Adele Farhadian, Developer in Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Adele Farhadian

Verified Expert  in Engineering

IT Security Architect and Developer

Vancouver, BC, Canada
Toptal Member Since
June 23, 2021

Adele Farhadian is an information security architect with over 16 years of experience planning and implementing security systems. She has several certifications: CISSP, CCSP, GWAPT, SABSA Chartered Architect, CISM, CEH, and ISO 27001 Lead Auditor. Launching her own IT security consultancy in 2015, InfoSec Assured, Adele uses her security architecture skills to perform security and privacy gap assessments, vulnerability assessments, security strategies, and security posture designs.



Preferred Environment

NMap, Sqlmap, Nessus, Burp Suite, OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP), Kali Linux, Metasploit, DirBuster, Shodan

The most amazing...

...result I've delivered was a custom business-focused security solution that saved the client millions dollars in compliance fines and reputation damages.

Work Experience

Owner | IT Security Architect

2015 - PRESENT
InfoSec Assured
  • Performed various security architectural (cloud and on-premise) reviews and architectural designs of major projects for clients; worked with various teams including product managers, scrum masters, developers (front- and back-end), and cloud experts.
  • Conducted vulnerability assessments for many clients while often working with Agile teams; also reviewed CI/CD pipelines and recommended security measures.
  • Composed IT security framework documentation which included a set of policies, definitions that covered roles and responsibilities, awareness and training schedules, data classification guidelines, and so on.
  • Spoke publically on the following topics: “Security Projects Sanity Check” at BSides Vancouver (May 21) and "GDPR Challenges & Quick Wins” at InfoSec Train (May 19).
Technologies: Security Architecture, Threat Modeling, Threat Analysis and Risk Assessment (TARA), Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), Vulnerability Assessment, Penetration Testing, Compliance, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, Security Design

Senior IT Security Analyst

2012 - 2013
  • Developed the ISMS framework including the security policies, procedures, and guidelines.
  • Performed as the security SME (subject matter expert) on all projects with a security impact.
  • Implemented PCI requirements and guided the vendors throughout their responsibilities.
  • Handled all security operations including any security investigation and incident handling.
Technologies: Security

Senior IT Security Associate

2011 - 2012
Grant Thornton LLP
  • Provided detailed threat risk assessment for many clients including the government and public and private companies.
  • Created detailed privacy impact assessments for many clients including the government and public and private companies.
  • Generated detailed security roadmaps based on identified threats for many clients including the government and public and private companies.
  • Developed the ISMS framework for many clients including the complete suite of documentation, policies, procedures, and guidelines.
  • Documented disaster recovery and business continuity plans for many clients.
Technologies: Threat Analysis and Risk Assessment (TARA), Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), Security Roadmap, Security Planning

IT Security Officer

2010 - 2011
  • Handled the security operations including managing incidents.
  • Administered the security infrastructure for several projects, solutions, and applications.
  • Performed as a security SME (subject matter expert) on a few projects for a client.
Technologies: Security Operations Centers (SOC), Incident Response, Security Administration, Security, Administration

Security Analyst

2005 - 2008
ALA Enterprises
  • Provided clients with incident handling expertise.
  • Oversaw security operations for a client and developed policies and procedures for them.
  • Administered the security infrastructure and solutions for a client.
Technologies: Security Incident Handling, Security Administration, Administration, Security

TRA and PIA for a Project with HIPAA Requirements

The Ontario Health Ministry hired me to perform a threat risk assessment (TRA) and privacy impact assessment (PIA) on a project.

The project goal was to design a solution to copy the PHI (personal health information) of Ontario residents from every clinic, hospital, and medical facility into their own data center and then keep the historical data at the source location as read-only files reference only.

They had multiple vendors with different roles in this project. I had to understand their roles, their demarcation points, their responsibilities, access needs, and so on to complete the TRA and PIA. They adopted HIPAA as the best practice, and then TRA/PIA was used to design and enhance the solution.

Low-level Designs of Security Solutions

I've evaluated, tested, designed, and helped implement several security solutions, e.g., SIEMs, Tenable, among others. I completed these designs by performing a threat risk assessment (TRA) and working with the stakeholders, infrastructure, database, and application owners.

Reviews of Compliance Implementations, Saving Millions of Dollars in Compliance Fines

For example, for a utility company, I reviewed their NERC compliance implementation. I dug deep into their other systems (there were none identified as NERC assets), identified many assets that were not compliant or were not sufficient in their NERC compliance control implementations. They then engaged their external auditors to report these non-compliance issues.

Since these findings were investigated internally and reported as a self-report, their fines were minimal compared to an external audit findings fines and/or a reported security/privacy incident.
2009 - 2010

Diploma in Network Administrator and Security Professional

University of British Columbia (UBC) and BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) - Vancouver, BC, Canada

2005 - 2007

Executive MBA (EMBA) in Business Administration

Industrial Management Institute - Tehran, Iran


GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester



SABSA Chartered Security Architect



Certified Cloud Security Professional



Certified Ethical Hacker

EC Council


Certified Information Systems Security Professional



Certified Information Security Manager


JUNE 2009 - JUNE 2013



NOVEMBER 2006 - JUNE 2008

ISO 27001 Lead Auditor



NMap, Nessus, Sqlmap, OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP), Metasploit


Python 3


Burp Suite, Kali Linux, Linux


Penetration Testing, HIPAA Compliance, Testing


Security Architecture, Threat Modeling, Threat Analysis and Risk Assessment (TARA), Compliance, GDPR, Vulnerability Assessment, DirBuster, Shodan, MCSA, CCNA, CompTIA Network+ Certification, CompTIA Security+ Certification, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, CISSP, Cloud Security, GWAPT, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CISM, Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), Security, Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), Security Roadmap, Security Operations Centers (SOC), Incident Response, Security Administration, Security Incident Handling, Security Planning, Administration, Security Architecture Review, Vendor Management, Security Review, Security Design, Business, Business Administration

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