CRN Exclusive: Trace3 Hires SIGMAnet Vet For Newly-Created VP Role As It Doubles Down on Security

Trace3 landed a longtime SIGMAnet executive for its newly created role of vice president of security as the company targets cloud security, behavioral analytics and threat prevention.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company -- No. 54 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 -- brought in Tony Olzak, SIGMAnet's vice president of advanced technology solutions, to create the security operations center of the future by leveraging cognitive computing and machine learning to identify dangerous network patterns and respond to them in real time.

"We believe security could be the future of the company," Olzak told CRN. "It could become one of the core things we're known for."

[RELATED: CRN Exclusive: Trace3 Says It Tripled Profits By Embracing Big Data, IoT]

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Trace3 will put more muscle behind its growing security practice with waves of new hires, Olzak said. Eight people will be hired as part of the first wave, Olzak said, including director-level positions in the security analytics and identity and access management (IAM) spaces as well as specialized delivery personnel focused on emerging areas.

"We have a ton of open headcount right now, and we're going to be aggressive in bringing on top-end talent to [build] out all of these different areas," Olzak said.

Trace3 today has more than 20 different engineers and 100 architects with experience crafting and selling security solutions, Olzak said. Trace3 plans to launch a security landing page on its website in roughly a month, he said.

Olzak spent nine years at Ontario, Calif.-based SIGMAnet, No. 115 on the CRN SP 500, rising to the rank of vice president of advanced technology solutions. Under Olzak, SIGMAnet's security practice was validated by Cisco naming the company as its security partner of the year two years in a row, he said.

Trace3's burgeoning security practice is looking to go far beyond selling a bunch of firewalls and has little interest in investing in legacy people, systems or ways of thinking, Olzak said. Instead, Olzak said Trace3 is seeking to craft an entire security strategy that pushes to where companies will be in five years around analytics, machine learning automated workloads and adaptive response.

"This is really Trace3 going all in," Olzak said. "It's really like swinging for the fences, or trying to punch a little higher."

Trace3's security behavioral analytics practice will be centered around identity and access management, Olzak said, while the company's comprehensive threat prevention will focus on proactive threat hunting through machine learning and cognitive computing. The overall strategic roadmap calls for integrating components, leveraging automation and making organizations better in a measurable way, he said.

The threat prevention platform will initially be built for larger customers, Olzak said, and then brought to smaller and mid-sized customers using a managed services model. Everything from new mobile devices and IoT sensors to big data feeds and layers of cloud software automation have increased the digital security risks for end users.

"The digital transformation has created a whole new set of challenges we haven't dealt with before," Olzak said.