Directors / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Ty Miller, Founder & Managing Director of Threat Intelligence

Ty Miller is the Founder & Managing Director of specialist security consultancy Threat Intelligence, and most recently the introduction of the world’s first dedicated security automation cloud, Evolve.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

My career kicked off once I had completed a BTech degree and I went to work at Macquarie University. This is where I learnt to hack, and it gave me a feel for managing large scale security issues. Ethical hacking became my chosen career path and after working for another security consultancy I decided to launch my own firm.

As Managing Director, I have been able to design and build the professional services and solutions I wanted for clients. I have built a visionary team that has innovated how we deliver IT security to people and organisations – everyone really ‘just gets it’.

Currently we are rolling out the world’s first dedicated automated security platform, Evolve. It’s been really challenging but satisfying to know that we are transforming the traditional approach to security.

Evolve has been designed to be highly scalable and flexible so organisations can customise it to meet security budgets, enhance their security capabilities, and expand their skills to keep them safe. We are working closely with clients coming on board and it’s a powerful difference to each and every one of them.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

One thing that I have done since having a family is build in a level of predictability to our family life that keeps me grounded.

So, this usually means one of the kids waking my wife and I up each day, me heading out to make sure we have a caffeine hit and then some one on one time with them before they head out to school. Lately this has been a daily maths session and I am not sure who gets the most out of it – the kids or me!

Then I head into the office and I use my commute time to maximise my output every day. Once I am in our office it’s prioritising issues, team needs, marketing and operations, plus development priorities and where critical client projects are at.

All of our client projects are critical but some more nosebleed critical than others. I am always switching my mindset between the technical and the people side of our business which is crucial. I also try and stay on top of researching potential new talented employees to help us keep up with our growth.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

My role really demands flexible and remote working. Flexible from the point of view of the customer. Taking a call for a security breach costing the client $10,000 an hour to stay off air has to take priority wherever I am. And remote working, whether that’s on site or anywhere in the world comes with the job.

I have built a great team around the world and this helps manage the issues of time zones and 24/7 IT security demands. The team culture is really supportive, and we use the world’s biggest security conference, Black Hat USA as a team bonding session every year. We train and present key security findings each year and it’s a great way to recognise up and coming talent in the team.

I also delegate as much as I can and trust the people in the team to deliver – we all know what to do so I just let them get on and do it.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

I really block time out to manage priorities. You can find me spending blocks of time on client servicing, development and operational issues. That way I can concentrate on making decisions the team can execute and this helps meet deadlines.

I have learnt to be really focused on priorities and this means what is best for the business. And it really helps to decompress when you need to. That’s the only way you can keep the energy flowing and this is a high energy industry.

5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I really work to make sure mornings and evenings are family time. It goes so quickly but it’s my priority.

I work at nights when required and this is more often than not when you are running a busy consulting firm and launching a new product, but I have a policy to try to stay off the computer on the weekends. Inevitable family life activities tend to take me away from the screen and focus on sport, parties. It keeps it real for me.

6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Building a scale roadmap for a global business takes enormous dedication and commitment and over the year’s it’s taken significant time. I know I have a much better handle on focusing on the priorities in the business on a daily basis now, than compared to when I kicked off.

I am extremely fortunate I have a very supportive life partner who not only supports what I do and understands the time commitment it takes but is also strong enough to remind me how important it is to re-calibrate the work life balance when it’s needed.

That in itself is a motivating factor to prioritise more and it’s become a strong habit for me.

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

Well apart from the one book on IT security I wrote – Hacking Exposed Linux 3rd Edition – I have to admit I have not read a full book since I left uni! But my learning has always continued. I excel at reading with purpose from any digital material I can get my hands on. I am constantly skilling up on what I do so I am still reading.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I am absolutely committed to making the most of technology to automate tasks and produce better outcomes.

From planning and team software to prioritise tasks to chunking blocks of time to get things done – it helps me maximise my time in the office. If you can’t find me, I am often locked away somewhere with headphones on not letting anything distract me from the task at hand.

The majority of what we do is absolutely mission critical for clients this is important to recognise singular focus is more effective than multi-tasking when required.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

It’s really true what they say when they say find something you love, and you will never work a day in your life. This is an exciting industry and I really feel that we help people and organisations in a constructive way. So, I never feel unbalanced.

I have also found a way to surround myself with people that I care about and who care about me – whether that’s my wife working in the business – or people that have worked with me for many years. We all go the extra yard when we need to and support each other at other times.

It’s great to have like minded people around you and I recommend it to any business owner or someone looking to launch a business. Find your people is a great place to start.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.