Myths of Air Gap Security

Myths of Air Gap Security

Great marketing models can be built on myths that work in their favor, but with cybersecurity, it doesn’t work that way.

Designing and implementing an air-gapped network will enable businesses to prevent Internet-based attacks. But today, cybersecurity strategies need to be more agile, resilient, versatile, and adaptable. Air gapping is designed on a particular logic that emphasizes no connections equals no threats. CISOs need to be more vigilant while they embark on journeys to create airgap cybersecurity to strengthen their IT infrastructure security. Cybersecurity business leaders need to be aware of the potential impact of embracing air gaping as their security defense mechanism.

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Following are a few myths of air gap security that SecOps teams need to be aware of:

Facts and Fiction

It is not deniable that the majority of digital threats arise through internet connectivity. Cybercriminals leverage organizations’ networks to infiltrate their IT infrastructure by leveraging phishing and ransomware attacks as vectors. This strengthens the fact that isolating the network internet will keep it secure. However, air-gapped networks have become less efficient compared to the current threat landscape. Another significant that exposes network security to vulnerable threats is human error. Air gap networks might just offer an illusion of safety, and there might be other gaps that expose the business network to various threats. Cybersecurity administrators that are not vigilant in monitoring networks will expose the business network to various breaches. Malicious actors can use other vectors, like using USB drives to transfer files and introduce threats. Keeping human mistakes apart, air-gapped securities have other significant pitfalls. Cybercriminals today utilize vendor networks or even laptops, which usually maintain and offer connectivity to air-gapped networks for assistance as attack vectors.

The highest level of security is by creating air-gapped systems

Bygone are the days when physical air gap enables businesses to maintain the optimum level of security. According to the current threat landscape, this has also become one of the myths of air gap security. The major reason for this happening is because of unknown connectivity. There is a surge in the number of devices that are connected to the internet, which increases the possibility that at least one device which might not be air-gapped is actually still on the network.

Such hidden devices in the air gap security can have a disastrous impact on the organization’s cybersecurity.

Businesses need to run regular scans on all the devices registered on the business network to identify all the unknown devices on their networks. One of the significant flaws of physical air gaps is they tend to lack protection against insider attacks, social engineering attacks, and human errors. The modern world is based on data, and hence air-gapped systems require a point for users to physically access the users so that they can add, delete or modify data. Hence, air-gapped devices are more prone to unauthorized access leading to more insecure devices.

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Need for a physical separation

A few cybersecurity veterans might not agree that there is either a physical air gap or no air gap. Another myth with air gap systems is that only physical air creates an air gap. One of the significant ways to create an effective air gap is by disconnecting the devices from the network. CISO should consider implementing two servers on the same IT infrastructure, for instance, with one connected to the network and one disconnected from the network. An effective alternative is a logical air gap, a zero-trust security approach that separates and secures the devices connected to the network based on logic rather than a physical basis. The logical air gap leverages a zero-trust security approach to separate the devices and data through encryption. Encryption of sensitive information makes it useless for attackers because they are not lucrative, which makes it secure from being changed.

These are a few myths of air gap security that security teams need to be aware of.

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