Bryant Bank is proud to be a collaborative partner for thousands of small businesses throughout the state of Alabama. To celebrate National Small Business Week, we wanted to feature one of our incredible small businesses in Huntsville. Mission Multiplier is a cybersecurity company that specializes in providing cybersecurity subject matter expertise and thought leadership to other small businesses.
We caught up with Mission Multiplier’s founder and chief executive officer, Jamie Miller for a short Q&A for our latest Bryant Bank Blog.
What is Mission Multiplier?
Mission Multiplier is a HUBZone certified small business headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, providing cybersecurity subject matter expertise and thought leadership. Mission Multiplier’s core competency is “All Things Cybersecurity”. We offer services across the full life-cycle of cybersecurity, from assessment to strategy, and engineering to operations. Although Mission Multiplier supports traditional cybersecurity offerings such as risk assessments, compliance testing, and cyber strategy/policy formulation, we bring access to our Cyber Lab where we develop and implement one-of-a-kind cyber innovations and solutions, such as ISSO-as-a-Service, MARS Box, MI:CIOP, and SATURN-i.
Mission Multiplier’s innovative business model is designed to give back to the community. For every hour an employee works on a billable project, a percent of the profit gets directed to a local charity of the employee’s choice. In this way, each employee knows that they are not just working to support their careers and the business, but that they are also directly supporting the local community – and more importantly, an organization and cause that they are passionate about. In essence, our employees are not just working for a paycheck. They are working for something bigger than themselves, and something personally important to them. In this way, each person in our organization becomes a Mission Multiplier.
How did you get started in the industry and launch your business?
This is kind of a long story, and if anyone wants to hear the full version, please let me know; but I essentially “grew up” in the cybersecurity field. After grad school (where I got my MBA), I helped to launch an internet start-up company that failed miserably (this is a really interesting story in its own right); so a friend of mine helped me to get a job with a major IT systems integrator. Shortly thereafter, 9-11 happened, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed, and a significant amount of work and opportunities opened up in the area of cybersecurity. I was offered access to projects both implementing and managing cybersecurity initiatives, with growing levels of responsibility, and I realized that I loved it. I thought that the discipline was interesting, and it was evolving every day. There were new challenges and a need for new ideas and solutions for how to solve those challenges. In this fast-paced and evolving environment, I found myself flourishing, and I quickly rose up through the ranks of my organization.
Until one day (or a really a series of several days), when my first child was born – and he was born early (and with some health challenges) — I realized that it was not all about clocking hours, driving revenues, and profits. This insight was simultaneously coupled with an offer from my partner to manage a very large and “must win” proposal/project. When I communicated to my partner that my personal situation could not allow me to invest the required personal time investment that was required to take on the project (during a very stressful personal time), I was told that they would not take “No” for an answer. This lack of support led me to leave that organization and to jump-start onto a new path.
A path where we would leave Washington, D.C., I would start a small business, actualize new cyber solutions and products, and one where we would build a new community in Huntsville, Alabama.
What is life like for you as a small business owner?
Life as a small business owner is incredibly rewarding. Although there are constant and significant challenges that have to be managed and thought out, it is the ultimate platform where you get to actualize and co-create a vision that you define and evolve with your team. Every day is exciting, fast-paced, and something different; and although it requires long days and sacrifices to be made with friends and family, you are able to make an immediate and lasting impact – and I wouldn’t do it any other way.
How do you encourage other small businesses to be cautious and aware of the security of their online & internet-connected systems?
Unfortunately, cyber adversaries (or hackers) are ever present these days, and they are looking to profit by compromising your IT network to steal information, and negatively impact the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data; so it is imperative that all organizations, especially small businesses, are mindful of their cybersecurity risk posture. To this end, we encourage all businesses to conduct periodic cyber risk assessments to determine their level of exposure to cyber threats and vulnerabilities. The results of these assessments will help identify key recommendations that can be implemented. It is important to note, though, that organizations do not have to spend a ton of money to be adequately protected. There are numerous cost-effective solutions that can be implemented that will go a long way to helping organizations become more secure.
How has your experience been as a Bryant Bank customer and how does the bank help you as a small business owner?
Arriving to town over five years ago, and starting a business (not knowing hardly anyone in the community), Mike Johnston at Bryant Bank was one of the first people that I met. At that time, I was just a guy from Washington, D.C. with a crazy idea, but I was treated by Mike and his team as a family member. Mike helped me to get integrated into the community, and pointed in the right direction; and ever since then, Bryant Bank has always been responsive, helpful, and willing to go the extra mile to help me, Mission Multiplier, and my family. Therefore, I am incredibly grateful for Bryant Bank.
To learn more about Mission Multiplier, visit their website: missionmultiplier.com