Wayne Johnson is OPAQ’s Regional Vice President of Channel Sales for the Midwest. He was recently named to CRN’s 2018 100 People You Don’t Know But Should list. Here’s why…
Q: You joined OPAQ about a year ago. Tell us a little about your background.
I’ve been in information security over 20 years and in the managed security service space for over 10 years. I’ve been able to earn the trust of my solution provider customers what they need, when they need it. I have hundreds of trusted friends in the industry. Service providers answer the phone when I call them, so I know what I am doing works.
Q: What attracted you to OPAQ?
The leadership. Chief Strategy Officer Ken Ammon and CEO Glenn Hazard are thought leaders. Leadership makes a company successful. Most companies have great products, few have the management team to be successful.
Q: What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed in the security space in the past five years?
The need for automation and making quality security affordable to the Mid-Market all the way down to the endpoint. Did I say Automation? It’s key because in today’s world it’s all about monitoring and response, not building and patching which unfortunately is what most information security engineers still like spending their time on today. Time is not on the good guys side. Good security programs support the business and CISO’s are seeing how they can do that now through automation of their security products and services.
Q: You founded the Chicago CISO Dinner Peer Group and Chicago Area CISO of the Year Award Program. Tell us a little about those initiatives and why you started them.
Back in 2002, I saw a need for Chief Information Security Officers to peer because the position was new, and many were looking for help. I created the Chicago CISO Dinner Group, a peer group for CISO’s to seek answers from CISO’s in a vendor free environment. In 2007 when they spoke about the lack of recognition from the C Level community I took it upon myself to change that. It took me three year’s, but with the support of five local IT associations vendors in the Chicago area I was able to create the Chicago CISO of the Year Award Program. We are now in our 6th year, helping CISOs be recognized for their hard work.
Q: What challenges do CISOs most often cite in your monthly meetings?
There is so much noise out there now, with so many vendors and products. Deploying, managing and training staff on so many different point products is not sustainable. They want more automation, not more tools than create more for their under resourced teams.
Q: What advice would you give to a first time CISOs?
Surround yourself with a great team and join CISO groups to meet peers you respect and trust who can be mentors and provide advice when you need it. Seasoned CISO’s have been there and done that, it’s hard if not impossible to do it alone in today’s ever-changing security world.
Q: Chicago is known for deep-dish pizza, the classic Chicago-style hot dog and the Italian Beef. What are your favorites?
All three, but a good Chicago all beef hot dog with everything and extra sport peppers I can eat every day, along with a good ‘wet’ beef with sweet or hot peppers. Of course, I love deep dish pizza too.