitimate credentials and reasons to be accessing the network.

One way to utilize segmentation is to have users and home devices connect to one access point in your network and guest users another. The guest users connect to the internet without having full lateral access, leaving the network safe and uncompromised.

Assigning group user access permissions enables admins to embed teams into other groups, so they inherit the same access permissions. Initially, segmenting user groups allows this process to happen seamlessly without impacting other groups or taking up valuable resource time.

Segmenting customer data safeguards sensitive information. Usually separated based on use cases and the type of data collected, users will need a specific level of authorization to access the area of the network that holds this information.


Segment your network with NordLayer

Getting started with network segmentation is easy with NordLayer. Signing up takes only a few minutes through our simple registration process. Create separate private gateways to begin segmentation—these gateways are entry points into each segment of your network. From there, you can add team members to each gateway, granting them access to pre-approved areas of the network.

  1. Register

  2. Create separate private gateways for each segment

  3. Add each team to gateways they belong


Security across your business

NordLayer works by improving security at every layer of the hybrid cloud environment. Comprehensive protection gives organizations the flexibility and confidence to evolve, expand, and modernize safely.

Additional info

Frequently asked questions

By segmenting networks, it becomes easier to protect the most sensitive data that you have on your internally-facing network assets. Creating a layer of separation between servers containing sensitive data and everything outside of your network can do wonders to reduce your risk of data loss or theft.

There are two ways of segmenting your network—physical and virtual. Physical is a very secure method but comes with implementation challenges as each segment requires an individual internet connection, additional hardware, and a firewall.

Virtual segmentation offers ease of quick use implementation and is manageable from a central Control Panel.

  • VLAN segmentation — Create smaller network segments using IP addresses for separation, with all users virtually connected as if they were part of the same LAN. Network performance improves threats do not spread beyond the Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN).
  • Firewall segmentation — Implementing firewalls within a network segment reduces the surface area for attack and prevents threats from spreading further. It is considered an effective method, but it is highly complex and often costly.
  • SDN segmentation — Software-defined network segmentation is great for automation and customization but focuses on greater policy creation than network visibility.
  • Micro-segmentation — This method creates a segmented network by dividing data stores into secure segments based on individual workload levels and using allowlisting to block all local traffic except authorized users.