Difenda Wins Three 2021 Cyber Defense Global InfoSec Awards


During the ninth annual RSA Conference, the Cyber Defense Global InfoSec Awards for 2021 were posted and we are thrilled to announce that Difenda has been chosen as the winner for three outstanding achievement awards!


Our awards 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)

The first award that Difenda has been recognized for is, ‘Next-Gen in Managed Detection and Response (MDR).’ Our MDR service stands out in part because it is powered by the world’s most compelling security technology platform: the Microsoft Security suite. Difenda MDR offers an enterprise-grade suite of managed threat detection and response services that unifies your people, processes, and technologies, guaranteeing that every interaction is safe and visible—and making sure you have the right systems in place to respond to potential threats faster.

Our Difenda Labs environment is a core part of our process which simulates common customer environment components. Within the Difenda Labs environment, our Cyber Research and Response team runs continuous attacks based on the latest cyber tactics and techniques used to breach customer environments.

Difenda MDR allows customers to simplify their security processes with an integrated cybersecurity suite that leverages Azure Sentinel, Microsoft Defender, and any other Microsoft security services in use at the organization to provide proactive and ongoing protection.

Supported Technologies (out-of-the-box)

  • Azure Sentinel
  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
  • Azure Security Center
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS)
  • Microsoft Defender (Azure, Endpoint, Server, Office)
  • Microsoft Information Protection (MIP)

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The second award that Difenda was recognized for was ‘Best Product in Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC).’ Difenda GRC  allows customers to build a strong cybersecurity program by continuously managing and optimizing each component of their governance, risk, and compliance programs. Visualize and optimize the complex relationships between your people, processes, and technologies with full GRC visibility using delegable attestation workflows, expert-facilitated knowledge transfer workshops, support from our cyber GRC analysts, real-time dashboards, and a highly-automated cloud-native solution.

Our GRC Frameworks

  • Center for Internet Security (CIS)
  • International Standards Organization (ISO) / International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST)
  • Payment Card Industry (PCI)
  • Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
  • + More

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The third recognition awarded to Difenda is, ‘Most Promising in Vulnerability Management.’ Difenda AVM is another component of the Difenda Shield that minimizes the likelihood and severity of potential exploits by monitoring, detecting, and prioritizing the remediation of critical vulnerabilities and configuration issues. 

Difenda AVM offers a strategic approach to vulnerability management that leverages machine learning, business intelligence, and real-time operational and management dashboards that allow remediation teams to focus and address true areas of risk in technologically complex environments. This allows a focus on potential risks in complex environments. Difenda AVM is designed to streamline every core aspect of vulnerability management, including regular vulnerability scans, implementation of secure configuration standards, prioritized remediation of detected vulnerabilities, and deployment of operating system and software patches.

Our whole team at Difenda is dedicated to continuous improvements in the areas  of  Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC),  and Advanced Vulnerability Management (AVM). Difenda is honored to be the recipient of these three prestigious Cyber Defense Global InfoSec Awards.
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Manoj Arora, Difenda CEO & Founder

About CDM InfoSec Awards

This is Cyber Defense Magazine’s ninth year of honoring global InfoSec innovators. Our submission requirements are for any startup, early stage, later stage or public companies in the INFORMATION SECURITY (INFOSEC) space who believe they have a unique and compelling value proposition for their product or service. Learn more at www.cyberdefenseawards.com

About the Judging

The judges are CISSP, FMDHS, CEH, certified security professionals who voted based on their independent review of the company submitted materials on the website of each submission including but not limited to data sheets, white papers, product literature and other market variables. CDM has a flexible philosophy to find more innovative players with new and unique technologies, than the one with the most customers or money in the bank. CDM is always asking “What’s Next?” so we are looking for Next Generation InfoSec Solutions.

About Cyber Defense Magazine

With over 5 Million monthly readers and growing, and thousands of pages of searchable online infosec content, Cyber Defense Magazine is the premier source of IT Security information for B2B and B2G with our sister magazine Cyber Security Magazine for B2C. We are managed and published by and for ethical, honest, passionate information security professionals. Our mission is to share cutting-edge knowledge, real-world stories and awards on the best ideas, products and services in the information technology industry.  We deliver electronic magazines every month online for free, and special editions exclusively for the RSA Conferences. CDM is a proud member of the Cyber Defense Media Group. Learn more about us at www.cyberdefensemagazine.com and visit www.cyberdefensetv.com and www.cyberdefenseradio.com to see and hear some of the most informative interviews of many of these winning company executives.  Join a webinar at www.cyberdefensewebinars.com and realize that infosec knowledge is power. 

About Difenda:

Difenda is a privately held SecOps-As-A-Service company founded in 2008.  We deliver 24/7/365 security operations backed by our modernized PCI, SOC 2 Type II and ISO 27001 certified Cyber Command Centers.  Difenda’s MDR practice is powered solely on the Microsoft security product stack and as a company proudly holds the Gold Security Service Provider certification for Microsoft.  We are an outcome-driven security services company with a fully integrated and modular platform that leverages an agile, innovative and collaborative approach with our Difenda Shield, along with advisory and offensive security services.

