History

Wombat Security Technologies is a company born from research at the world-renowned Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). In June 2008 the company was founded by Drs. Lorrie Cranor, Jason Hong, and Norman Sadeh, all faculty members at the CMU School of Computer Science. 

While at CMU, our cofounders lead the largest national research project on combating phishing attacks. Their goal was to address the human element in cyber security and develop novel, more effective anti-phishing filtering solutions.

This project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, yielded a uniquely effective suite of cyber security software training and filtering technologies. These technologies provided the foundation for Wombat Security Technologies’ line of products and continue to be refined and extended by our co-founders.

Find out more about the original Wombat team here.

Today

Today Wombat Security Technologies, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, provides information security awareness and training software to help organizations teach their employees secure behavior. Our Security Education Platform includes integrated knowledge assessments, a library of simulated attacks, and interactive training modules, which have been proven to reduce successful phishing attacks and malware infections by up to 90%.

Our Management Team

Joe Ferrara, President and CEO

Joining Wombat in 2011, Joe brings 20 years of experience in technology marketing, operations and management to his role as President and CEO. Recently Joe was a finalist for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and received a CEO of the Year award from CEO World. Joe has provided expert commentary and has spoken at numerous information security industry events including RSA Europe, the CISO Executive Network forum, ISSA International and information security regional conferences. His previous roles include President, CEO and Chairman of Tollgrade Communications, CEO of Marconi Communications North America and General Manager of Ericsson’s Wireless Software & Services and Routing & Switching Divisions. Joe holds an MBA from the University of Maryland and a B.S. from Penn State University.

Norman Sadeh, Chairman, Chief Scientist, and Cofounder

Norman served as founding CEO of Wombat from 2008 to 2011. Under his leadership, the company developed and launched what has proved to be the most comprehensive and effective suite of anti-phishing training and filtering products available today. In his current role as Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientist, Norman remains actively involved in the company, working with the management team on business and technology strategies while continuing to contribute to the development of the company’s products. Norman is also a professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where he directs the Mobile Commerce Lab and the MBA Track in Technology Leadership. He co-founded and co-directs the Master's Program in Privacy Engineering, and currently leads one of the National Science Foundation's  largest research  projects in cybersecurity and privacy ("SaTC Frontier project"). During the late 1990s, Norman also served as Chief Scientist of the EU’s $800 million initiative in “e-Work and e-Commerce,” which, at the time, included all pan-European cyber security and online privacy research. Norman holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from CMU, an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and a B.S./M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and applied physics from Brussels Free University.

Jason Hong, CTO and Cofounder

Jason was integral to the early development of Wombat’s anti-phishing training suite. He continues to provide strategic technical direction today in addition to his full-time role at Carnegie Mellon University. Jason joined the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 as an assistant professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute. He works in the areas of ubiquitous computing and usable privacy and security, focusing on location-based services, anti-phishing, mobile social computing and end-user programming. He is also an author of the book “The Design of Sites” (Addison-Wesley, 2001), a pattern-based approach to designing customer-centered web sites. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his undergraduate degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Lorrie Cranor, Board Member and Cofounder

Lorrie’s expertise and guidance in privacy and info security has been invaluable to Wombat’s early progress and continued growth. In addition to her contributions at Wombat, Lorrie is an associate professor in the School of Computer Science and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She is director of the CMU Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) Laboratory. She has authored more than 80 research papers about online privacy, phishing and semantic attacks, spam, electronic voting, anonymous publishing, usable access control, and other topics. She has served on a number of boards, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation Board of Directors, and on the editorial boards of several journals. In 2003, she was named one of the top 100 innovators age 35 or younger by Technology Review magazine. She was previously a researcher at AT&T-Labs Research and taught in the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Kurt Wescoe, Vice President of Engineering

Kurt brings in-depth software engineering and software security expertise to Wombat, having worked for many years as a software consultant. As VP of Engineering, he leads the software engineering department and is responsible for making sure that Wombat’s software solutions are scalable, dependable and are architected to meet the evolving needs of Wombat’s customers. Kurt also serves as a faculty member in the School of Computer Science’s master’s program in e-Business at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He has a M.Sc. in E-Commerce from CMU and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Ralph P. Massaro, Vice President of Sales and Operations

As VP of Sales, Ralph leads Wombat’s direct and indirect sales activities which have contributed to Wombat’s significant growth. Ralph brings extensive sales, marketing, and operations experience to Wombat, including prior roles as VP of Sales and Marketing for both Solvaire Technologies and TekMethods, and as General Manager of Content Products at LogicLibrary. Ralph spent eight years at PassGo Technologies, where he was North American General Manager and VP of Worldwide Sales. While at PassGo, he quadrupled North American revenue and helped to position the company for acquisition by Axent Technologies (Symantec). Ralph began his technology sales career at Duquesne Systems/Legent, where he held several sales and sales management positions. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Robert Morris College.

Amy Baker, Vice President of Marketing

Amy Baker, Vice President of Marketing at Wombat Security Technologies, is a veteran marketer who has been in the information technology and security industry for more than ten years. Amy has extensive experience in developing internal communications that drive cultural change and has been specifically focused on info security awareness and training for the last few years. She has presented at ISSA events and written for and been quoted in publications such as Dark Reading, The Business Journals, SecureBuzz, and Wombat Security’s blog. She has held marketing leadership roles in technology companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 20, including Metis Secure Solutions, BioReliance, , McKesson, Marconi Communications, and Ericsson. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Molly Bissell, Vice President of Customer Service and Operations

Molly has had more than 20 years of experience leading operational teams, including customer service, IT, order management, facilities, finance, network operations, logistics, and supply chain. Prior to joining Wombat, she was the Senior Vice President of Operations at Carnegie Learning, which was sold to the Apollo Group in 2011. Molly previously led Global Service businesses for Ericsson, Marconi, and FORE Systems, including global 24/7 teams in Sao Paulo, Dublin, Montreal, Cleveland, Dallas, and Pittsburgh. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.S. in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. 

Melanie M. Shivetts, Controller

Melanie Shivetts joined Wombat Security Technologies as Controller in August 2013. She has more than 20 years of experience in the software technology industry, ranging from Fortune 50 to early-stage start-up companies. Prior to joining Wombat, Melanie served as Vice President of Finance and Operations for Carnegie Speech Company, where she was responsible for all of the company's finance, accounting, human resources, and legal operations; she also served as Secretary. Other prior experience includes roles as Director of Operations at Wisdom Technologies and various finance and accounting positions at IBM. Melanie holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.