Network security is a top-of-mind concern for business executives and technical leaders alike. The costs of a major breach can range in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and it can take years for companies’ reputations to recover. But when most people think about network security, network modeling, visualization, and path analysis probably don’t spring to mind. 

We believe it should. Our platform is engineered to provide security teams detailed access to actionable L2 – L4 data they can use to enhance their network security posture.

Apparently, we aren’t the only ones who think so! Recently 45 expert judges worldwide named Forward Networks the Gold winner for the 2021 Globee Cybersecurity Global Excellence Awards in the network security and management category. 

Global multi-vendor, multi-cloud networks are increasingly complex and difficult to secure. At the same time, bad actors are notoriously persistent and creative in finding ways to breach the network. If you can’t see actual traffic paths to and from hosts, trying to find the cause or scope of a breach from a compromised device is a time-consuming, tedious, and labor-intensive endeavor. And while there is never a good time for slow issue resolution—speed during a security incident is imperative because the stakes are higher than a network outage. Both network operations and security teams need the right tools to succeed.

The Forward Networks platform creates a mathematical model of the network, across thousands of devices across, enabling immediate, accurate, network verification and visualization, through path analysis, behavior diffs, and intent checks

For the first time, commercially available software empowers network operations and security teams with detailed path analysis. Using the Forward Networks platform, technical teams have access to automatically visualized documentation indicating which devices can communicate to and from hosts on the network, and on which ports. Information that’s essential for post-event forensic work, determining if security policies are behaving as expected, and implementing preventative security measures.

The Forward Networks platform’s intuitive interface (or robust RESTful APIs) and Google-like search capabilities lets security teams ask questions and immediately get detailed, actionable information they can use to protect the network.

Want to see it in action? check out our security breach demonstration from Networking Field Day 24 – with only four characters of a MAC address, our technical solutions expert uses the Forward Networks platform to trace down the cause of a data leak by going “back in time.” Additionally, you can visit our security solution page: http://www.forwardnetworks/security/

Speak with networking ops and engineering leads anywhere, and you’ll hear what I frequently hear: 

“The way my team actually spends their time is the opposite of
how they feel they could best spend it.”

The passion they have for their team and the network they keep running is clearly at odds with a frustrating feeling that they can’t get ahead. Sometimes, the reality even smacks you in the face: I’ve been on Zoom calls to deploy new ways to prevent outages, which get canceled in the first minute, when a P0 network outage appears (!) and requires their immediate attention.

When teams get stuck in the everyday action items — trying to resolve those unclear “is it the network?” tickets, deploying changes and ensuring they worked, or doing required audits across the network – it leaves little time to proactively make the network better. With no time to track down a root cause, automate a common task, or spread knowledge, it’s impossible to get caught up, let alone get ahead.  

Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to firefighters who jump from one hot spot to another, trying to protect life and property but too busy to spend their time deploying sprinklers, adding firebreaks, and training their teams.  

If everyone knows this isn’t the best way to spend time, why is it still happening?  Because networks are unavoidably complex, especially for large enterprises whose devices measure in the tens of thousands and are driven by billions (yes billions with a “B”) of lines of config. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that networks are constantly evolving. We work with organizations that make hundreds of network changes a week, where packets pass-through devices from multiple vendors with multiple configurations that change all the time – and that’s not even taking public cloud into account.

This unfortunate reality means that the talents of the networking operations engineers are often squandered by labor-intensive tasks like manual path tracking, which are required to get to the critical insight that enables operators and engineers to get a job done.

So we decided to fix that, by putting the fun back in network operations.  

Our software creates a Digital Twin – a complete, searchable, replica of the network – which can change the way a team operates, helping them react faster and reclaim time so they can get ahead.

Nobody goes back to directories after using Google, and nobody goes back to paper maps after using a GPS.  For network teams, a Digital Twin is equally transformative.

If this sounds relevant, join us for Networking Field Day 24 on Thursday, February 25, where our field will share live product demos and their experiences taking Fortune 500 companies through “Week1” with the Forward Networks Digital Twin. You’ll see first-hand how operations teams can glean actionable insights that make their networks more agile, predictable, and secure … and we might just debut a new feature (hint, hint).

The best part of Networking Field Day is the interaction, the questions, the challenges — none of which are possible unless you join.  So be part of the fun 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. PST Thursday, February 25, 2020, and if you can’t make it, look for the recording.  

My team will do our best to make this an effective use of your time, where the bar (ranked #3 of thousands last time by the TFD crew) is pretty high.  See you then!

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