Press Release:

Study Reveals Major Shift In How Mid-Market Companies Achieve Network Security

451 Research study commissioned by OPAQ reveals 72% prefer security-as-a-service over Managed Security Provider, on-premise solutions


OPAQ, a Security-as-a-Service provider, today announced the results of its Network Security Study conducted by industry analyst firm 451 Research. The study examines the security needs, challenges, and spending priorities of mid-tier businesses.


The study revealed that mid-tier companies are battling a black hole of time, security expertise, and budget to procure, implement, and manage a variety of security products. 82 percent of respondents indicated they spend 20 to 60 hours of in-house staff resources a week to do that. Despite the well- documented challenges associated with finding and retaining security professionals, the study revealed that nearly three-quarters of the respondents dedicate between 3-5 full-time employees to manage their security. The financial hit to mid-tier businesses is an average of $178,000 annually just for network security, which represents 39 percent of an organization’s total IT security budget.


According to the study, the financial burden will continue to increase, and signs point to network security as a significant business priority. Network security spending will grow nearly twice as fast as overall IT security spending over the next five years, projecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 percent, from $2.4 billion in 2016 to $3.5 billion in 2021. Forty percent of respondents project their spending on network security will increase between 10 to 20 percent in the next 12 months.


“The security challenge for mid-tier businesses is multi-dimensional. For these businesses, everything seems to be increasing—attack frequency, compliance requirements, complexity, costs, and the number of security products that need to be managed,” said Daniel Cummins, analyst at 451 Research. “Cloud-based security-as-a-service offers potentially significant advantages in terms of simplicity and access to security that may prove to be less complex and expensive than traditional approaches.”


Security-as-a-Service Model Winning Over Mid-Market Companies

The study heralded a potentially seismic shift in the channel ecosystem and how security is delivered to mid-tier businesses.


Nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated part-time employees, contractors, and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) manage their security workload. However, 72 percent of respondents indicated a preference for security-as-a-service compared to MSSP (9 percent) or on-premise (19 percent) solutions for managing security.


“We thought there would be a preference for the ease and simplicity of security-as-a-service solutions, but we were genuinely surprised by both the degree and urgency of the market demand. 87 percent of respondents said their timing for migrating to this type of network security delivery model was within a 12 month time frame,” said Ken Ammon, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, OPAQ. “MSSPs are and will continue to play an important role in advising and supporting incident response, but this study reveals that MSSPs should look to leverage cloud-based solutions in order to deliver what the market is demanding.”


Other significant findings from 451 Research’s Network Security Market Study include:


  • The most desired cloud-based security capabilities were data loss prevention, network access control, and encryption, followed by threat management, application control, SSL decryption, and URL filtering.
  • The top cloud-based security use cases cited were threat management and branch office enablement and optimization, followed by multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) displacement, MSSP displacement, on-demand security, and securing SaaS applications.
  • More than 60 percent cited legacy IT as the greatest barrier to improving visibility and control within their networks, followed by lack of budget at 27 percent.


The 451 Research study, which was fielded during the first quarter of 2017, surveyed 301 IT security professionals at US-based businesses with 500 to 2,500 employees.


To download the 451 Research report and to access report infographics, visit


Press Release:

Cybersecurity Operations Guru Alexander McMillen Joins OPAQ

Recognized as a “Top 25 coolest network security vendor”, OPAQ just got even cooler with McMillen as Vice President of Operations


OPAQ, the premier security-as-a-service provider, today announced the addition of Alexander McMillen to its executive team. A seasoned engineering and operations executive with deep security expertise, McMillen has taken the reins as Vice President of Operations.


McMillen joins one of the “coolest network security vendors,” as recognized by CRN magazine. McMillen’s background is immersed in the design and implementation of solutions for mission- critical data center operators, web hosting companies, and cybersecurity firms. Among McMillen’s professional achievements is his leadership of the day-to-day construction and operations of a 123,000 square-foot data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia’s reputable “Data Center Alley.”


“The market understands the meaningful value that security-as-a-service delivers to their businesses,” said OPAQ Chairman and CEO Glenn Hazard. “Operations is the backbone that ensures the business value – and an exceptional customer experience – are consistently delivered. With Alex aboard, we have even further bolstered the market’s confidence in our assured delivery of simplified and cost-effective security from the cloud.”


