meet deel profile albert didi

Meet Deel: Albert Didi, Director of Information Security

In the Meet Deel series, we chat with team members across the organization to get their unique insights into remote work, life at Deel, and more.

Shannon Hodgen
Written by Shannon Hodgen
December 25, 2023

According to the latest report from ISC2, nearly 70% of companies are facing a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals.

At Deel, we enable organizations to bridge this talent gap with streamlined global hiring, payroll, HR, and more. It's this strategic approach that caught Albert Didi's interest and led him to Deel.

“Yaron Lavi (Deel’s CTO) reached out to me on LinkedIn and shared a link to a short article about Deel,” explained Albert. “After carefully investigating the link (I’m an InfoSec guy after all), I clicked it and saw what Deel is all about. It sounded like a great solution to a problem I've been facing for years and needs to be solved in our world.”

Today, Albert and his team work around the clock to protect Deel and its clients from cybersecurity threats.

Here’s what he shared about his role, today’s biggest information security challenges, and more.

What do you do as Deel’s Director of Information Security?

Albert: I was the first cybersecurity expert who joined and onboarded, so there was the challenge of building the team from scratch and aligning everything to the industry’s best practices, and, at Deel speed!

Traditional companies have what we call a “perimeter” - meaning they reside in the same building or a few buildings, have firewalls to protect them, usually an internal network, and they have most of the services consumed internally. 

This is not the case at Deel!

We have approximately 3,000 employees today from more than 100 countries working remotely, and we consume the majority of our services externally from SaaS applications, which is a huge cybersecurity challenge. We also acquired some companies recently, and that is considered to be a big security challenge by itself. 

Today, the team is very diverse and includes several security architects to oversee different domains like AppSec, CloudSec, security analysts, offensive security specialists, and more. According to our headcount forecast, we will have some more open positions in the short to mid-term, so we’re growing accordingly to cover all our needs.

What makes working at Deel special?

Albert: You get to meet so many cultures and so many people. In a single day, you can talk with people from 10 different countries. Within 24 hours, not a minute goes by when someone is not writing a code, when someone is not doing QA, when someone is not monitoring our security tools and our security system to identify potential breaches or cybersecurity threats.

Also, it doesn't matter where you travel in the world, most likely you will be able to join that country channel on Slack, meet your colleagues, and ask them to show you around. 

The leadership directive is also a bit different than other companies. There, they say, “It’s all about revenue.” And at Deel, you hear our leadership team saying all the time, “We are all about changing the world.”

It's really true: Bring value to the customer, bring value to the employee, and hopefully make a change in the whole market.

How are global hiring solutions like Deel changing the cybersecurity industry?

Albert: You always need more cybersecurity professionals than there are in the market, so it’s either you need to compromise the skillsets or experience, or you will need to increase the budget. And still, you will find yourself sourcing and interviewing for months.

In previous positions, I had to search for talent for several months. With Deel, my average is three weeks for a senior cybersecurity position—and I can find an even better person than I would have in the local market. 

What advice do you have for global organizations looking to strengthen their security?

Albert: I would say that onboarded leadership is the key. If your leadership is committed, it will affect the company’s culture to align with the ‘security first’ attitude, allocate the needed resources, prioritize Infosec company-wide, bring the right people, and basically unlock what is needed.

So, maybe the key point is this: You can be the best security expert and you can have some of the tools, but if you don’t have leadership commitment, it doesn’t mean a lot.

What are the top information security threats that global companies should be aware of right now?

Albert: That would be ransomware and data theft, although there is an increase in cases of threat actors exfiltrating data without using ransomware, I would definitely consider it a major risk.

In non-technical words, the bad people are infiltrating the company's infrastructure, stealing sensitive data, and preventing the company from accessing their own data by encrypting it. After they do so, they reach out to the company and ask for money for not publishing the sensitive data publicly and to get the key that would allow them to regain access to their data.

When it comes to cybersecurity, I always tell the following story:

Two people are in the jungle, and they are running from the lion. The first guy asks, “Do you really think we could run faster than the lion?”

And the other friend is looking at him and says, ”I'm not trying to run faster than the lion. I'm trying to run faster than you.”

This is what it’s all about. We always need to run faster than everyone else out there.

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