2021 Year in Review and a Look Ahead

2021 reinforced the need for every business, worldwide, to level up their cybersecurity programs and strategies. It is now more important than it ever has been to respond in real-time and keep up with expanding IT infrastructure, the explosion of IoT devices, and a new wave of ransomware threats from more sophisticated attackers. Difenda is on the cutting edge of cybersecurity, and 2021 was a monumental year for our team expanding our reach around the globe to help our customers.

We Helped You Build for Growth 

This year, we expanded our company and our 24/7/365 SOC globally with offices opening in the United States and India. Through this expansion, we’ve added 10+ net new logos to our Microsoft Managed Security practice, including 2 Fortune companies.  We are truly proud of the relationships we have built throughout the past year by getting our hands dirty as we detected threats, responded and remediated real time threat situations, and helped mitigate operational risk for our customers. Beyond being the most trusted authority when it comes to Microsoft Managed Security Services, we concentrated on answering your questions, building communication paths, continuously learning, and focusing on integrity, sustainability, and competence to help customers maximize their Microsoft Security investments. 

Product Launches 

In 2021, we have been extremely busy and successful developing new products that are now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. After working with the Microsoft  security teams, we have two new offerings at the #MicrosoftAzureMarketplace to meet the growing needs of our customers:   Available on Azure MarketplaceAzure Sentinel Design and Implementation and Difenda Managed Detection and Response. Our #MDR service within the #DifendaShield is powered solely on the Microsoft security product platform (specifically #Sentinel and #DefenderATP). In plain English, what this means to our valued customers is that we offer automation, integration, threat intelligence, visibility, and the ability to hunt and respond to threats, all through a single pane of glass.  

Resources to Level-Up 

In our quest to be a part of the solution at every level, we have published 3 eBooks: Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Advanced Vulnerability Management (AVM), and Governance, Risk Management, & Compliance (GRC)…. as well as 2 Whitepapers: Public Key Infrastructure, and Penetration Testing Strategy.


Game Changing Microsoft Partnership 

From our inception in 2008 until today, the world has changed dramatically, and our company has grown and changed with it. This year, we became part of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, (MISA). Through this partnership, Difenda will further deepen its existing relationship with Microsoft.  As a Microsoft Gold Partner with an Advanced Specialization in Threat Protection, Difenda already holds multiple certifications, including:   

  • Microsoft Azure Security Engineer  
  • Microsoft Information Protection Administrator  
  • Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator  
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)  
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). 

We are currently 1 of 25 chosen Microsoft partners that are part of the Microsoft Worldwide Incubation Hub, assisting with loT, Security Operations, and Identity.  

Building a Team for Growth 

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton, our People Services Manager, has hit the ground running in her new role. One of her key accomplishments this year was developing a career pathing program and a project week in order to make the most of the talented people in our company.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy, our Marketing Director, brings her expertise as a marketing leader from Fortune 100 companies, including Sherwin-Williams & Nestle USA. With a strong vision of growing the Difenda brand, and her strong skills in public relations, go-to market product strategy and digital initiatives, making a great addition to our team.

Melissa Cassar

Melissa Cassar is our new Presales Manager, she plays a key role in helping our sales team deliver a world class experience by documenting customer’s requirements effectively and providing quick turnarounds in effort to maximize our customer’s success.

Sheldon Shaw

Sheldon Shaw, our Director of Research and Response, is helping us to further our mission. Using analytics and data analysis to defend infrastructures with a focus on IT/OT/IoT, his groundwork is leading us confidently into the future.

A Winning Team

After years of hard work and dedication, 2021 was truly a breakout year for our winning team at Difenda. During the 9th annual RSA Conference, the Cyber Defense Magazine Global #InfoSecAwards for 2021 were posted and Difenda secured three outstanding achievement awards. We are extremely proud of the growth of our company as well as the recognition we have achieved in these three categories this year. To learn more about the accolades we have received, you can read more here. The honors include the following: 

  • Next-Gen in Managed Detection and Response (#MDR
  • Best Product in Governance, Risk, and Compliance (#GRC
  • Most Promising in Vulnerability Management (#AVM

Certified Great Place to Work  

One of the best moments in  2021 was when we won the Certified Great Place to Work Awards, highlighting that our hard work and dedication to our customers and our craft really paid off. The three awards received were: 

  • Great Places to Work 
  • Great Place to Work: Best Workplaces in Technology 
  • Great Place to Work: Best Workplaces for Today’s Youth 

The truly gratifying part of winning these awards is that it shows that people are noticing our company’s willingness to assist a business during every part of their cybersecurity journey. 

Top MSSP  

2021 also found Difenda being named one of the Top Global MSSPs by MSSP Alert. After years of hard work, our approach to SecOps-As-A-Service is paying dividends. For the past 10 years we have cultivated a team of professionals with a vision to walk each company we serve through the process of cybersecurity, keeping a close relationship with them throughout the journey, and learning and growing together. 2021 has been a year for us to move forward. We are proud of our PCI, SOC II Type 2 and ISO 27001 certifications, and as of June 2022 will hold the CMMC Level 4 certification.  

We Care About the Community 

We have partnered with Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization to provide laptops to youth in need this year, with both our Difenda team and our customers contributing to the cause. Sky’s the Limit donates refurbished computers to youth across the country of Canada, and offers STEM and technology programming for students.  

