SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Forward Networks announced today that it has been named to the Fortune Magazine 2023 Cyber 60 List. Fortune compiled this prestigious list of the 60 most successful companies in the cybersecurity space after reviewing a pool of several hundred entries.

Forward Networks is modernizing the way large networks are managed by providing actionable, accessible, and insightful data that puts operators back in control of the network. Forward's advanced software creates a mathematical model, or digital twin, of the network by collecting and analyzing state and configuration data across all network devices and public cloud environments. The digital twin delivers an always-accurate topology, calculates all possible paths within the network, analyzes detailed behavioral information, makes network configuration and behavior searchable and verifiable, and proves security compliance. Forward Networks' digital twin supports devices from all major networking vendors and cloud operators, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

"Robust cybersecurity depends on detailed and accessible network data," said David Erickson, CEO and Co-Founder of Forward Networks. "Several years ago our customers asked us to create features that helped the SecOps team ensure compliance, remediate attacks, and ensure the overall health of their security posture. We've made significant investments in delivering on this request.  Being named to the 2023 Fortune Cyber 60 list is a tremendous honor that validates the security benefits of our network digital twin. We're continuing to develop new security features to protect the network."

Forward Enterprise enables SecOps teams to find misconfigurations and vulnerabilities on hosts and devices before a breach occurs. Using data collected from the network, integration with the NIST database, and integrations with vulnerability scanning and assessment tools, the platform identifies risks and delivers a prioritized remediation plan for SecOps teams. Forward Enterprise's security features include:

About the Fortune Cyber 60
The Cyber 60 was generated from a list of over 200 private cybersecurity companies based on data about funding rounds and valuation from Pitchbook. The companies selected were surveyed and asked to provide growth rate and revenue data in bands, to indicate their relative strength and success in the market. Publicly accessible reporting and other market data were used to add companies to the Pitchbook list. Respondents were required to provide data in order to be considered for the list. FORTUNE reviewed the data and list selection criteria with Lightspeed to ensure a fair and unbiased process. Some companies that chose not to provide data were considered for inclusion on the final list based on previously reported publicly available information. Lightspeed's Enterprise Investment Committee reviewed the final composition of the list prior to publication, in conjunction with FORTUNE. No private data or preferential treatment was given to Lightspeed portfolio companies.

It’s hard to imagine that there are upwards of 100 billion devices connected to each other today. Many of these devices are terrestrial; however, more and more devices are being brought online across the sky, sea, and space. As complexity grows, we need to ensure we have the right level of automation in place to keep everything running smoothly.

One of my first goals at Forward Networks was to echo what we are already doing publicly – building a secure product in a secure environment. With SOC 2 we can let all of our customers know that we adhere to the best practices in industry.

SOC 2 is not the end for us; it is simply a milestone we are proud of and wanted to share with the world. We will continue to invest, build, and develop our security program across all teams. Stay tuned for more.

PRNewswire

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Forward Networks announced today it has successfully achieved System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type 1 Compliance. The completion of the audit demonstrates Forward Network's commitment to transparency, privacy, and data security for customers.

SOC 2 is an auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to assess the effectiveness of an organization's controls over information security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. SOC 2 Type 1 measures an organization's systems and controls and evaluates the design and implementation of these controls to ensure they are suitably designed to meet the relevant trust services criteria.

With SOC 2 compliance, Forward Networks can provide customers with confidence that their data is protected. For this compliance audit process, Forward Networks enlisted a professional auditor, Laika Compliance LLC, and was also able to leverage its own Forward Enterprise Platform to ensure key trust criteria in Security, Confidentiality, and Availability were included in the audit process.

"Forward Networks has long prioritized protection of customer data and offering trust and transparency," said Matt Honea, Head of Security and Compliance, Forward Networks. "From the onset, our platform was designed to collect network data while protecting our customers' privacy. Achieving SOC 2 Type I certification is an important milestone that demonstrates our commitment. While we are proud of this achievement, we'll continue to work towards further certification milestones to provide our global customers the assurance that their data and networks are safe when they work with us."