Our Difenda Shield was developed to break internal security silos, provide customers with the ability to scale, and most importantly, provide true visibility within our model.  All of our services, MDR (Managed Detection and Response), AVM (Advanced Vulnerability Management), GRC (Governance, Risk & Compliance), BPS (Brand Protection Services), and SAT (Security Awareness Training) roll into our Difenda Shield providing our customers with the ability to save costs and maximize visibility across the people, processes, and technologies critical to your organization.

Advisory and Offensive Services (Difenda Labs) are two additional pillars that complement our SecOps-as-a-Service go-to-market strategy.  Our team has a tremendous amount of experience and tenure to provide the outcome you are looking for in a cybersecurity partner.


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Ken Perkins

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Deepak Khandekar

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Carlos Espinoza

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Sheldon Shaw

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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 Customer Success Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is the voice of the customer, responsible for driving satisfaction, retention, and growth among our valued clients. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on a 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.

Ian Miersch

Ian Miersch has energy to spare, and uses his eclectic background to make a positive mark on the cybersecurity industry. As Vice President of Finance & Human Resources, Ian Miersch is responsible for overseeing scalable business growth as Difenda expands throughout North America. But it is the way he does it that sets him apart. By leveraging his engineering background and critical thinking skills, he has been able to develop unique strategies that balance the company’s current business needs with its long-term growth plans. And the results of his unique background and drive mean that the company is growing in a fiscally responsible manner, all with the customer’s needs at the forefront.

With a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering, coupled with an MBA in Finance, both from McMaster University, Ian’s ability to analyze data and make informed decisions is augmented by his ability to understand all facets of the business. He has a holistic understanding of the craft, from operations to project delivery and management, to his niche in financial planning. Ian’s ten years of experience in the industry mean that he has seen it all, and knows how to create a dynamic team and manage the resources needed for success.

Outside of work, he uses his energy to help others through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program, earning the Group Recreation Volunteer of the Year Status.

Ian also enjoys exploring and hiking with his three young children, exercising (so he can keep up with them), and reading professional development books. He is an avid but generally heartbroken fan of the Toronto sports teams, including the Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, and Raptors.

Derek Nugent

Derek Nugent, Vice President, Revenue lives by the motto “Be early, be better.” Derek leads our Sales and Marketing team and is responsible for customer success, as well as pre-sales and sales enablement. His high energy level and creativity have built high performing teams, whether at the Herjavec Group, CDW, or in his current leadership role at Difenda.

After earning a Bachelor Administration and Management degree from the Academy of Learning, Derek started in the information technology industry in 2004 and transitioned to the cybersecurity industry in 2014. With so much experience in a wide-variety of roles, he is poised to take the team at Difenda to the next level.

He excels at leading revenue strategies, new market entry, partnership engagement, and customer acquisition and retention. His work ethic and interest in rising to the top motivate his sales teams, who respond well to his passion and zeal. Under his tutelage, they are able to achieve attractive lead generation, YOY growth, and sizable deals. Derek works tirelessly to build a better team, and his constituents follow his road to success, which ultimately leads to a rewarding experience for the customer.

Even when volunteering, Derek is all in. He was a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters from 2005-2015, earning Group Recreation Volunteer of the Year Status.

And when he isn’t busy leading the team to the acme of sales, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, running, working out, watching thrillers, action and dramatic television shows

Manoj Arora

Manoj Arora, Difenda’s Founder and CEO has always been ahead of the curve in Technology and Cyber Security. After securing his engineering degree in Computer Science, he wrote his first mobile banking application when he was just 23 years old. This accomplishment certainly set him apart from the crowd and prepared him for a lifetime of innovation and success in his field. At just 25 years old, he was selected as the youngest Cyber Security Officer for one of the largest banks in Asia.

As a globetrotting young cyber security professional, Manoj was instrumental in designing cyber security infrastructure and controls for some of the largest institutions around the world. Depth of his expertise and passion to serve customers at the highest level of competence and integrity lead to Difenda. Founded in 2008, Difenda is a rapidly growing cybersecurity firm operating in North America and Asia.

As the CEO at Difenda, Manoj drives the strategic vision to protect our customers and enable our team members to deliver our services in line with core values- competence, integrity, and innovation. Currently one of Microsoft’s leading North American partners, Difenda reflects Manoj’ single-minded focus on our customers. Difenda is fully vested in success of its customers and takes pride in considering our success as a byproduct of our customers. Manoj has always been committed to building a great team and forging strong partnerships to serve our customers with standards that top our industry.

When he is not busy bringing cybersecurity to the world, Manoj enjoys playing golf and squash, and continues to travel the world.

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.

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Jeffry Jacob

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