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Learn, connect, and collaborate at the Cyber Voice Zero Trust Summit. October 27th.

Monday, Aug 17, 2020

The New Normal for Cloud Architecture

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In a  previous post, I talked about getting to a cloud-powered security future—one that hinges on three things: convergence, delivering security-as-a-service, and providing cloud-native, hybrid-enforced security and data protection.

The vast majority of customers I talk to are accelerating their digital transformation efforts. Beyond relying more on cloud applications, this means bridging traditional, on premises infrastructures using cloud access so they can better protect users and data in hybrid IT environments.

At Forcepoint, we’ve been building a cloud architecture backend that allows us to support our global customers at any point along their digital transformation journey. It also enabled progress against the three objectives leading to that cloud-powered future—both for us and our customers.

The architecture allows us to accelerate the software development process. It has enabled rapid iteration prototyping at scale for our engineering and development teams. This ability to prototype, build and test quickly helps to validate and remove much of the risk from investments.

Where some  competitors buy companies to expand into new product categories (that often morph into features these days), Forcepoint has most of the components to build a modern cybersecurity infrastructure for global organizations. In those cases where we need something new, we often have the option to build it. That, for example, is what we did with our cloud-based Forcepoint Private Access offering. It is designed to protect access to internal applications, thanks to a “next-generation” FWaaS, without the bottlenecks or complexity of VPNs.

Forcepoint Private Access - Next-generation FWaaS

For some of our customers, it will likely take more time to get to a cloud-powered future. That’s why our approach fits with a hybrid and evolving IT environment. The comprehensive Cloud Security Gateway (CSG) offering we recently introduced is a cloud-native solution that leverages a mix of Forcepoint physical assets (our own datacenter footprint) with the flexibility of public cloud environments—“best of both worlds” as I like to call it.

With its 160 points of presence, in 128 countries our market-leading Secure Web Gateway (a component of the CSG solution) allows us to deliver and scale Forcepoint services nearly anywhere in the world. That means we can deliver content directly to a user’s location instead of where the data center is based. Security and data protection are critical, and end-user quality of experience remains essential. In other words, Forcepoint’s platform offers flexibility in the way we deliver our products to customers.

Forcepoint Cloud Security Gateway

As Wassim mentioned in his launch post, our Cloud Security Gateway represents the industry’s first true data-centric SASE offering. It’s our most significant step toward product convergence to date. On one level, it’s about converging categories: merging web and cloud security, SaaS applications access and data protection together into a single offering.

More importantly for customers however, convergence means operational benefits, like allowing them to centralize management, monitor and analyze web traffic and alerts and to consistently apply data loss prevention policies. The cloud platform provides one place for web security, access to cloud and private apps as well as data protection services. It’s one place for all traffic to go through. We designed the CSG offering to deliver a best-in-class end-user experience, all while managing cost and maintaining the highest levels of protection.

As we continue down the path toward a SASE, cloud-powered future, we are extending the platform to offer products and services (like Dynamic User Protection and enabling risk adaptive security across the portfolio—stay tuned!) via the cloud. Cloud Security Gateway and Forcepoint Private Access represent our initial steps toward this future.

But there’s more we want to do. In the near term, we’ll continue to build out converged cloud services. Even today, Forcepoint’s CSG solution delivers a 30% reduction in software cost of ownership.

About the Author

Nicolas Fischbach

As Global CTO, Nico Fischbach drives corporate level vision, defines the research agenda, and pilots technology and architecture road maps that underpin Forcepoint's human-centric cybersecurity solutions. He is responsible for companywide innovation as well as Forcepoint X-Labs. 

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