About Forward Networks
Forward Networks is revolutionizing the way large networks are managed. Forward's advanced software delivers a digital twin of the network, enabling network operators to ensure that the network is secure, reliable, and agile. The platform supports devices from all major networking vendors and cloud operators, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Forward Networks was founded in 2013 by four Stanford Ph.D. graduates and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Investors include MSD Partners, Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Threshold Ventures, Section 32, Omega Venture Partners, and A. Capital.

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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.

Nobody likes getting audited or inspected. Well, almost nobody; there’s always one person who consistently blows the curve. They gleefully anticipate inspections because they know they’re going to get a glowing review. We all have names for that person, most of which shouldn’t be included in a business blog.

But what if, (bear with me) we could be that person? A leader who faces the inspection knowing that while they may find something that you could improve, you're dialed in, and everything is as it should be. That sounds like a lot more fun than the anxiety and stress that is more commonly associated with audits.

Cyber Command Readiness Inspections (CCRI) are DISA mandated and designed to ensure the security of all networks connected to the DOD information network. Inspectors will examine every part of your network looking for security posture awareness, standards compliance, vulnerabilities, and an agency’s ability to protect against cyber threats.

The inspection process is rigorous and methodical. The network itself is inspected as is your documentation. The good news is that the standards are published. It’s like getting the test questions before the exam. Inspectors will evaluate compliance using published guidelines, including:

So now that you know the questions - it’s a “simple” matter of finding the answers. This requires evaluating the network for compliance against thousands of specifications. In this context, having the questions before the test doesn’t make matters any easier. Trying to verify compliance, produce accurate documentation, and have the right culture and processes in place takes many agencies months of intensive manual efforts. Even then, they aren’t 100% confident they’ll pass inspection because networks are constantly changing, which could take them out of compliance. And manual documentation is out of date the moment it’s completed.

Instead of investing thousands of work-hours, there is a better way. A network digital twin can help index every aspect of your network, including topology, device configuration, and state across your multi-vendor, multi-cloud environment. This information is validated at regular intervals so it’s always up to date.

Custom checks can detect non-compliance and pinpoint necessary remediation efforts. And results are mathematically accurate.

If you’d like to learn more about how this works, read our white paper, Use a Digital Twin For Impeccable Cyber Command Readiness Inspections.

If you’d like to see Forward Enterprise in action, book a 1:1 consultation on using a digital twin to ensure CCRI readiness.

Security has been a top concern for years, and the reasons for this focus are increasingly clear. Government agencies are being asked by the President and governing agencies to make changes that will protect the integrity of their network and the safety of the nation.

Most recently, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) issued Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 23-1. The BOD requires agencies to have a comprehensive accounting of what is in their networks. Given the size and complexity of agency networks, this is a challenging mandate to comply with. Most tools currently available cannot gather the required data in a timely manner, often taking several days to complete a scan that reaches all network endpoints. Even then these scans lack critical data required for an appropriately strong security posture.

It’s often said security is a journey not a destination; that’s also true of compliance. There are many elements, but the most important is accessible, actionable data. Forward Enterprise has several features that help agencies successfully comply with directives and enforce their security posture.

Knowledge-driven Security

Forward Enterprise helps agencies comply by using Forward Enterprise; security professionals can identify vulnerabilities before they become a threat. Because Forward Networks can scan your network multiple times per day without performance degradation, it delivers timely, actionable alerts to security professionals. In conjunction with third-party application integrations, the level of detail in alerts empowers engineers to remediate any errant configurations or known critical vulnerabilities before they cause an incident. The three most popular security use cases are:

  1. Attack surface management enables engineers to determine the blast radius of a compromised host in a single mouse click. This feature also works with the snapshot functionality to “go back in time” and document the blast radius on a specific date.
  2. Critical vulnerability management eliminates guesswork when responding to the thousands of CVEs issued each year. Forward Enterprise tracks the NIST known vulnerabilities and identifies which devices on the network are impacted using configuration, IOS, and features in use to present a prioritized remediation list. Integration with Rapid7 extends this capability to endpoints.
  3. Security posture management for agencies using microsegmentation in their pursuit of a zero trust architecture, Forward Enterprise provides a vendor-agnostic at-a-glance visualization of full, partial, or zero connectivity between zones.

