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Mantel Group today announced that cyber veteran and serial entrepreneur, Nick Ellsmore, will lead its cyber security capability, with an ambition to expand its size to 150+ specialists within 24 months.

A 25-year veteran of the Australian cyber security industry, Ellsmore has built and sold two of Australia’s leading cyber security professional services firms – Hivint, acquired by Trustwave in 2018, and Stratsec, acquired by BAE Systems Australia in 2010. Both companies were Telstra Business Awards Winners and members of ‘fast growth’ lists. He has written security strategies for multiple of the ASX50, presented to meetings of APEC and OECD working groups, and led the design of the operating model for one of the federal government’s ‘cyber hubs’ under the 2021 Cyber Security Strategy.

Ellsmore takes the reins from Adam Durbin who will move into the role of Mantel Group, Chief Technology Officer, focusing on building innovative customer solutions.

“There is no better person than Nick to lead Mantel Group’s security capability to the next level. In a time where the focus from business leaders on security is at all time highs, and new technologies like Generative AI are changing both the threat and defence landscape, requiring organisations to revolutionise the way they manage their security. We are excited to have Nick join to focus on ensuring Mantel Group are leaders in cyber security,” says Durbin.

Ellsmore says Mantel Group is well positioned to solve the most acute problem facing organisations in relation to cyber security, namely the lack of resources and breadth of skills to address known gaps.

“The market is shifting and to have the maximum impact in the cybersecurity space, you need to do more than just cybersecurity. Every ASX-listed company, every private company in the top 1000, every government agency has had a security review done by this point. The problem is not being able to close the known gaps,” says Ellsmore

“This may sound counter-intuitive coming from a security professional, but security professionals have a narrow field of vision. For security to be an enabler, and not a burden, you need to step back and see the bigger picture. Through the cloud, data and digital capabilities alongside cyber security, Mantel Group can provide more complete solutions to security challenges, and avoid some security challenges altogether through better strategy and design.” says Ellsmore.

Mantel Group’s culture and people were a major drawcard for Ellsmore, along with the company’s appetite and capability for fast growth, both organic and through acquisition. “Mantel Group’s approach of being a principles-based organisation really resonates given my entrepreneurial history, and the culture has attracted a really impressive team. Having a mandate to pursue growth aggressively, and the resources to do so, that’s how I like to operate,” says Ellsmore.