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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

Innovation

Wombat Security targets the weakest link for cyber success, hiring

First came Phil, the anti-phishing fish who taught employees how to fend off internet predators. Then Phyllis jumped into the pool to help us learn to identify fraudulent emails. 
 
Wombat Security Technologies in Oakland has moved beyond its anti-phishing tools and pools to offer companies a wider, more comprehensive approach to cyber security. Its latest release, Security Training Platform, gives firms a new level of cyber security support. The offering has proven so successful, Wombat has doubled its customer base in the last eight months, has added many Fortune 500 companies and plans to hire.     
 
"For years, people have thrown tech solutions at the problem of keeping businesses safe," explains Joe Ferrara, president and CEO, who joined the Wombat team in March of this year. "At the same time people have put less emphasis on the end user. The end user is the weakest link in the chain of events to protect companies. That's our focus."
 
Many companies and agencies were finding they had breaches and issues that weren't being addressed, Ferrara adds. "We needed to take a completely different approach. Our platform has dramatically changed employee behavior online; it hit the market at exactly the right time."
 
By embedding learning science principles into software to convey the right principles and strategies,  companies are able to determine which employees are the most vulnerable and work with them. The software provides strategies to remedy the weak link. 
 
"This takes us to a new level of data we can capture," says Ferrara. 
 
Wombat, a Carnegie Mellon spinout, moved this year to Henry Street, near the Project Olympus office, and has doubled in size to 12-14 employees. The entire management team is new, having joined in the last year. Hiring across the board is expected: developers, software developers, sales and marketing.
 
Over the next year, Wombat plans to expand products to further train employees on how to recognize and avoid advanced persistent threats caused by phishing, social media scams, and other attacks. The platform's analytics enable companies to measure the success of the efforts and target training to those users that need it most. 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Joe Ferrara, Wombat
 
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