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Difenda recognized as a Microsoft Security Excellence Awards finalist


Mar 10, 2023

Difenda today announced it is a Security Service Innovator and Diversity in Security award finalist in the Microsoft Security Excellence Awards. The company was honored among a global field of industry leaders that demonstrated success across the security landscape during the past 12 months.  

“We are thrilled to have received two nominations in this year’s Microsoft Security Excellence Awards for Security Service Innovator and Diversity in Security. These are two areas that we have continued to focus on over the past 12 months to ensure the quality of our technical services, customer experience, and our employee experience, said Derek Nugent, VP of Revenue at Difenda. “At Difenda we believe that diverse perspectives are critical for cybersecurity companies and our diversity is one of our competitive advantages when it comes to changing the game in cybersecurity services and the industry itself. These nominations reflect our commitment to delivering industry-leading security services powered by Microsoft and further build on our cybersecurity-first, Microsoft-only approach.   

Security Service Innovator

The Microsoft Security Excellence Award for Security Services Innovator Award recognizes an MSSP that delivers an innovative and transformative security service to customers. The winner is exceptional at driving holistic end-to-end security strategies with customers using Microsoft security products.  

Difenda has a history of driving innovation in the cybersecurity space. We have been a Design Partner of Microsoft Sentinel and participated in Microsoft’s Worldwide Incubation Hub helping with Defender for IoT, Security Operations, and Identity. This helped contribute to the future of Microsoft’s security technology and management. By sharing input and feedback in the development of security tools, Difenda has ensured we can drive the best outcomes for our customers. 

Following the development of these projects, Difenda became one of the first organizations to launch a managed service for operational technology: MXDR for OT.

Being a leader in this space, Difenda created an OT Environment Assessment Report to provide more visibility into OT networks and actionable steps on how to improve their security posture. Helping our customers take actionable steps toward a stronger security environment. 

Deployment of MXDR for OT allowed our customers to discover OT/ICS crown jewel assets and added visibility into their environment. This provides the organization with better information to make security use cases, enhance playbook development and make better decisions for security outcomes in their environment. 

This solution and others highlight our commitment to the partner community, security-related initiatives and thought leadership within the security space. 

This past year Difenda converted many customers to the Microsoft Security stack, and we never shy away from a challenge. Even if it means architecting security environments that have never been done before. In 2022, we worked closely with Microsoft engineers to architect a solution that would integrate a complex, hybrid-cloud network where a security solution was not initially clear. 

Diversity in Security

As a proud, equal-opportunity employer, Difenda is committed to fostering, cultivating, and maintaining an inclusive and equitable culture. It has adopted diversity initiatives which include but are not limited to flexible work schedules to accommodate varying employee needs, funded training and certification programs, and supporting the immigration process for global employees with specialized talents. 

The Microsoft Security Excellence Award for Diversity in Security Award honors a MISA member that has demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion above and beyond the current trajectory of the industry. The winners foster diversity to better serve security customers and cultivate change. 

Today, women account for only 24% of the overall workforce in the cybersecurity industry. Difenda is actively working to close this gap. While we know there is still work to be done, we are proud to say that women make up 36% of Difenda’s workforce, including 32% of our level-one security operations team. But that’s not all, at Difenda, women always have a seat at the table. Currently, 60% of the revenue operations leadership team and 20% of the service operations leadership team is women.   

Why does this matter? Unilateral decision-making from one perspective is not just a representation problem; it’s a security problem. Diverse perspectives are critical for cybersecurity companies that face an ever-changing variety of threats. 

Because of this, Difenda recognizes the talent available in global markets and has been able to successfully recruit and support the immigration process for global employees with specialized talents. This has been extremely valuable and has helped us gain insight into new perspectives and ideas, contributing to our competitive corporate strategy.  

Going one step further, we work closely with various recruitment channels that offer accelerated training/certification programs to women, immigrants, and those new to the cyber space. We collaborate with these channels to identify possible job opportunities for entry-level talent, ensuring they have equal access to industry opportunities. 

About The Microsoft Security Excellence Awards 

At the Microsoft Security Excellence Awards on April 24, 2023, Microsoft will celebrate finalists in 11 award categories honoring partner trailblazers, solution innovators, customer and technology champions, and changemakers. This is the fourth year Microsoft is recognizing partners for their outstanding work in the security landscape. All finalists are members of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA), an ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISVs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) that have integrated their security products and services with Microsoft’s security technology.  

“I’m very pleased to extend my warmest congratulations to this year’s finalists for the Microsoft Security Excellence Awards. These are presented each year to recognize the outstanding achievements of our Microsoft Intelligent Security Association members as they improve customers’ ability to identify and respond to security threats. Our community is made up of the most reliable and trusted security vendors worldwide. This year we received hundreds of quality submissions from partners and Microsoft stakeholders, so this year’s finalists stood out in a crowd of exceptional talent. It’s my pleasure to acknowledge and celebrate their work over the past year, said Maria Thomson, Microsoft Intelligent Security Association Lead. 

MISA was established to bring together Microsoft leaders, ISVs, and MSSPs to work together to defeat security threats and make the world a safer place. The industry veterans in MISA and Microsoft will vote to select the winners of the Microsoft Security Excellence Awards, providing an opportunity for colleagues to honor their peers for delivering exceptional work to our shared customers. 

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