Fortifying Cybersecurity: Insights on Ransomware, Zero Trust, and Microsegmentation

Discover Akamai’s 2023 report revealing the surge in ransomware attacks, the rise of Zero Trust strategies, and the power of microsegmentation in fortifying online security.

Akamai Technologies, a leading cloud company, has unveiled a recent report that sheds light on the surge in ransomware incidents, the embrace of Zero Trust approaches, and the advantages of microsegmentation—a burgeoning security method that fragments networks and applies detailed security policies for individual tasks, applications, and workloads.

The 2023 State of Segmentation report, based on insights from 1,200 global IT and security decision-makers, reveals a significant rise in ransomware attacks. Organizations worldwide encountered an average of 86 attacks in the past year, up from 43 incidents two years prior. Respondents showcased a proactive response by integrating Zero Trust and microsegmentation strategies. In the APJ region, virtually all (99 percent) who adopted segmentation also implemented a Zero Trust security framework.

Despite the consensus on microsegmentation’s effectiveness in safeguarding assets, deployment rates were lower than anticipated. Only 36 percent of APJ organizations segmented across more than two critical business areas. The primary hurdles to implementing microsegmentation included skill shortages (43 percent), compliance requisites (42 percent), and increased performance bottlenecks (40 percent), resonating across different sectors, industries, and countries surveyed.

However, organizations that persisted and deployed microsegmentation across six mission-critical areas reported quicker recovery from attacks, averaging just four hours. This recovery time was notably faster compared to organizations that only segmented one critical area, highlighting the efficacy of a Zero Trust strategy utilizing microsegmentation.

Dean Houari, Director of Security Technology and Strategy for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Akamai, emphasized the need for APJ organizations to reassess their risks and adopt a Zero Trust architecture. He stressed the importance of equipping staff and partners with requisite skills to leverage this approach fully.

Key findings from the report also indicate regional differences in the perceived importance of network segmentation, obstacles faced, and the degree of Zero Trust deployment completion. Notably, microsegmentation emerged as a critical tool to combat ransomware attacks, with network downtime, data loss, and brand damage being the most prevalent post-ransomware issues.

In specific regions, China and Japan in APJ reported the highest number of ransomware attacks in the past year, while India led in segmentation implementation, followed by Mexico and Japan.

In an era fraught with evolving cyber threats, the revelations from Akamai’s report underline the urgency for organizations worldwide to fortify their defenses against ransomware. Embracing a Zero Trust approach bolstered by microsegmentation emerges as a pivotal strategy in mitigating these threats. However, the challenges in implementation, skill shortages, and compliance demands necessitate concerted efforts to bridge these gaps. As organizations navigate these complexities, the report serves as a clarion call to prioritize cybersecurity measures, adapt strategies, and equip teams with the requisite skills to safeguard digital assets in an increasingly volatile online landscape.