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Verify Security Policies in the Cloud


Know with mathematical certainty that your cloud configuration is in compliance with corporate policies

Cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure, are fundamental to everyday operations for most enterprises. Cloud technology promises cheap, simplified, and secure computing which has led to widespread adoption. In reality, moving to the cloud often comes with unpredictable costs, enhanced complexity, and increased difficulty of enforcing security policies.

The tools network and security operations use to validate connectivity and security for on-premises networking are completely different from those used for the cloud. Not only is cloud topology represented much differently than on-prem, but each cloud provider also has its own nomenclature, methodology, visualization, and toolset. Additionally, cloud providers are constantly releasing new services, making it even harder for teams to understand flow visibility between cloud platforms, on-premises devices, and everything in between.

Securing a hybrid multi-cloud environment is complex due to differing protocols and processes
There’s a better way.

Automatically Verify Security Posture in the Cloud

Normalized view of VPCs within Forward Enterprise
Deploying traditional security controls is ineffective in the cloud since defensible perimeters are erased, component virtualization and decentralization obscures visibility, and automated configuration tools are required at scale. Forward Networks can help you make sense of your cloud estate and verify that the same policies you have in place on-prem are being enforced in the cloud by enabling engineers to visualize the cloud estate alongside the on-prem environment in a single normalized view. 

We collect config and state data from all your on-premises devices, such as routers, switches, and firewalls. And we use publicly available APIs to gather similar read-only information for your various cloud accounts, to create a digital network twin that incorporates your physical, virtual and cloud estates. Forward Enterprise needs only a basic set of API connectivity to access the data required to model and visualize all possible traffic paths into your cloud environments. All permissions we use to collect data are read-only.

Required permissions for snapshot collection
Forward Enterprise simplifies and augments CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) efforts by allowing verification checks in the cloud. Anytime a non-compliant change is detected within the cloud estate, the appropriate teams will receive specific, actionable information as to which instantiation is non-compliant and why, enabling rapid resolution. 
Furthermore, Forward Enterprise supports regular data collection that creates network snapshots that are stored, allowing technicians to see exactly what changes took place within a window. The collections also provide an always up-to-date forensic audit tool that’s always available.

If you want more information about a specific element within your network, like a cloud platform, you can just click on that element in the network visualization in Forward Enterprise. For example, clicking on a platform from a major cloud provider could show that you have four virtual private cloud instances (VPCs), one transit VPC, and several subnets related to that platform.

Detailed view of cloud resources
And if at any time you want to see which cloud platforms Forward Enterprise is pulling and collecting data from, you can click on “Cloud Objects” in the CSPM dashboard to see all the details.

Verifying Security Posture Between Zones 

Google Cloud Platform VPC Connectivity Matrix
Forward Enterprise supports CSPM efforts by providing a visual connectivity matrix, including any hybrid connectivity (e.g., a virtual firewall) that you may have set up in your cloud platforms. 

You can also verify the security posture between zones in your environment, both on-premises and cloud. You can examine connectivity to see what activity is permitted between the various zones, or not, and set up intent checks to continuously verify that desired security controls are working. If something changes, you can receive actionable alerts automatically about noncompliance with security policies.

A Single Source of Truth for Your On-Premises, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud Estate

Forward Networks’ mathematical model creates a complete and always current digital twin of your physical, virtual, and multi-cloud network estate, including config and state information for all network elements and your hybrid or multi-cloud environment. The digital twin provides a comprehensive view of all network behavior, with visibility into every possible path a packet can take. It brings mathematical certainty to network security validations by enabling security operations teams to:

VISUALIZE network layer 2 – 4 topology and all possible traffic paths within a single pane of glass including on-premises, Cloud (AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure), and virtualized environments. Then, drill down to specific devices and traffic flows, including configuration and state data. View the global network in a single view or drill down to a single device.

SEARCH the entire estate as simply as a database. Our browser-like search feature performs complete end-to-end path analyses across the network for both on-premises and cloud infrastructure. This also enables you to locate devices and access detailed information on their location, configuration, and state in milliseconds. 

VERIFY that the security policies are extended to the cloud using purpose-built (custom) intent checks. Continuously audit the network and receive actionable alerts for non-compliance with your security policies. Know that applications are compliant before provisioning them.

COMPARE network changes over time to understand their impact on the network and prevent incidents from reoccurring. The network collector frequently scans the network, taking and saving network configurations, topology, and device state snapshots. These “snapshots” become a searchable historical record of network behavior and compliance at any point in time. And the behavior diffs feature makes it easy to quickly find and compare snapshots to identify changes that may violate your security policy.
Explore All Aspects of Your Compute Environment With Forward Enterprise
See for yourself how the Forward Enterprise platform can help your network and security teams to monitor and verify all your clouds through a single pane of glass and explore any object in your cloud environment to ensure everything is working exactly as it should be. To see this feature and the power of a network digital twin in action, please request a demo.
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