Security Posture - Zero Trust
May 04, 2023

Reflections from the Roadhouse at RSAC 2023

It's that time of year again when all security professionals converge in San Francisco for the RSA Conference (RSAC). This marks the second year that the conference has been back in full swing since the pandemic, and it was great to be there to discuss our solution with the attendees! This year, RSAC attendees were […]

It's that time of year again when all security professionals converge in San Francisco for the RSA Conference (RSAC). This marks the second year that the conference has been back in full swing since the pandemic, and it was great to be there to discuss our solution with the attendees!

This year, RSAC attendees were transported to the Forward Networks Roadhouse. This is a place of solitude to share your network security concerns with one of our “bartenders.” As the attendees walked past the booth, there were two general impressions. First and foremost, “This is the best booth I have ever seen,” which was quickly followed by, “That is one sweet bike! Is there a raffle for it?” At this point, after we broke the news that, unfortunately, the bike was not for sale, the woeful attendee walked up to the bar and sat down. Our bartenders offered a refreshing cold brew (coffee) and a helpful ear as they explained their network security woes.

Fear not; those woes did not go on deaf ears, as our knowledgeable bartenders acknowledged all their security and network woes and showed how Forward Networks' mathematically correct digital twin was precisely the tool they needed to end their concerns! The attendees saw that by using Forward Enterprise, they would be able to sleep at night, knowing that the next time their cloud security posture was audited, it would be following the corporate security standards. They also learned that they no longer needed to fear undetected critical vulnerabilities, as Forward Enterprise uses their network data alongside the NIST database to to deliver a prioritized remediation plan, including what devices are affected by them and the lines of configuration that cause that vulnerability.

The biggest takeaway from presentations at RSAC is the industry's rapid adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Now, the ease of access to Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, enables the infrastructure to become more adaptable, self-healing, and open to more automated ways to make configuration changes. Operations teams are turning to AI-based diagnostics for troubleshooting and issue remediation. Seeing these technologies being more broadly spoken about and adopted in several ways further solidifies their place in the industry.

If automated changes happen in the environment, the question arises: How can you ensure that the change will not negatively affect the network? LLMs are constantly learning, and how can you ensure that the change you ask the system to perform will not cause any undesired changes in the network? Forward Networks' Verify function can ensure that the intent of how the network behaves is exactly as it should be behaving. Forward Networks Verify will look at any checks defined to ensure the intent of the network is correct and that nothing has changed that could cause an adverse condition in the environment. This is not only compared and validated with the organization's on-prem network but with the cloud and virtual overlay networks as well.

If you were not able to visit the Forward Networks Roadhouse at RSAC this year and would like to learn more about how a digital twin can help with your organization's security posture, request a demo with our technical team!

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Mike Lossmann

After 18 years of experience as a network engineer, Mike Lossmann is now a Technical Product Marketing Manager at Forward Networks.

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