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Network complexity is at an all-time high. Between legacy technology, hybrid-multi-cloud environments, and networks cobbled together by mergers and acquisitions, it’s impossible for people to keep track of the network, its topology, and behavior. The idea of trying to trace a path through a multi-cloud network seems akin to being asked to pull a rabbit out of your hat.

Chris Gundermann of Gestalt IT recently wrote about “Multi-Cloud Security Requires Multi-Cloud Observability with Forward Networks.” Chris is an expert on networking and multi-cloud technology. In the article he covers the importance of observability and its benefits.

According to Gundermann, “Network observability serves as a linchpin for maintaining a secure and resilient network infrastructure. In the realm of multi-cloud, achieving that observability is even more challenging due to the absence of unified visibility across cloud platforms. Forward Networks has risen to that challenge by extending their digital twin technology to major cloud providers.”

Read the full article to understand how Forward Enterprise helps SecOps teams control their network and prevent incidents.

By Nikhil Handigol, RTInsights

Most IT professionals lack visibility into their hybrid and multi-cloud environments. And they have problems identifying all the cloud services in use in their organizations.

The cloud promised three important things – simplicity, security, and flexibility. As the variety and the sheer number of cloud platforms increases with unprecedented velocity, the corresponding challenges of effectively managing, securing, and paying for these cloud services inevitably rise, too. An Omdia report suggested that by 2023 most companies will spend 40% of their IT budget managing their infrastructure across multiple cloud service providers.

[READ MORE ON RTINSIGHTS]

Forward Networks, a provider of network digital twin technology that delivers network agility, predictability, and security for on-premises and multi-cloud environments, made an announcement this week around new capabilities added to the Forward Enterprise platform that will give security and network operations professionals a single, actionable and contextual view of the network.

To learn more, VMblog reached out to David Erickson, the co-founder and CEO of Forward Networks.

VMblog:  Can you describe what you announced this week?  And what does it mean for customers?

David Erickson:  This week we announced new capabilities for our award-winning Forward Enterprise platform, that will help network and security professionals better understand and remediate vulnerabilities throughout the network, including endpoints. We've integrated with Rapid7 to combine end-device vulnerability data with robust and always-up-to-date connectivity analysis. Additionally, we've enhanced flexibility to define a security posture matrix. Now the security posture can be using the L2 through L4 segmentation methodology many enterprises have already employed in their network, e.g. VRFs, on-premises and cloud subnets, and cloud security groups. Forward Enterprise also now supports L7 path search capabilities using attributes such as user IDs, user group IDs, and application IDs to provide more granular connectivity insight... [READ MORE on VMBLOG]

New Product Features and Rapid7 Integration Provide End-to-End Security Posture Verification and Enhanced Visibility to Help Engineers Accurately Prioritize Remediation

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Forward Networks, the only provider of network digital twin technology that delivers network agility, predictability, and security for on-premises and multi-cloud environments, today announced new capabilities within the Forward Enterprise platform that give security and network operations professionals a single, actionable and contextual view of the network.

By integrating with Rapid7, a leading provider of security analytics and automation, Forward Networks is combining end-device vulnerability data with robust and always-up-to-date connectivity analysis to help enterprise organizations address the challenges of the security talent shortage and flood of unactionable data. The combined data uniquely positions security teams to prioritize remediation efforts with mathematical accuracy.

"Forward Networks is the only company with a mathematically-based network digital twin that can accurately model current and possible network behaviors, information critical for security teams who need to act quickly and accurately," said David Erickson, Co-founder, and CEO of Forward Networks. "With this information just mouse clicks away, security teams can better assess the vulnerability of their network and prioritize remediation and prevention efforts by focusing on the exposures that present the greatest possible risk. Modeling a diverse group of hardware vendors, cloud providers, and integration partners, Forward Networks uniquely serves the needs of network, security, and cloud operations teams with a single source of truth so they can work strategically and proactively."

There are many tools that evaluate device vulnerabilities, but without the knowledge of how that device is connected to the network, security teams only have a limited view of potential exposure. Often, they choose to focus on keeping devices up to date no matter what vulnerabilities are detected, or they focus on vulnerabilities without considering the exposure of individual systems and devices. With the Rapid7 integration, Forward Networks is the only company that can show an organization's actual risk including on-premises, multi-cloud, and SD-WAN in an actionable single screen. This type of data presentation helps teams focus on the work that will have the most impact on the network.

In addition to the Rapid 7 Integration, Forward recently enhanced the security posture matrix and added Layer 7 (L7) application and user ID connectivity analysis to the platform to give security teams a comprehensive look at the security posture. New capabilities include:

Forward Enterprise is designed to simplify the management of large, complex, multi-vendor networks. It mitigates the biggest issue businesses face with network operations: risk. By creating a mathematical model of the entire network infrastructure, the software delivers a "digital twin" that serves as the single source of truth for the network. The actionable information presented in the platform helps engineers ensure their network is agile, predictable, and secure.

Forward Networks' new security features and Rapid7 integration will be available in July, and will be offered as part of standard licensing at no additional cost.

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 verify intent, predict network behavior, and simplify network management. 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 Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Threshold Ventures, and A. Capital.

How to prove network innocence in seconds

Time is money, especially when it comes to the cloud. Fast resolution of performance issues is a must to ensure business continuity and positive customer experiences. But your network and security teams can’t start working with cloud providers to resolve issues if they’re stymied by blind spots in their efforts to prove network innocence. Every company with a hybrid multi-cloud environment has struggled with visibility in the cloud. Once traffic egresses the on-prem network, tracing its path and its connectivity into and across the cloud becomes a herculean task often requiring the involvement of several professionals and the use of multiple tools.

You may be resigned to the thought that your teams can never fully understand what’s happening in your cloud estate and how everything in that environment is performing and interacting at any given time. That’s just how it goes with the cloud, right? Well, we have some excellent news to share: Your teams can explore every corner of your cloud estate with the Forward Enterprise platform from Forward Networks, which now offers hop-by-hop visibility into and across multiple clouds.

Your network and security teams can drill down on cloud performance issues and determine the paths traffic takes and its behavior, as it traverses any instance in your cloud environment — and between any points within your multi-cloud environment. No more struggling to use various, incompatible tools from cloud providers or navigate different topologies. At a glance, your teams can see clearly what’s happening now, and over time, in your cloud environment.

The hop-by-hop visibility feature in Forward Enterprise lets you put an end to your teams’ error-prone and time-consuming challenge of trying to troubleshoot cloud performance issues in the dark. And, if your teams want to drill down and learn more about any object within your network, they can just click on it in Forward Enterprise — whether it’s a cloud platform from a major cloud provider, a virtual machine, a firewall or transit gateway, or another element.

Proving network innocence is never a trial with the Forward Enterprise platform. In fact, the process is much faster and easier than you may have thought possible. To learn more about the new hop-by-hop visibility feature from Forward Networks, check out this use case.

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