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Calgary’s Next Economy: ENFOCOM helping keep corporate IT cyber secure

ENFOCOM founder Herbert Fensury said the mission of his company is to protect companies from cyber attacks.

Fensury graduated from Queens University as a civil engineer before pursuing his master’s degree in the same field at the University of Manitoba.

“After graduation, I started working as an engineer, but really fell in love with software,” Fensury said.

He spent a lot of time doing software programming in his spare time, even taking a handful of evening courses to supplement his experience. 

One of Fensury’s instructors worked at General Dynamics, an aerospace defense firm. He offered Fensury a job in Ottawa at the time. When General Dynamics built a plant in Calgary back in 1992, Fensury came west.

He was working on a project to outfit the Canadian army with a new communications system. It was there he’d gravitated to working more in IT security.  

“I started working with General Dynamics for a good seven, eight years before I started to say, ‘I would like to start my own business,’” Fensury said.

That was in 1999.

Not your Windows Defender-type cyber security

When you think of cybersecurity, you probably have Norton or McAfee, perhaps Windows Defender on your mind.

Fensury said ENFOCOM doesn’t necessarily create an out-of-the-box home computer defense system like that. Instead, they help companies identify risks, train personnel and test critical infrastructure systems for cyber threats.

“It’s just like fire drills,” Fensury said.

“You do need to get yourself updated all the time so that you know what to do in case there’s a fire.”

Fensury said larger organizations have a handful of IT professionals working in to stay on top of the latest cybersecurity threats. He said it’s not a matter of if, but when a cyber attack hits.

One of the best defenses is to create a lab where IT teams can test and infiltrate a system. For larger companies it’s feasible to perhaps have their own. Fensury, however, saw an opportunity to create a lab for others to lease, rent or have a subscription to where a system could be built and tested and their personnel could get additional training.

“That’s what we’ve provided. Our secret sauce that is that cyber range,” he said.

He also said there’s a significant shortfall in the number of trained professionals to handle cybersecurity. Perhaps tens of thousands short, Fensury said.

ENFOCOM is positioned to close that gap, he said.

‘Could have done a lot better’: Fensury

Working in the Alberta Catalyzer – Velocity program, Fensury came to one startling realization.

“I think what really opened my eyes was that, hey, we could have done a lot better in 20 years,” he said.

They run a relatively successful business, he said. It’s been built mainly with cultivating a strong client list. Fensury recognized, however, they could have put a lot more into business development.

As a result, they’ve brought on a new business development lead.

He also said that he’s picked up more on the legal aspects of protecting a business and its intellectual property. 

Plus, working with a cohort of other companies in a range of fields, Fensury said he’s discovered new tools to do certain jobs.

All of this is setting Fensury and ENFOCOM up for the next stage of growth.

Helping catapult that is a recently signed partnership with the Calgary Police Service, Raytheon Canada, and the University of Calgary. They’ve created the Canadian Cyber Assessment Training and Experimentation Centre (CATE).

“Working in partnership with the University of Calgary and Raytheon Canada, ENFOCOM opened the CATE Centre as the first multi-use facility for academic, commercial and aerospace defense in Canada,” Fensury said in a statement on the announcement.’

“We are excited to include law enforcement in this partnership so that we can work together in strengthening cybersecurity across the board.”

Beyond that, Fensury said it’s scaling up his customer base. In five years, he’d like 50 companies working with them. That also means scaling up his own team with at least 30 full time tech professionals.

“We want to make this a safer world using our all the tools that we have, with customers, with partners, to help protect our community and the world from cyber attacks,” Fensury said.