2022 Year Ahead 

With our new offices in the United States and India, as well as our flagship in Canada, we are better able to serve the needs of companies around the globe. With a fantastic year behind us, we are looking to the future with confidence and creativity.  We are grateful for all of the customer support this year and look forward to being part of your cybersecurity odyssey in 2022. In order to serve our clients better, we will continue to build our team in the new year, and have several project launches scheduled. With competent professionals at the forefront of our business, and the creativity and vision to boldly create the future, we are committed to building a cybersecurity company that will walk with you through the entire process.  


Our Partners

Penetration Testing Whitepaper

Threat Intelligence

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Ken Perkins

Biography coming soon.

Megan Miller

Megan Miller’s energy and passion for learning flow into all aspects of her work. As the Growth Manager, North America, she brings a background in sciences which she has transitioned to the tech sector in her role at Difenda.

With a Bachelors of Science in Geology, Megan is a lifelong learner who is voracious about learning anything she can get her hands on about cybersecurity. Her positive energy has built a sales strategy with a focus on expanding in the United States while nurturing the Canadian presence. She is responsible for recruiting and training the sales team. Together with the company’s leadership, she creates the sales process and the company’s product strategy in order to better serve the customer base. This ensures that our customers have a highly trained and highly motivated team to help them every step of the way, Megan has completed Microsoft SC-900 training and working towards mastering Microsoft.

Whether at work or play, Megan is fully committed. She took her love of hockey all the way to the semi-professional level as a competitive hockey player. Megan loves all things sports including water skiing, scuba diving, cycling, and snowboarding. She also enjoys time with family and reading about alternative energy, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Natasha Phanor

As the Microsoft Partner Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is responsible for driving growth within our Microsoft Partnership. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on our customer’s needs throughout the entire process. Natasha has the innate ability to foresee customer needs and solve problems before they arise, which creates a smooth road for each customer she encounters.

As the recipient of the Outstanding Services Partner of the Year Award in 2018, it is clear that Natasha responds quickly to customer needs, creates a platform for understanding a customer’s business requirements, and walks them through the process to ensure their complete satisfaction.

In her spare time, Natasha is as energetic and passionate as she is on the job. A self-proclaimed foodie-extraordinaire, she enjoys dinner parties, traveling, downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and reading. Natasha has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance, from Ryerson University.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the perfect combination of human empathy and technological prowess. In her role as People Services Manager, she takes care of our team members to support them in their daily work, as well as on their personal life paths. Happy employees make for happy customers, and Lisa excels in giving our employees the tools they need for success in order to become the best possible versions of themselves. Along with employee formation, she shines in the service delivery support domain to continuously improve the process. Her 24 years of experience in IT Operations and Service Management help her create quality and efficiency at Difenda.

Having attended the Information Systems Management certificate program at Ryerson University, and with various other certifications to her credit, Lisa is perceptive and innovative when it comes to information technology, but also sensitive to the needs of her human constituents. Responsible for achieving the first privately owned company HDI Support Center certification in Canada, she has also designed and implemented Service Management excellence programs and 24×7 IT Operations departments for multiple IT organizations, and has created corporate rewards and recognition programs to keep her employees engaged and motivated.

On the personal side, Lisa passionately supports the cause of breast cancer research, having lost her mother to the disease. She reads voraciously in her spare time, and enjoys the art of home renovation. The summer months also bring time on her boat and exploring new hiking trails.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy uses her myriad super powers in all aspects of her job and personal life. As the Marketing Director at Difenda, Miranda McCurdy brings over a decade of experience to the table, which includes expertise in all facets of operations, brand management, and content marketing, as well as a multitude of successful strategies for the ever-expanding digital world. She is an expert at simplifying the message the company is trying to send, filling in gaps in the information, and strengthening the content in order to create compelling narratives that strengthen the brand and developing programs that bring teams together.

With several Addy Awards issued by the American Advertising Federation Cleveland to her credit, and her never say die attitude, Miranda understands both the broader picture and the minute details that are needed to successfully market a product. With her abilities to harness both the talent needed to spread the message, as well as to create the message itself, she is an integral cog in the company’s ability to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

When she is not building a brand, she shares her ability to fill the gaps in her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and the Charleston Food Bank. In her spare time, Miranda spends time with her family, enjoys fitness and health, paddle boarding, reading, and arts and crafts.

Juliana Zaremba

Connections are the name of the game for Juliana Zaremba. As Strategic Partnerships Director, she is responsible for Difenda’s channel partnerships and the development and ownership of the channel partner program. She is also responsible for the global Microsoft Partnership, including the creation of strategic plans with MSFT contacts that will facilitate the continued growth of the business and establish certification and training protocols in all security technologies. Her role is multifaceted, as she acquires partners, manages relationships with them, and develops strategies that will provide cutting edge security solutions to our customer base. Another integral aspect of her job is to facilitate growth.

With a Bachelor’s in Math from the University of Waterloo and 14 years of experience from her previous roles at Herjavec Group and CDW, her cutting edge focus and ability to develop long-lasting relationships and strategies provides world class security solutions to our customer base.

Juliana thrives on connections outside of work as well. She is a philanthropist and contributor with Women4Change based in Hamilton. This group of local women is passionate about supporting local causes, and she focuses her efforts around Women in STEM. She is also a member of Club Italia in Niagara Falls and supports their youth events throughout the year.

When not managing the Microsoft Global partnership, Juliana enjoys reading, often reading several books at once. Juliana enjoys exploring the Niagara Escarpment with her family, as well as sharing meals and experiences with her extended family. Juliana’s competitive nature has her always trying new things, like Whoop band challenges and Peloton.

Jeffry Jacob

Biography Coming Soon