Paris, June 13, 2022 — Dfns, the Techstars company-backed cybersecurity startup that provides decentralized custody as an API, announced it had hired BitGo’s chief information security officer (CISO), Dr. Samer Fayssal, to strengthen compliance-driven security and conduct research programs on new threat models emerging and targeting actors in decentralized finance (DeFi) and crypto at large.
Until recently, Dr. Fayssal served as the head of security for BitGo and CISO for BitGo Trust and, prior to this role, served in different cybersecurity leadership positions at Rakuten, SolarWinds, Euclidia, LogicNow and GFI Software. Dr. Fayssal is joining Dfns to take wallet security to the next level and significantly improve customer experience with custodial-capable financial applications.
BitGo is the second-largest crypto-custody provider safekeeping, as of November 2021, $64 billion. The company was founded in 2013 by Mike Belshe in San Francisco and acquired by Galaxy Digital in May 2021 for more than $1.2 billion. It has never been hacked throughout its history, making BitGo one of the most secure, respected custodians in the crypto industry.
Belshe hired Dr. Fayssal for his outstanding career, knowledge and abilities as a seasoned cybersecurity executive. Dr. Fayssal brings 20-plus years of executive leadership, scientific research and software development in building 12 security programs, three patents certified with the United State Patent and Trademark Office, and more than 10 published research papers and 85 citations with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery.
Dr. Fayssal holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering specializing in cybersecurity from the University of Arizona, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University and has had security executive and leadership education at Stanford University.
In addition to his technical and leadership experience, Dr. Fayssal is an expert in regulatory requirements for a world-class information security program that includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology-800 information system protocol, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council regulations, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act compliance, California Consumer Privacy Act guidelines, Security Operations Center logistics and Information Security Management-27000 standards.
As Dfns CISO, Dr. Fayssal is responsible for building and executing Dfns’ strategic security plans, including building a world-class, compliance-driven security program. He will support security research and development efforts to build modern, secure crypto solutions, bringing a depth and breadth of security knowledge to Dfns for building next-generation, market-disrupting wallet solutions as the backbone of digital asset-processing systems.
“Today, we are lucky enough to have production-ready cryptography like multi-party computation that allows us to secure wallets in a way that was impossible 10 years ago. I’m extremely motivated by this new opportunity and impatient to contribute to the democratization of crypto wallets,” said Fayssal. “Security — zero-trust security, specifically speaking — is the missing bridge to the next billion users in crypto.”
Dfns is a cybersecurity company that provides secure, embeddable crypto wallets for businesses and financial institutions. Its mission is to bring peace of mind to DeFi by eliminating new blockchain risks and making digital asset transactions easier, faster and more affordable. Founded in 2020 in Paris, Dfns was incubated at Station F as a Future 40 startup, accelerated by Techstars and recognized as deep technology by the French Ministry of Economy. The company has offices in New York City, London, Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam and other European cities.
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