Enza Alexander: Building Secure Businesses


“ISA Cybersecurity is Canada’s leading cybersecurity-focused company. Our vision is to help create a world in which everyone is safe from cyber threats. Through our commitment and passion for excellence, network of world-class cyber experts, and investments in innovation, we help protect our customers so that they can operate securely and safely. We deliver cybersecurity services and people you can trust,” says Enza Alexander, Executive Vice President, ISA Cybersecurity. The company is currently celebrating its 30th year in operation. They have three offices in Canada: their corporate headquarters and Cybersecurity Intelligence and Operations Centre (CIOC) are based in Toronto, and they have locations in Ottawa and Calgary as well. Enza joined ISA Cybersecurity in January 2019.

ISA Cybersecurity's focus is on helping their customers with improving their cybersecurity posture, raising their awareness of cyber threats, and enhancing their ability to maintain the privacy and security of their digital assets. ISA Cybersecurity has strategic partnerships with world-class cybersecurity software and service providers complemented by a dedicated team of certified cybersecurity professionals, and an extensive network of consulting resources cultivated over 30 years in the industry. This gives ISA Cybersecurity a strategic position that allows them to assist customers in virtually any domain of cybersecurity.

A League of their Own: ISA Cybersecurity’s Uniqueness is their Biggest Strength
As Enza shares, “ISA Cybersecurity offers just the right blend of big firm experience with small company flexibility, focused on delivering the highest quality services in our field. We’ve worked hard to develop a wide range of delivery models to allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from our expertise. We’ve recently launched our Infinity program, which gives smaller organizations hassle-free, affordable access to important foundational cybersecurity services. For larger or more complex organizations, we offer a wide range of services, from digital forensics and incident response, to hosted and managed services, to role-based consulting to help bridge cyber talent gaps, to our Cyber Management Consulting practice that can develop or refine an organization’s entire cyber strategy.

ISA Cybersecurity initially started as a cybersecurity product organization, but as the cyber world became more complex, they advanced to meet the industry’s growing need for top-quality services and guidance. Understanding the marketplace and the growing, shifting needs of customers has kept ISA Cybersecurity ahead of the curve. Investment in R&D, next-gen solutions, and AI/ML technology has ensured they remain nimble. Their perpetual spirit of innovation has certainly contributed to the success of ISA Cybersecurity, but as Enza points out, “Without a doubt, I feel that the partnerships with our customers have definitely played a huge part as well. Anyone can sell licenses or fill orders for a cyber solution subscription. We develop genuine relationships with our customers, and act as trusted advisors to them.” That trust relationship helps ISA Cybersecurity build a deep understanding of their customers so they know what to recommend as part of an overall strategy, where investments should be made, and where money can be saved. Cybersecurity is a continuing journey: it is essential to keep on top of the ever-changing array of security services, innovations, and threats.

ISA Cybersecurity’s expertise in a wide range of industries has also contributed to their long-term success. ISA Cybersecurity has been able to achieve this by providing their solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of services and offerings such as Advisory and Assessment Services, Architecture Design and Implementation Services, Managed Services, and a growing range of Hosted Services including subscription-based SIEM, endpoint security, security awareness, threat intelligence, and vulnerability management services supported 24x7x365 through a state-of-the-art SOC 2, Type II-certified Cybersecurity Intelligence and Operations Centre (CIOC). Their Digital Forensics and Incident Response Services (DFIR) help customers prepare and respond to cyber attack. Finally, the Cyber Management Consulting (CMC) practice is designed to help enterprises deal with the overarching aspects of cyber governance, risk, compliance, and privacy. The CMC features a team of accomplished associates who bring decades of experience and empower ISA Cybersecurity to deliver on a key objective: “Our goal is to empower organizations to build and operate risk-based cybersecurity programs for their business and to ensure they have the best protection for their specific needs,” Enza says.

“we get people excited about what we’re accomplishing and where we’re going as an organization.”

