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Pratum Acquires Seneca Security - Digital Forensics Firm

Iowa Based Cybersecurity Firm Expands into Minnesota and Wisconsin Through Strategic Acquisition of Seneca Security

[Ankeny, IA, October 22, 2019] Pratum, Iowa-based cybersecurity firm, today announced the acquisition of Seneca Security, a Twin Cities area-based digital forensics firm. Seneca provides forensics expertise to guide clients in internal corporate investigations, criminal and civil litigation, and data breach response.

The acquisition enhances Pratum’s ability to deliver comprehensive security services by increasing forensics capacity and incident response expertise. As clients continue to search for providers that offer a full suite of cybersecurity services, Pratum is evolving its services to remain ahead of demand. The leadership, business model, and geographic location of Seneca Security make it a great fit for Pratum.

“With the acquisition of Seneca Security, we were able to expand our digital forensics practice while simultaneously gaining a foothold in a new market. This is a win for both companies and positions Pratum to continue our strong pattern of growth,” commented Dave Nelson, Founder and CEO at Pratum.

The addition of Seneca immediately establishes Pratum as a contender in the Twin Cities market. Pratum now has employees and offices extending from the northern Midwest down to Southeast Texas.

We are thrilled to be part of the Pratum family. By joining forces, I can remain focused on digital forensics services while contributing to a team that delivers all-inclusive security services.”

Lucas Woodland, Founder and CEO at Seneca Security

Pratum's acquisition of Seneca Security was completed on October 4, 2019, and the parties are executing a seamless transition plan for current customers of Seneca Security.

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Best Buy Email Gift Card Scam

Gift card phishing campaigns are on the rise. These scams can be believable and tricky to recognize until it’s too late. Being informed on how this type of scam works will keep you better protected and prevent you from saying: “I can’t believe I just lost $1,000! How could I have fallen for something like this?”.

Emily is one example of falling victim to gift card phishing. Trouble started when she received an email from her company’s CEO requesting a favor. The email stated that he wanted her to get five (5) $200 Best Buy™ gift cards and send the codes to him within an hour. It also stated that she must reply via email only, because he was headed into a meeting. Most people do what their CEO asks, so Emily went to Best Buy™ to purchase the gift cards. After they’re paid for, she sends the codes to her CEO just as he asked. Emily thinks nothing of it and heads back to the office. She later bumps into the CEO and asks if he received her email with the gift card codes. Confused, he tells her that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. With a sick feeling in her stomach, she realizes that someone was imitating her CEO, and she was just scammed out of $1,000.

Emily’s not alone; this has happened to countless people around the world. Phishers are typically skilled at finding an employee’s name and their position within the company, making them an easy target. They prey on their victims by sending an email posing as the CEO or any type of upper management requesting gift card codes. The email instructs the victim to “act quickly”, creating a sense of urgency and less time to notice it’s a scam. It will also require the victim to respond by email only, stating that the sender is headed to a meeting and won’t have phone access. The details of this email can create an illusion of a legitimate request, making it easy to fall for. Unfortunately, by the time it’s discovered that it was a scam, often times the hackers have already spent the money, and there is no way to get it back.

Take these steps to help prevent and protect yourself from email gift card scams:

  • Be Diligent: These emails may seem legit, but always take a moment to check the email address, wording, and general layout for any peculiarities that indicate it’s fraudulent.
  • Trust, but Verify: If you have suspicions about whether the email is valid, the best option is to verify with the sender in person or by phone. Don’t respond to the email!
  • Exercise Caution: Whatever happens, do not give out your phone number or other personal information. This allows the imitator to use your phone number for other reasons and could lead to worse crimes.

Scammers are highly skilled at targeting human nature, which is why many people fall for their schemes. Gift card phishing campaigns are hot right now, but phishers are creative, and it’s only a matter of time before a new campaign rolls out. The best way to protect yourself from scammers is by becoming informed. The more people who recognize their tactics, the less power they have.

Security Awareness Resources
Information Security Consulting

What comes to mind when you hear security consultant? Maybe you’re thinking it’s a person who gives professional advice about security. While that is correct, security consulting is more than just swooping into your organization, providing the best security recommendations, calling it good, and riding off into the sunset. The more likely scenario is that your consultant will become a vital asset to your organization.

Giving great advice is only a cog in the security consulting machine. At the core of the operation is the drive to ensure your organization and its information are protected. Consultants become a trusted ally as you navigate your way through enhancing your organization’s security program.

Upon conducting an initial assessment of your security risks, the consultant begins to design a shield that is tailored specifically to your security needs. Possessing expert knowledge, maintaining an unbiased perspective, and being relationship focused all have a large part in the creation of this shield.

The security threat landscape is ever-changing, and a security consultant will ensure that your program is continuously evolving, too. It’s no secret that a security breach can have immediate and lasting effects on your organization and having someone on your team whose job is to constantly be aware of your risk offers substantial peace of mind. When a security consultant is watching your back, you have the power to focus on future business objectives.

Spreading security awareness is crucial to the strength of your organization’s security shield. Each individual in your company has the ability to make an impact on security, both in good ways and bad. Security consultants not only bring awareness to your company’s risks, but to the implications of those risks as well.

Ultimately, security consultants want to empower organizations to conquer their security threats. Gratification comes when security consultants witness change happening in an organization. “For companies that turn the corner with a mass of security-aware employees, things start to change. It’s fun to be involved in that.” says Tony Schwarz, Security Consultant at Pratum.

It might be easy to assume that security consultants just give security advice. However, giving advice is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to security consulting. The level of dedication they provide to your organization makes them a necessary extension of your team.

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