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Arista Launches Next Generation Multi-Domain Segmentation for Zero Trust Networking

April 2024 by Patrick LEBRETON

Microsegmentation solution mitigates threats across east-west lateral networks

Arista Networks (NYSE: ANET), a leading provider of cloud networking solutions, today announced a significant update to its Arista MSSⓇ (Multi-Domain Segmentation Service) offerings that address the challenge of creating a truly enterprise-wide zero trust network. Without the need for endpoint software agents and proprietary network protocols, Arista MSS enables effective microperimeters that restrict lateral movement in campus and data center networks and thus reduces the blast radius of security breaches such as ransomware.

Enterprise-wide Zero Trust Requires Effective Microsegmentation

Today’s distributed IT infrastructure with work-from-anywhere, the explosion of IoT devices and multi-cloud applications has upended the traditional security perimeter and led to a dynamic and unpredictable attack surface. To improve their defensive posture, organizations have embarked on zero trust efforts that require granular control of both north-south and east-west communication paths. Firewalls are simply not optimized to protect against all lateral movement, which would require a proliferation of security appliances, soaring costs, and an explosion of complex rule sets that still fail to protect against lateral movement.

To address this challenge, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) "Zero Trust Maturity Model" recommends the adoption of microsegmentation for highly distributed, fine-grained enforcement through microperimeters. While many microsegmentation solutions are available on the market, both network and endpoint-based, they struggle with operational complexity, interoperability and portability challenges, and cost, which has limited their widespread adoption across the enterprise. As a result, zero trust efforts often stall.

Standards-based Network Microsegmentation

Arista MSS offers standards-based microsegmentation using existing network infrastructure while overcoming the challenges of existing solutions. MSS is network-agnostic and endpoint-independent. It avoids proprietary protocols and can thus seamlessly integrate into a multi-network vendor environment. The solution also does not require endpoint software, avoiding the portability limitations and operational complexity typical of agent-based microsegmentation solutions.

Arista MSS combines three capabilities that enable organizations to build microperimeters around each digital asset they seek to protect, whether in the campus or the data center. Arista MSS enables:

 Stateless Wire-speed Enforcement in the Network: Arista EOSⓇ-based switches deliver a simple model for fine-grained, identity-aware microperimeter enforcement. This enforcement model is independent of endpoint type and identical across campus and data center environments, simplifying day two operations. Importantly, Arista MSS thus enables lateral segmentation that is often missing today and offloads the capability from firewalls that would have to be explicitly deployed for this purpose.

 Redirection to Stateful Firewalls: Arista MSS can seamlessly integrate with firewalls and cloud proxies from partners such as Palo Alto Networks and Zscaler for stateful network enforcement, especially for north-south and inter-zone traffic. MSS thus ensures the right traffic is sent to these critical security controls, allowing them to focus on L4-L7 stateful enforcement while avoiding unnecessary hairpinning of all other traffic.

 CloudVision for Microperimeter Management: Arista CloudVisionⓇ powered by NetDL™ provides deep real-time visibility into packets, flows, and endpoint identity. This, in turn, enables effective east-west lateral segmentation. In addition, MSS dashboards within CloudVision ease operator effort to manage the microperimeters. MSS extends Arista’s Ask AVA™ (Autonomous Virtual Assist) service to provide a chat-like interface for operators to navigate the dashboard data and query and filter policy violations.

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