See how Newk’s Eatery gained automated spear phishing and malware protection across its 115 locations with Graphus.

  • Company: NEWK’S EATERY
  • Founded: 2004
  • Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

"Graphus meets that need for an additional layer of security and requires a minimal investment in terms of time from your existing manpower."

Adam Karveller, VP of IT


Newk’s Eatery is a leading fast casual restaurant chain with a culinary-driven menu prepared in Newk’s open kitchens. Newk’s is based in Jackson, Mississippi and currently operates and franchises more than 115 units in 15 states. The award-winning brand is consistently named among Fast Casual’s Top “Movers and Shakers” and was named to Franchise Times’ “Fast and Serious” list for 3 consecutive years.

Adam Karveller, Newk’s Eatery Vice President of Information Technology has been with the company for over 9 years. Karveller states, “Historically our focus on cybersecurity has been based around educating our business users on how to avoid potential virus/malware/rogue access points or other threats. We also focused on DKIM and SPF records however, when these solutions weren’t able to fully protect us, we began to utilize the cumbersome DMARC framework to further secure our company’s digital communications.”

Unfortunately, they found out that no amount of phishing awareness training and education in combination with DMARC, DKIM and SPF could fully protect their organization from cyber criminals and scammers as the number of spear phishing techniques seemed to be increasing daily.

“We needed a tool that would provide another layer of automated security on top of all the other policies, practices, and security measures that were already in place. The tool would need to automate the prevention of a message reaching our business users or, in the event that it required human review, would allow any member of the IT team to easily monitor and quickly act on threats that may bypass other solutions,” said Karveller. “We needed a platform that could be trained to recognize false positives and identify fringe and borderline scams that traditionally aren’t detected by existing checks and security protocols.”


Over the last two years, the frequency and sophistication of phishing attacks targeting Newk’s Eatery has increased exponentially. Karveller states, “It can range from hundreds to thousands of attacks. Google’s built-in policies and security tools do a decent job of isolating most to the spam folder; however, a large percentage still make it through.” One of the more common types of attacks Newk’s has received are spear phishing attacks against their corporate officers. Attackers review their ‘About Us’ section of Newk’s website and attempt to social engineer a wire transfer or money order by spoofing their CEO or CFO.

Prior to Graphus, Newk’s Eatery had an instance where a spear phishing attack was successful and one of their business users provided their email login credentials via a form skinned to mirror a popular cloud software that Newk’s Eatery uses. Within minutes, the attackers gained access to the user’s email account and their contact list and began automating phishing emails of a similar nature from this trusted account within their domain. Newk’s security protocols caught the issue and were quickly able to isolate and remediate the threat; however, in a matter of five minutes, seven other users had clicked through on this phishing attack. “We managed to isolate the affected users but had our IT team been completely occupied with other tasks at that exact moment, it could have been much worse. This was a clear indication that we needed an additional, automated security solution and support to help us catch potential threats in real time,” says Karveller.


The ease of implementation allowed Karveller to get started with Graphus, with minimal effort from his part. He said the activation process was “quick, painless, and easy.” But it wasn’t just the easy implementation that eventually sold him. Karveller said, “The tight integration with our chosen mail and collaboration platform – Google Workspace – was the major driving factor in choosing Graphus.”

This tight integration provides Newk’s with automated yet powerful protection. Graphus is part of their daily checklist. They typically check the system about three times a day, not including when alerts come through. Most of the alerts they’ve received recently have been drive-by malware attacks which are handled automatically so by the time they get the alert, no action is required on their part. According to Karveller, the most critical Graphus feature is “the automated removal of threats without any human interaction whatsoever.”

When human interaction is required, the IT team members are able to investigate threats and then delete messages, quickly and in a single click.

The warning banner is another important feature for Newk’s. It warns end users of messages that Graphus has flagged as potential threats but that do not meet the auto-deletion or quarantine standards. This causes the employees to pause and scrutinize the message and, if deemed suspicious, report it to IT in one click to have the IT team review questionable messages before proceeding. The one-click deletion capability for the “IT team members to delete messages that have been investigated via the Graphus Dashboard and identified as threats – without providing additional permissions to the users security class, or direct access to a sensitive inbox is by far the most valuable tool,” says Karveller.

When asked if he would recommend Graphus, Karveller responded, “Yes. I think in today’s climate where spear phishing attacks are so much more prevalent, sophisticated and specifically targeted at/or disguised as key cloud software that exist in almost every business ecosystem, an additional layer of security is absolutely necessary. Leveraging machine learning and AI to review your communications are powerful tools in helping mitigate the risk for our business users. I think Graphus meets that need for an additional layer, and requires a minimal investment in terms of time from your existing manpower to do so.”

By the Numbers





“We needed a platform that could be trained to recognize false positives and identify fringe and borderline scams that traditionally aren’t detected by existing checks and security protocols.”

Adam Karveller, VP of IT

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