What Is Data Egress? Ingress vs. Egress | Fortinet (2023)

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What Is the Meaning of Egress?

A common egress meaning is the process of data leaving a network and transferring to an external location. Data egress is a form of network activity but poses a threat to organizations if it exposes sensitive data to unauthorized or unintended recipients.

Egress happens whenever data leaves an organization’s network, be it via email messages, as uploads to the cloud or websites, as a file transferred onto removable media like Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives and external hard drives, or through File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) transfers.

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Data Egress vs. Data Ingress

Another way to define egress is the process of data being shared externally via a network’s outbound traffic. When thinking about ingress vs. egress, data ingress refers to traffic that comes from outside an organization’s network and is transferred into it. Itis unsolicited traffic that gets sent from the internet to a private network. The traffic does not come in response to a request made from inside an organization’s network.

Egress traffic is a commonly used term that describes the amount of traffic that gets transferred from an organization’s host network to external networks. Organizations can monitor egress traffic for anomalous or malicious activity through egress filtering. This enables businesses to block the transfer of sensitive data outside corporate networks, while limiting and blocking high-volume data transfers.

Threats Related to Data Egress

Data egress presents many threats to organizations, especially if data is shared externally with unauthorized recipients. Sensitive or proprietary data and high-value personal data are highly lucrative and targeted by cyber criminals, nation-state hackers, and even organizations’ competitors.

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Bad actors can usedata exfiltrationtechniques that enable them to intercept, steal, or snoop on networks and data in transit, which can result in data loss or leakage. These techniques include the spread ofmalware, such as backdoorTrojans, or usingsocial engineeringto disguise attacks as regular network traffic.

These threats typically involve commonly used tools that organizations access every day, such as email, USB drives, or cloud uploads. More advanced and stealthy methods of intercepting data egress include the encryption of modified data before it is exfiltrated and using techniques to mask the attacker’s location and traffic.

A major risk that data egress poses to organizations isinsider threat, which can be either malicious or accidental. A malicious insider threat involves an organization’s own employee stealing corporate data with the intent to harm the company by giving or selling that data to a hacker, third party, or competitor. Accidental insider threats occur if employees inadvertently send data to an unauthorized recipient or disable a security control.

Best Practices for Data Egress Management

Data egress management is reliant on discovering where an organization’s sensitive data is stored and where it leaves the network. This is a process referred to as network monitoring and data discovery and is crucial to securing the data egress points in an organization’s system.

Best practices to achieve this include:

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  1. Create a data egress enforcement policy:Organizations must create and follow a data egress enforcement policy that outlines what constitutes acceptable use of data. This policy must be extremely thorough and outline how the company protects its resources, provide a list of internet-accessible services that are approved for use, and detail guidelines for how employees should access and handle sensitive data.
  2. Monitor networks:The first step to ensuring secure data egress is to monitor what is happening on an organization’s network. This not only enables an organization to know which users and devices are active on its network but also detect any suspicious activity. Network monitoring also allows organizations to measure crucial metrics like availability, response time, and uptime.
  3. Deploy an effective firewall:Firewallsare network gatekeepers that enable an organization to securely manage data egress and ingress. Many data breaches were allowed to occur because organizations’ egress rules allowed intruders to access and intercept data without the company even knowing an attacker had been active in their networks.
  4. Implement firewall rules:Deploying an effective network firewall is a good first step, but it also needs to be configured with appropriate rules that enable it to detect, monitor, and block unauthorized data egress. Effective firewall rules will allow an organization to block data egress to unauthorized locations and malicious individuals.
  5. Deploy firewall logging: Egress and ingress data traffic must be logged to manage and protect against malicious activity. Firewall logging enables organizations to analyze their network traffic throughsecurity information and event management (SIEM)solutions. Using these tools, they can compile, correlate, and manage data from across their networks and systems, and if set up effectively, these same solutions will help prevent unauthorized data exposure.
  6. Protect sensitive data:Organizations must identify their sensitive data and assign it with classification tags that dictate the level of protection it requires. This process, known as data classification and data discovery, enables an organization to identify, classify, and apply appropriate protective measures to their most sensitive data. Businesses need to locate, identify, and organize their sensitive data before they can decide what level of protection they need and who they allow to access specific data and resources.
  7. Deploy data loss prevention:Using this data classification knowledge, organizations can then deploydata loss prevention (DLP)tools to safeguard their sensitive data. DLP applies policy-based protection, such as blocking unauthorized actions or data encryption, to protect sensitive data. Combining DLP with data classification and data discovery ensures organizations have a full picture of the sensitive data they have, where it is stored, and how it is protected from unauthorized exposure and loss.
  8. Control access to data:Simply protecting data is a good start to preventing data egress, but it is also key to controlling who has access to data, networks, and resources. To do this, organizations should implement and follow an authorization policy, which ensures every device that connects to a network is approved before it can join.
  9. Incident response:In case a data breach or data leak does occur, organizations need to have a preplanned response in place. A well-developedincident response planthat provides repeatable future actions and outlines which individuals are responsible for necessary actions is one of the best ways to protect a company from attack. It enables organizations to minimize the damage a cyberattack causes and mitigate the threat as quickly as possible. A solid incident response plan also includes investigating what happened, which is crucial to learning from the attack and preparing for future events.

