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Gartner Hype Cycles: Why You Should Believe this Hype

Can there be any more security buzz flying around in the market today? With an estimated 1,600 security vendors each espousing their own rhetoric as to why you just can’t survive unless you have their latest doohickey, it’s no wonder that executives are confused about what’s a smart security investment.

Industry analysts are doing what they can to help executives navigate the complexities of the security market. The sheer number of security categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories is simply astounding, and can further complicate things. And just when you think you have a handle on the latest security trends and you’re confident you know exactly what it is you need, a new threat, new trend, or new technology emerges and makes you re-think everything yet again.

451 Research keeps a close eye on the security market, producing a variety of insightful research including Impact Reports, which feature different companies and independent perspectives on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of those companies. In fact, you can see an Impact Report on OPAQ here.

Gartner also produces a variety of research reports. Some of the most popular reports are the Gartner Hype Cycles, which can be useful as visual guides in helping executives assess different types of security technologies. Two Gartner Hype Cycles that were released earlier this month were the Hype Cycle for Threat-Facing Technologies and Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking and Communications (these reports are accessible only to Gartner subscribers). The former Hype Cycle features security technologies that aim to “prevent and protect IT systems and applications from attack, enabling fast and effective response.” The latter Hype Cycle features technologies that can help executives to “evolve their networks to support functional and strategic business requirements” and “support digital business initiatives and new business models while also providing flexible, resilient, and scalable connectivity.”

As different as these two Hype Cycles are, there is a common thread – Firewall-as-a-Service is a category represented in both, which features the need for tight integration of networking and security, as well as for automation and orchestration. It’s the first time that Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) is represented in the Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking and Communications. In both Hype Cycles, it’s defined as “a multifunction security gateway delivered as a cloud-based service or hybrid solution. The promise of FWaaS is to provide simpler and more flexible architecture by leveraging centralized policy management, multiple enterprise firewall features and traffic tunneling to partially or fully move security inspections to a cloud infrastructure.”

With a benefit rating of “High” the business impact of FWaaS “offers a significantly different architecture for branches or even single-site organizations. It also offers greater visibility through centralized policy, increased flexibility and potentially reduced cost by using a fully or partially hosted security workload.” OPAQ is referenced in both Gartner Hype Cycles as a sample vendor providing FWaaS, with serious enterprise-grade Next-Generation Firewall protection powered by Palo Alto Networks.

The as-a-service business model in security is not going away – it’s more than hype; it’s a mainstay. Integrating networking and security into a single cloud service that is simple to deploy and maintain eliminates cost, complexity, and much of the feature-focused security noise that plagues executives pondering smart security investments.

Why Gartner Named OPAQ a 2018 Cool Vendor

On June 1, after an in-depth evaluation, leading technology research firm Gartner named OPAQ one of only three Cool Vendors in Security for Midsize Enterprises (MSE) for 2018.

According to the report, “These vendors offer a compelling combination of innovation and midsize enterprise suitability. Midsize enterprise IT leaders responsible for security and risk management should familiarize themselves with these impactful approaches to improving security posture with finite resources.”

What makes a hot company a cool vendor? Gartner’s definition of a Cool Vendor is a small company offering a technology or service that is:

Innovative — Enables users to do things they couldn’t do before

Impactful — Has or will have a business impact, not just technology for its own sake

Intriguing — Has caught Gartner’s interest during the past six months

Gartner analysts stated: “Security-as-a-service vendor OPAQ is cool because it can provide MSE IT leaders with a caliber of managed network visibility and control — at a predictable operating expenditure price — that is typically out of their reach. MSEs that lack staff expertise to manage and monitor multiple network security appliances and consoles can benefit from the OPAQ Cloud.”

Gartner released the Cool Vendors report just prior to the start of its 2018 Security and Risk Management Summit. Several of us from OPAQ attended the event, which drew an increasingly larger audience of midsize enterprises who value Gartner’s insights on the technology landscape and emerging trends.

We were delighted to see OPAQ referenced in analyst sessions and in presentations. Moreover, we were excited to hear that OPAQ was being discussed by executive attendees to analysts during their one-on-one analyst meetings.

There is no doubt that the security-as-a-service solution OPAQ delivers will be a mainstay in a market that is embracing simplified, cost-effective enterprise-grade security from the cloud.

We’re extremely proud of this recognition from one of the most highly respected analyst firms.