To learn how Forward Networks can help your agency comply with BOD 23-1 read our solution guide or book a private meeting where our federal technical experts will focus specifically on how to address your concerns.

www.forwardnetworks.com/federal

There’s a lot of upside to becoming an application-centric business. You can increase collaboration, work more effectively with your data, deliver an optimal customer experience, and much more. One major downside, though, is that your network and security operations teams are under intense pressure to provision new applications both quickly and securely.


Despite the business’s need to move fast, verifying that new applications adhere to corporate security policy is typically a manual process that can cause significant delays. Worse, even after thorough consultation of the SecOps playbook or a spreadsheet-based security matrix, security risks with apps can still arise. And we all know how much today’s attackers love to exploit vulnerabilities in applications.


Here’s a thought: To ease the burden on security teams, increase the speed of app deployment, and improve accuracy in the verification process, why not provide application developers a self-service platform that lets them confirm their apps are compliant?


We believe in making hard things easy, and ensuring that enterprise networks are agile, predictable, and secure. Forward Enterprise is designed to help enterprises speed up application deployment while ensuring security through automated secure application provisioning. Our platform curates firewall security rules and presents them in an easy-to-read matrix that enables rapid compliance assessments, so the teams responsible for developing and provisioning apps can catch issues early and remediate them fast.


And don’t worry — your app developers don’t need advanced networking knowledge to use automated secure application provisioning. Once security teams write an intent check to automatically ensure an application is within policy, developers can use the check to verify their app meets security policy connectivity guidelines. If the app passes the check, they can deploy with confidence. And if it fails, they’ll get details why so they can quickly make the right adjustments.


One tip: Be prepared to condense your timelines for new app deployment after teams start using automated secure application provisioning. One customer we work with said that it allowed them to launch a new credit card business in three months versus one year — talk about acceleration!


To learn more about how this time-saving functionality in Forward Enterprise works, see our use case.

The risk of config drift is ever present. And when you consider that modern enterprises have incredibly complex and ever-changing networks with thousands of devices, from routers to firewalls to switches, running billions of lines of config, it’s easy to understand why. Networks are constantly being changed by people - who though well intentioned - make mistakes.  A configuration change that accomplishes the immediate goal may take the network out of compliance, but how would anyone know?

Security teams try to stay on top of config drift by manually conducting regular compliance and security audits. But these audits can take weeks or longer — time that the enterprise can’t afford. These audits require a lot of manual work that can lead to the introduction of costly errors and new risks in your network. As a result, non-compliance is often detected when there is a security incident. This is one of many reasons CISOs don’t sleep well.  

It’s our core belief that the network should be predictable, agile and secure — and that it should be relatively easy for engineers to ensure this. Knowledge is power; a current, vendor agnostic and easy to interpret single source of network truth is a super power. And this “super power” can be used to continuously ensure that the network is “correct” or in policy. 

Forward Networks makes security and operations engineers super heroes through automatic non-compliance detection and alerts. Using our Network Query Engine (NQE) and intent-based checks, engineers can receive immediate alerts when a device’s configuration is out of compliance. They’ll also get the details they need to fix the issue — fast and with accuracy. There is a library of prebuilt verifications in our platform. And, of course, your engineers can also create custom searches to suit your organization’s specific needs.

So now you no longer have to hope that your enterprise network is in compliance — with Forward Networks, you’ll know if it is. See how automatic non-compliance detection and alerts can help your security teams control the risk of config drift and keep your business from making the headlines for the wrong reasons. Read our use case to learn more. 

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