How Fortinet Can Help?

Fortinet helps organizations protect their networks, users, and resources with itsnext-generation firewalls (NGFWs). These advanced firewalls filter network traffic from external threats to data egress, as well as internal threats such as malicious insiders. The Fortinet NGFWs provide key firewall features, such as packet filtering, network monitoring, Internet Protocol security (IPsec), and secure sockets layer virtual private network (SSL VPN) support. They also offer deeper content inspection features that enable organizations to identify and block malicious activity, malware, and other cyberattack vectors.

Fortinet NGFWs support future updates, which allows them to evolve in time with the modern security landscape. This ensures organizations and their data are always protected from the latest cyberattacks threatening their data egress.

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What is data ingress and egress? ›

Another way to define egress is the process of data being shared externally via a network's outbound traffic. When thinking about ingress vs. egress, data ingress refers to traffic that comes from outside an organization's network and is transferred into it.

What does it mean to egress data? ›

Regression captures the correlation between variables observed in a data set, and quantifies whether those correlations are statistically significant or not.

What is the difference between ingress and egress filtering? ›

Ingress filtering is one type of packet filtering. Its counterpart is egress filtering, which is used to examine outbound traffic and only allows packets to leave the network if they meet predetermined policies set by an administrator.

What is the difference between ingress and egress in Kubernetes? ›

Ingress and egress

From the point of view of a Kubernetes pod, ingress is incoming traffic to the pod, and egress is outgoing traffic from the pod. In Kubernetes network policy, you create ingress and egress “allow” rules independently (egress, ingress, or both).

What is ingress and egress rules? ›

The ingress and egress rule blocks specify the direction of allowed access to and from different identities and resources. Ingress and egress rules can replace and simplify use cases that previously required one or more perimeter bridges.

What do egress and ingress mean in the cloud? ›

Egress Traffic flow. Ingress traffic is network traffic whose source lies in public internet i.e., in an external network, and send to the destined node in the private network. But it is not the response to a request that is initiated by an inside system.

What is ingress and egress in AWS? ›

These rules are divided into the below 2 categories. Inbound Rules – These rules are used to control the inbound traffic or also known as ingress. Outbound Rules – These rules are used to control the outbound traffic or also known as egress.

What is egress IP address? ›

An egress IP address is implemented as an additional IP address on the primary network interface of a node and must be in the same subnet as the primary IP address of the node. The additional IP address must not be assigned to any other node in the cluster.

Why is egress used? ›

Egress filtering helps ensure that unauthorized or malicious traffic never leaves the internal network. In a corporate network, typical recommendations are that all traffic except that emerging from a select set of servers would be denied egress.

What is Kubernetes egress? ›

What is Kubernetes egress? In this guide we are using the term Kubernetes egress to describe connections being made from pods to anything outside of the cluster. In contrast to ingress traffic, where Kubernetes has the Ingress resource type to help manage the traffic, there is no Kubernetes Egress resource.

What is Kubernetes ingress? ›

Kubernetes Ingress is an API object that provides routing rules to manage external users' access to the services in a Kubernetes cluster, typically via HTTPS/HTTP. With Ingress, you can easily set up rules for routing traffic without creating a bunch of Load Balancers or exposing each service on the node.

How does ingress work in Kubernetes? ›

In Kubernetes, an Ingress is an object that allows access to your Kubernetes services from outside the Kubernetes cluster. You configure access by creating a collection of rules that define which inbound connections reach which services. This lets you consolidate your routing rules into a single resource.

What does no ingress or egress mean? ›

In real estate, the right of ingress and egress refers to a property owner's ability to access their property through ingress (meaning the right to enter) and egress (meaning the right to exit).

What is egress rule in AWS? ›

All. [EC2-VPC only] Adds the specified egress rules to a security group for use with a VPC. An outbound rule permits instances to send traffic to the specified destination IPv4 or IPv6 CIDR address ranges, or to the specified destination security groups for the same VPC.

What is an egress policy? ›

Network policies can be used to specify both allowed ingress to pods and allowed egress from pods. These specifications work as one would expect: traffic to a pod from an external network endpoint outside the cluster is allowed if ingress from that endpoint is allowed to the pod.

How does ingress filtering work? ›

How does ingress filtering work? Ingress filtering enables a network to allow only traffic from trusted sources to traverse their networks. So, traffic from a customer with prefix “x” will be allowed, while any other unrecognizable prefixes will not.

What is an ingress? ›

In Kubernetes, an Ingress is an object that allows access to your Kubernetes services from outside the Kubernetes cluster. You configure access by creating a collection of rules that define which inbound connections reach which services. This lets you consolidate your routing rules into a single resource.

How do you use ingress and egress in a sentence? ›

Examples of ingress and egress used in a sentence

The room has two points of egress, but only one point of ingress—one door is an emergency door that only opens outward.

What is AWS egress? ›

An egress-only internet gateway is used to enable outbound communication over IPv6 from instances in your VPC to the internet, and prevents hosts outside of your VPC from initiating an IPv6 connection with your instance.


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