Experience, Expertise & Passion
It was 30 years ago that Enza embarked on a career in IT. Through this journey, she has had a chance to explore various facets of the industry and the world. She shares, “I started my career in a marketing role, before moving into C-level roles in finance and operations. The operations role was a wonderful challenge, involving the delivery of a managed and hosted services portfolio, professional services, and application development services. Over time, I found myself drawn to the business development and sales leadership side of the operation, where I managed building expansions and participated in mergers and acquisitions, helping to acquire companies to provide technology and communication solutions that drove better business impacts for the customers. That senior role gave me the opportunity to act as a strategic advisor for some of the top leaders in finance, insurance, manufacturing, and technology.” After 20 years at that first company, she made the move to a large IT services organization and became their global COO and Executive Vice-President, running and managing a $100-million healthcare technology practice throughout North America. In just three years, they grew the business by 400% as part of a global growth and acquisition strategy. After several years with that organization, which included extensive travel throughout the world, Enza decided to take a break. “So, I started my consultancy practice,” she continues. “My firm helped global organizations with Canadian government regulatory and compliance approvals and helped them build growth strategies, primarily around sales and marketing, but sometimes extending to advice on process standards and controls around business operations. That brought me in touch with ISA Cybersecurity – and the rest is history.” While working at ISA Cybersecurity, Enza became fascinated with the growing importance of cybersecurity in people’s business and personal lives. She believes cybersecurity is more than just a job – it’s a calling. Protecting sensitive personal data through security awareness education, preventing a potentially devastating cyber breach, or helping customers navigate their way out of a ransomware attack – these activities have real implications on people’s lives. She finds it hugely rewarding to help defend businesses from cyber attack while blocking criminals who seek to profit from fraud and extortion.

Enza Alexander: Building Secure Businesses
Enza Alexander

“as a woman in technology, believe that you can be a world-class leader. ”

Looking through the Magnifying Glass: Challenges & Opportunities
Cyber threats continue to grow year over year. From state-sponsored attacks to ransomware-as-a-service to third-party and supply-chain risk, businesses face threats in numbers and sophistication never seen before. But Enza shares that the biggest challenge for cybersecurity companies like ISA Cybersecurity is “maintaining our world-class teams. There’s a talent gap in the cybersecurity market, and competition is fierce for the best and brightest. But I’m proud to say it’s a challenge we’ve faced head-on as a company. Attracting and building world-class teams requires an element of expertise and an element of vision. We are constantly refining our processes; constantly acquiring, developing, and training new technologies. In short, we get people excited about what we’re accomplishing and where we’re going as an organization.

This blend of excitement and positive attitude served ISA Cybersecurity well at a critical juncture during the pandemic when they launched their most recent practice: Cyber Management Consulting (CMC). Enza says, “We are very excited to have officially launched this important practice in late 2021. Particularly throughout the COVID-19 era, companies were racing to accelerate their digital transformations. Our CMC practice gives them access to proven leaders who understand the compliance and best practices required to develop a complete cyber program. We have already seen several enterprise success stories emerge from the CMC practice, and I couldn’t be more excited about bringing the services within this practice to even more customers.

The need for cybersecurity is here, but the landscape is always changing. Looking ahead five years, there will be a consolidation of cyber services focused on risk mitigation, and a continuing trend of customers consuming more “as-a-service” cybersecurity. Customers will continue implementing cloud-based services and offerings across their business, and this cloud transformation will extend to cybersecurity services as it has in other areas. Enza observes, “One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 era is that we have seen accelerated digital transformation for businesses of all sizes, in all industries. Many companies that may have been hesitant to adopt technology were forced to change their business approaches, and at a rapid pace. Maturing and modernizing their cyber programs to move from ‘tactical’ to ‘strategic’ security – that needs to be part of that journey as well.

Time for Change: A Woman’s Perspective
As a trailblazer, Enza has critical lessons for future leaders. She says, “Women in cyber – your time is now. I’ve described the talent gap in the cybersecurity industry. We need help. We need talent and we need leaders. Diversity is top of mind for companies and their boards and leadership today. I say, as a woman in technology, believe that you can be a world-class leader. Leverage the extensive resources and women-in-cyber organizations that are out there. Build a network of associations and collaborations that will help you gain experiences and knowledge to be the best that you can be. Continue to pursue those roles that fit your passions. Put no limits in your way. The industry – and the world – need women in cybersecurity now. I would love to hear from women who are interested in pursuing professions in the field of cybersecurity – to share experiences, discuss challenges, and explore future career opportunities. Follow me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/enzaalexander.