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Created in the Corridor: ProCircular

ProCircular screen shot taken from a cyber security presentation sponsored by the Corridor Business Journal.{ }

Target, Verizon, Yahoo, Equifax, IPERS. The list of high-profile data breaches seems to suggest that no one is safe from a cyberattack. But a growing number of companies in Iowa are taking steps to protect themselves with help from a young cybersecurity firm Created in the Corridor.

Just getting into the Coralville offices of ProCircular takes some doing. Security begins at the front door with fingerprint identification followed by facial recognition technology. Aaron Warner, 43, launched ProCircular just over a year ago after two decades as the chief information and technology officer at a local biotech company. He had been searching out a cybersecurity firm to answer some of the challenges he was facing.

“I could find very large companies that could help me with cybersecurity; PWC or Deloitte, but I couldn’t find any good, mid-market-focused cybersecurity firms in the Midwest,” explained Warner.

And that’s the genesis of ProCircular which began with just four employees. Already up to seventeen, its client base is also growing exponentially.

“We’ve gone from basically no customers to…I want to say over a hundred just in that short period of time. It’s working out for sure,” said a smiling Warner.

The need for protection is illustrated, in part, by a software program that shows cyberattacks in real time as they’re happening around the world. “You can see that there are attacks coming from within China,” said Warner as he demonstrated the program for CBS2/FOX28 News.

Right now, the vast majority of ProCircular’s customers are small to midsize companies in banking, education, finance and insurance. “Those companies are typically the ones to assume, oh, I’m too small to be on anyone’s radar, no one’s going to be looking at me,” explained ProCircular Project Manager, Madison Williams. “So that type of thinking leads to less awareness, it leads to less defenses which ultimately just makes it easier for the hacker to penetrate the organization.”

Awareness and education are a big part of the company’s operation so ProCircular routinely participates in workshops and panel discussions like one hosted recently by The Corridor Business Journal to help companies identify their biggest threats.

I got my own eye-opening lesson when Dawson Medin, an 18-year-old engineering intern at ProCircular showed me a program that identifies compromised email addresses. The results of his initial search revealed 405,093,049 compromised gmail accounts. And all it took was a basic Google search. “Everything I just showed you involved no hacking whatsoever,” explained Medin.

From phishing to social engineering to Zombie-bots, hackers increasingly are finding new ways to steal sensitive data--and Warner says we’ll likely see cybersecurity become a trade that more companies rely on much like lawyers and accountants. “You can do some of that work internally but you always are going to need a third party to help validate that you’ve made the right steps or you’ve taken the right steps. That you’ve stayed current.”

Right now, ProCircular is focused primarily on the Corridor and the state of Iowa but has every intention of becoming a national firm. We have a link to more information HERE.

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