Your cyber security specialists: Hivint

We have such a diverse range of members in our coworking facilities , which is why our 5 Minutes with a Member series is constantly delivering completely different business stories. We love to share their journeys and insights which is why we are pleased to bring you the story of Hivint.

We spoke to Nick Ellsmore about winning a Telstra Business Award, the advantages of being nice to people and what he loves about coworking.

So Nick, tell us what Hivint is all about!

We are a cyber security advisory firm, enabled by our portal at (There’s a free level of access… head along and sign up). We have a technical team that hacks into systems to test security, and a strategy team that helps companies figure out what to do about the cyber threat.

What is your working background? 

I started my first real company, SIFT, in the final year of University, and starting with that seed, I have built, acquired, merged, and sold companies, all in the cyber-security industry.

I was the recipient of the inaugural “Information Security Professional of the Year” Award at the AISA Awards 2012 for his contribution to the industry and his role in building SIFT and Stratsec into the largest information security consulting firm in Australia, receiving awards including the national “Business of the Year” in the Telstra Business Awards 2010, and “Employer of the Year” at the AISA Awards across multiple years, along with recognition in the BRW Fast 100 and the Australian Export Awards.  I have personally delivered over 100 presentations at conferences and events in the period 2000 to 2012, receiving the 'best speaker' award multiple times.

I have also served on industry boards including the Internet Industry Association, the NATA AAC for Software Testing, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Industry Advisory Boards for UNSW, and is a past Australian delegate to the APEC TEL Security & Prosperity Steering Group.  Nick has been the 'Acting IT Security Manager' or 'Independent Security Steering Committee Member' for multiple ASX20 organisations and has authored a range of intelligence reports for the Attorney-General’s Department’s Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN).  I have been engaged by regional governments to review their national cyber-security strategies, and has delivered projects for APEC and the United Nations.

After a 2 year hiatus with Delling Advisory where I was involved in cyber-security industry mergers & acquisitions, I am now working with Hivint, building a collaboration portal ( for the Australian information security industry.  I am an Advisor to Bugcrowd (crowdsourced security testing, and MeanPath (a source-code level search engine,

Wow that's quite an impressive resume! What is it like coming from a traditional office into coworking space? What made you decide that Gravity is the coworking space for you?

Compared to many of the other coworking facilities, it’s pretty corporate. As much as we love the hacker culture as much as the next guy, these days our clients generally need us to suit up. We’d feel weird in most of the startup-centric spaces.


What is one of your greatest work achievements?

Winning the overall national “Business of the Year” in the Telstra Business Awards 2010 and being called “Australia’s Best Business”.

Award winning as well as talented! What gets you out of bed each day? Tell us what you love most about what you do.

The cyber security industry is rapidly changing. It’s not unrealistic to call it an arms race between the good guys and the bad guys. It’s fun to be on the front line of something very current. Every day is like an episode of CSI:Cyber. Well, maybe not. But it’s still pretty exciting.

Favourite book?

Microserfs, by Douglas Coupland. (Who was the author of, and coined the phrase, “Generation X”).

Piece of advice for our other members and for startups and entrepreneurs out there?

Be nice to people. Australia is a really small market, and is very fluid in terms of people moving between companies, industries, from supplier-side to customer-side, from consulting to end-client, and so on. So your competitors today could be your clients tomorrow. Your client today could be your employee tomorrow. And your own staff today, could be your competitors tomorrow. You’re going to be much better off if you’re on good terms with all of them.

Excellent advice and thanks again for your time. Back to ruling the security advisory world!

Check our more of our 5 Minutes with a Member posts here.