Are you getting ready for the upcoming RSA Conference, the world's leading information security conference and exposition? The event is quickly approaching, taking place February 24-28, 2020 in San Francisco. Ahead of the show, I spoke with Fabrizio Maccioni, Director, Technical Marketing at Forward Networks, an industry leader in network assurance and intent-based network verification.
VMblog: To kick things off, give VMblog readers a quick overview of Forward Networks.
Fabrizio Maccioni: Forward Networks is the industry leader in network assurance and intent-based verification. Forward Networks' flagship platform, Forward Enterprise, documents, searches, verifies and predicts the behavior of networks by creating an always-accurate software copy of the entire network infrastructure. It is especially well-suited to analyzing very large, complex, multi-vendor networks across a variety of technologies.
VMblog: What market needs or problems are you addressing in the security space?
Maccioni: Usually, Security Teams need to contact the networking team every time they need information about the end-to-end routing and security network behaviors. This process is proven to be very inefficient and time consuming for both Security and Networking teams. Forward Networks creates a single source of truth for end-to-end policy behavior for application connectivity policies, security policies and compliance requirements. Networking teams can quickly assess the impact of security policies and security device configurations on overall network behavior, while security teams can quickly build security checks (i.e., policy requirements) that can automate whether or not those security policies are correctly implemented in the design of the network. For example, if a security requirement indicates that two subnets or application flows need to be logically isolated or unreachable for various traffic types (e.g., telnet), the Forward Platform will continually check that new network updates do not introduce any violations of that policy. When your verification checks database extends to hundreds of such rules, you can see how this can save an inordinate amount of time and effort while removing risk and errors from highly scalable, dynamic network environments.
VMblog: With RSA coming up this month, what is your message to RSA attendees and those individuals who won't be able to make the conference this year?
Maccioni: Security is top of mind for every company and Forward Networks is trying to do its best to help Security Team making their lives easier. With Forward Enterprise, Security Teams can check all the info needed to verify if the routing is fine for a given application and if there are one or more firewalls that are blocking the traffic by themselves, thanks to the comprehensive Forward Path Analysis with "Permit all mode" feature. Moreover, Forward Predict allows an understanding of the outcome of network configuration changes for ACL and NAT environments. Proactively identify potential connectivity and security policy violations. Finally, Forward Enterprise provides the ability to create verification checks and save the history of the network documentation and behavior to always keep the required compliance.
VMblog: Where can attendees find you at the show?
Maccioni: We're not inside Moscone this year but we do have a special Wednesday night event away from the busy show floor. We are making sure attendees will get the chance to meet with us in San Francisco during the event.
VMblog: What are some of the takeaways of your solution that RSA conference goers should be aware of? And what sets you apart from the competition?
Maccioni: Forward Enterprise is based on a mathematical model that becomes a single source of truth for the network, enabling network and security teams to easily search any and all network data in a clean, friendly interface. Tasks that used to take hours can now be done in seconds. With regard to competitors, Forward Enterprise is the only network verification platform in the market based on a true mathematical model, successfully deployed in enterprise-scale networks with more than 15,000 devices.
VMblog: I know your company likes to throw a good party. Can you share more details about your happy hour event taking place during RSA?
Maccioni: You're right, we do love to throw parties. We just think that it's more fun to meet people and talk about technology when we're not on a time crunch. Plus, when you have a category-creating product as comprehensive as ours is, it's not something you can grasp just by walking by a booth. We welcome anyone who feels the pain of network security to have a drink on us across the street at SPIN San Francisco. Our RSA Happy Hour is Wednesday Feb 26, 5:30-7:30pm. Free food, free drinks and of course, free ping pong on us.
VMblog: Is there anything else VMblog readers should know about Forward Networks?
Maccioni: Forward Enterprise has been inundated with awards lately; you can see the whole list here: https://www.forwardnetworks.com/awards/ Just as importantly, we're excited about our user reviews on G2 and Gartner Peer Insights.