ENFOCOM founder Herbert Fensbury said his company’s mission is to protect businesses from cyberattacks.
Fensbury received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Queens University before earning his master’s degree in the same field from the University of Manitoba.
“After graduating, I started working as an engineer, but I really fell in love with software,” said Fensbury.
In his free time, he spent a lot of time programming software and even took a handful of evening classes to supplement his experience.
One of Fensbury’s instructors worked at General Dynamics, a defense aerospace company. He then offered Fensbury a job in Ottawa. When General Dynamics built a plant in Calgary in 1992, Fensbury came west.
He was working on a project to equip the Canadian Army with a new communications system. There he felt drawn to work more in IT security.
“I worked with General Dynamics for a good seven, eight years before I started saying, ‘I’d like to start my own company,'” Fensbury said.
That was in 1999.
Not your Windows Defender-type cybersecurity
When you think of cybersecurity, you probably think of Norton or McAfee, maybe Windows Defender.
Fensbury said that ENFOCOM is not necessarily developing such an out-of-the-box home computer defense system. Instead, they help organizations identify risks, train staff, and test critical infrastructure systems for cyber threats.
“It’s like fire drills,” Fensbury said.
“You need to keep yourself updated so you know what to do if there’s a fire.”
Fensbury said larger organizations have a handful of IT professionals working to keep up to date with the latest cybersecurity threats. He said it’s not a question of if, but when a cyber attack will hit.
One of the best defenses is to set up a lab where IT teams can test and infiltrate a system. It is feasible for larger companies to perhaps have their own. However, Fensbury saw an opportunity to create a lab that others can lease, rent or subscribe to, where a system can be built and tested and staff can receive additional training.
“We provided that. Our secret ingredient, that’s this cyber range,” he said.
He also said that there is a significant shortage of trained professionals to deal with cybersecurity. Perhaps tens of thousands are missing, Fensbury said.
ENFOCOM is able to fill this gap, he said.
“Could have done much better”: Fensbury
Fensbury, who worked on the Alberta Catalyzer – Velocity program, came to a startling discovery.
“I think what really opened my eyes was that in 20 years we could have done a lot better,” he said.
They run a relatively successful business, he said. It was built primarily with nurturing a strong list of clients. However, Fensbury realized they could have invested a lot more in business development.
As a result, they have taken on new leadership for business development.
He also said that he learned more about the legal aspects of protecting a company and its intellectual property.
Additionally, Fensbury said that by working with a cohort of other companies in a number of areas, he discovered new tools to get specific tasks done.
All of this prepares Fensbury and ENFOCOM for the next phase of growth.
Helping Catapult is a recently signed partnership with the Calgary Police Service, Raytheon Canada and the University of Calgary. They founded the Canadian Cyber Assessment Training and Experimentation Center (CATE).
“In collaboration with the University of Calgary and Raytheon Canada, ENFOCOM opened the CATE Center as the first multi-purpose academic, commercial and aerospace defense facility in Canada,” Fensbury said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
“We’re excited to engage law enforcement in this partnership so we can work together to strengthen cybersecurity across the board.”
In addition, Fensbury said it is expanding its customer base. In five years, he wants 50 companies to work with them. That also means beefing up your own team with at least 30 full-time tech professionals.
“We want to make this world a safer world by using all the tools at our disposal, together with customers and partners, to protect our community and the world from cyberattacks,” said Fensbury.