April 13, 2023

Joining Forward Networks: Finding the Tool I Always Needed as a Security Professional

by Matt Honea

Last month, I had the pleasure of joining Forward Networks as its new Head of Security and Compliance. I’ve spent many years working in enterprise security and cyber risk, but after seeing a demo of the Forward platform, I knew I wanted to join this company because I’d have a chance to be part of the product that changes the way we look at network security topology.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work on almost every aspect of security throughout my career, starting as a physical security engineer with the United States government and eventually leading a team of reverse engineers dissecting nation-state malware. I then transitioned to the private sector, working as the senior director of cybersecurity at a software company and then as head of security at a Japanese-based media aggregator.

When I first began talking to the Forward team, two big things stood out. I studied electrical engineering with an emphasis in networking, so the opportunity to work in the network stack with computer science PhDs from Stanford was exciting. As a security professional working with many current security tools, I saw the power of being able to do forensics and use security at the networking layer in a way never seen before across multiple vendors and security layers. Ultimately, my passion lies in helping security leaders shape their strategy while finding new ways to stay ahead of bad actors.

I have seen firsthand how complex networks can get as more and more devices are added and interconnected. As security professionals, we need the best and most comprehensive data set to make the best risk based decisions. We're trying to understand the full paths. We're trying to understand the exact routing connection between endpoints and navigate complex firewall rules and cloud security groups. And we’re trying to do all of it quickly across multi-vendor environments.

I’ve spent so much time trying to track down rogue devices on a network manually, so I recognize the value of having visibility into all of these things (with accurate and detailed results). The Forward Enterprise platform collects detailed topology, configuration, and state information across the entire network and gives the SOC full visibility into connectivity and exposure points. Once I saw the technology and saw what the company was trying to do, it just made sense to me.

Joining Forward at this time is very exciting. The platform’s features are incredible, and I believe this tool can benefit every IT team. Being able to influence the company’s security strategy and program is also something I look forward to doing. Follow me on LinkedIn!

If you’re interested in joining the team, click here to explore career opportunities.

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