Prior to joining OPAQ, McMillen was responsible for global data center architecture and operations, in addition to performing network vulnerability assessments and incident response for security consulting firm Roka Security. During his career, McMillen has built four Autonomous Systems (ISPs) from the ground up. In 2009, McMillen founded the Washington, DC chapter of the Vyatta Secret Society, a user group that enabled companies to perform Software Defined Networking functions on commodity hardware. He has contributed to open letters sent to Congress by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Stanford Cyber Law Center regarding Net Neutrality and Cyber Threat Information Sharing programs.


“You can’t help but get excited about the cloud-based security marketplace that OPAQ has established and continues to build,” said McMillen. “It’s an exciting time to join the OPAQ team and to lead the delivery of operational excellence across all facets of the business.”


McMillen is a member of the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG), American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Infrastructure Masons, 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance, Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) NOC, and Phi Beta Cyber Society.

Press Release:

OPAQ Networks Launches With $21 Million in Series A Funding

Growth capital fuels disruption of network security delivery model


OPAQ Networks, a post revenue Network Security-as-a-Service (NSaaS) company, today announced it was formed with $21 million in Series A funding. Washington, D.C. based Columbia Capital, a venture capital franchise focused on high growth companies, led the round with Harmony Partners and Zero G Inc. The new funding will accelerate OPAQ Networks’ research and development, operations, and customer growth in the commercial market.


The rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape has led organizations to defend their networks with numerous point solutions, which are complex, time intensive to maintain, and impair network performance. This is a real challenge for small and medium sized businesses and highly distributed organizations that are resource constrained. OPAQ Networks simplifies, centralizes and secures networks by combining networking and a best of breed security stack into a single service that organizations can turn on and scale instantly.


Industry analysts see a market demand for cloud based network security solutions. According to Gartner, by 2018, 60 percent of enterprises that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control tools will experience one third fewer security failures. “So much focus has been on what security solution to use to address particular risks, but how security is delivered is equally important. That balance is the focus of OPAQ Networks,” said Daniel Cummins, analyst at 451 Research. “Centralized visibility and security policy management across distributed network assets—from data centers, cloud based SaaS applications to branch offices and mobile devices—are features in high demand; IT and security executives who are entrusted to keep a tight reign on risk and reputation need simplified and coordinated security controls and easily managed means of enforcement.”


OPAQ Networks’ launch builds on the acquisition of Bat Blue Networks, which was recognized by Gartner in its July 2016 Hype Cycle on Infrastructure Protection. A combination of an experienced management team, established client base, mature cloud security management platform and intellectual property bolster OPAQ’s plans to disrupt the network security model.


“We take the work out of networking and network security for clients. Our platform means no more complex and costly product upgrades, maintenance, or management,” said Glenn Hazard, chief executive officer, OPAQ Networks. “Rather than backhauling traffic behind the security perimeter, we extend network security controls to the location, user and device. It’s our vision to build a new ecosystem of network cyber security solutions.”


Harnessing the Power of the Cloud to Deliver Security

Whether utilizing in house resources or a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), most organizations take a product centric approach to networking and security, which has resulted in overwhelming complexity and cost.


QuaEra Insights, an advisory firm that helps optimize business decisions using scientific and quantitative analysis of data, leverages the OPAQ Networks management platform to reduce costs while tightening security control over their distributed network.


“OPAQ’s platform made it easy for us to control everything in our network, and we saw an improvement in network performance, ” said Larry Blakeman, chief operating officer, QuaEra Insights. “With the scale and sophistication of threats like ransomware, combined with the increase in mobile users, cloud based applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT), a comprehensive security solution was critical for managing our risk.”


Serial entrepreneurs Glenn Hazard and Ken Ammon are teaming up again to lead OPAQ Networks. Prior to OPAQ, Hazard successfully launched six companies. Ammon, the former founder and president of the global Managed Security Services Provider NetSec, will serve as OPAQ’s chief strategy officer. Hazard and Ammon previously teamed to lead the privileged access management pioneer Xceedium, Inc., which was successfully acquired by CA Technologies in 2015.