ProductsCurrent IntelligenceCustomersResourcesAbout
About iDefense
About VeriSign
Leadership Team
Contact Us
Home  //  About  //  Leadership Team
Security Expertise

John P. Watters, CEO, iDefense; Vice President and General Manager, VeriSign MSS
In his role as iDefense CEO and VeriSign VP, Mr. Watters leads the strategic direction of iDefense, a business unit of VeriSign Security Services. He led the investment group that acquired the company in May 2002, prior to VeriSign's acquisition of iDefense in July 2005. Mr. Watters spent more than 15 years in the investment business in both New York City and Dallas before his acquisition of iDefense. In 1994, Watters became Chairman and CEO of EFO Holdings Inc. EFO Holdings acted as the principal investment arm of the late Perry Eugene "Bill" Esping, the founder, former Chairman and CEO of First Data Resources Corp. Mr. Watters directed all investment and asset management functions for Esping and related entities. He also served as the general partner of several investment partnerships that coupled EFO investment capital with several other groups and individuals. With the passing of Bill Esping in 1998, Mr. Watters sold his interests in EFO Holdings and formed Dorset Capital Corp. to manage public and private investments. Mr. Watters has served on more than a dozen corporate boards of directors during his career. He currently serves on two corporate and two philanthropic boards; those of iDefense Inc. and Univessence Digital Studies, and the Jesuit College Preparatory School Foundation and the St. Anthony School Foundation. Mr. Watters has also been actively involved in supporting scholarships for inner-city children in Dallas for more than 10 years. He chaired the fundraising activities for the St. Anthony School from 1998 through 2003, during which time more than $5 million was raised for inner-city education under his leadership. Mr. Watters received a B.S.C. in Finance from Santa Clara University, and attended the London School of Economics.

Joseph P. Payne, President and COO iDefense; Vice President and General Manager, VeriSign MSS
Mr. Payne is responsible for the operations of the company, including the intelligence organization, sales, marketing and product development at iDefense. In addition to managing the daily activity, he is charged with developing strategic and tactical plans for these departments. Mr. Payne has held numerous leadership positions in Enterprise Software companies. Prior to joining iDefense, he was President & CEO of eSecurity Inc., the leading provider of Real-Time Threat Management Software, and responsible for its strategic direction and daily operations. Mr. Payne was President and CEO of eGrail, a Bethesda-based enterprise software company. In April 2002, Mr. Payne successfully engineered the sale of eGrail 's assets to FileNet Corporation. Mr. Payne offers more than 15 years of leadership and experience from some of the world's most recognized companies, including MicroStrategy Inc., where Mr. Payne served as Chief Marketing Officer. He was responsible for the worldwide marketing of its products to customers, prospects, media, investors and all constituencies associated with the company. Mr. Payne held several executive-level positions at InteliData Technologies, including President and CEO of its Telecommunications Division. Mr. Payne served as Vice President of Marketing for Royal Crown Company Inc. He served as a manager in the Brand Group at Coca-Cola USA , where he was part of a four-person team responsible for all consumer positioning, marketing and sales strategies for the $10-billion Coca-Cola brand. Mr. Payne also served as a brand assistant at Procter & Gamble on the "Mr. Clean" brand. Mr. Payne is a Fuqua Scholar and received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Ken Dunham, Director – Rapid Response Team
Mr. Dunham has more than a decade of experience on the front lines of information security. He oversees all company malicious code intelligence operations. He frequently briefs upper levels of federal cyber security authorities on emerging threats, and regularly interfaces with vulnerability and geopolitical experts to assemble comprehensive malicious code intelligence. Mr. Dunham regularly discovers new malicious code, has written anti-virus software for Macintosh, and has written about malicious code for, SecurityPortal, AtomicTangerine and Ubizen. Mr. Dunham is a member of AVIEN, Virus Bulletin, InfraGard, The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and other groups. Mr. Dunham also works as a Wildlist Reporter each month with the Wildlist organization. He authored Bigelow's Virus Troubleshooting Pocket Reference, a book on computer viruses published by McGraw-Hill, and is a regular columnist for an information security magazine. Mr. Dunham is also the founder and President of the Boise, Idaho, Information Systems Security Association chapter and President and Founder of the Idaho InfraGard program, working in conjunction with the FBI.

Michael Sutton, Director - iDefense Labs
Mr. Sutton heads both iDefense Labs and the Vulnerability Aggregation Team (VAT). iDefense Labs is the research and development arm of the company, which is responsible for discovering original security vulnerabilities in hardware and software implementations, while VAT focuses on researching publicly known vulnerabilities. His other responsibilities include developing tools and methodologies to further vulnerability research, and managing the iDefense Vulnerability Contributor Program (VCP). Prior to joining iDefense, Mr. Sutton established the Information Systems Assurance and Advisory Services (ISAAS) practice for Ernst & Young in Bermuda. He is also a frequent presenter at information security conferences. Mr. Sutton obtained his Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation in 1998, and is a member of Information Systems Audit and Control Association. He completed a master's degree in Information Systems Technology at George Washington University, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and is a Chartered Accountant.

Jim Melnick, Director - Threat Intelligence
Mr. Melnick leads the global threat intelligence group that focuses on cyber threats around the world, from nation states and hacker groups to new technologies. Prior to joining iDefense, Mr. Melnick served with distinction for more than 16 years in the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency. During this period, Mr. Melnick served in a variety of roles, including psychological operations, international warning issues with emphasis on foreign affairs and information operations and Russian affairs. He also served in active political/military intelligence roles with an emphasis on foreign affairs. Mr. Melnick is currently a U.S. Army Reserve Colonel with Military Intelligence, assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Melnick has been published in numerous military and foreign affairs journals, and has received numerous military and DIA awards. Mr. Melnick has a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, a Master of Arts in Russian studies from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science from Westminster College.

Ramses Martinez, Director – Malicious Code
Mr. Martinez heads the iDefense Malicious Code Discovery Group. This group is responsible for the active collection of open-source intelligence, and for the reporting and analysis of public reports and outbreaks of malicious code. Mr. Martinez also directs the malicious code research arm of the company, which is tasked with the development of tools for discovery and analysis of malicious code and related threats. Before joining iDefense, Mr. Martinez worked with several major US corporations, including Nortel and FPL, in the design and implementation of network security architecture with an emphasis on intrusion detection systems and the mitigation of malicious code propagation. His educational background includes a Master's of Science in Information Security and a Bachelor of Computer Science at from Nova Southeastern University. Mr. Martinez is a veteran of the US Navy, where he specialized in electronics and served as a translator.