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Cadence Bank and Grant Thornton Host Talk to Help Combat Fraud

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 21, 2015 — Cadence Bank recently hosted the first in a series of seminars dedicated to helping businesses address the critical issue of cyberterrorism and attain actionable strategies to guard against cyber fraud. Held in partnership with Grant Thornton LLP, more than 50 people attended the Birmingham, Ala. session, titled, “Cybersecurity: Is Your Business Really As Prepared As You Think?”

Presenters included Roy Sexton, director of corporate security at Cadence Bank and former U.S. Secret Service; Skip Westfall, national Forensic Technology Services practice leader and co-leader of the national Cybersecurity practice at Grant Thornton; and Katrina King, treasury management executive at Cadence.

Sexton discussed the shift from the strictly physical risks of years’ past to today’s cybersecurity threats, which demand business leaders be on guard at all times. Former special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Birmingham District Office, Sexton saw an explosion in cyberterrorism when he returned to the field in the early 2000s. Increased involvement by the U.S. Secret Service led to the formation of the Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover, Ala.

According to Westfall, businesses have a 98 percent chance of being breached. Companies today must focus on vigilance and how they can limit the damage caused by a breach. Westfall, whose experience includes cybersecurity, computer forensics, data analytics and electronic discovery, consults with organizations on assessing and mitigating cyber risks. Through the many investigations he has led in different forms of cybercrime, he has found social engineering is often what causes the leaks in corporate infrastructure. In the past 12 months alone, he has investigated more than 40 phishing attacks against businesses, and in most instances the emails’ domains were nearly identical to the legitimate email addresses.

King concluded the session with a conversation on cybersecurity best practice strategies. She urged businesses to educate their employees about cyber fraud risks, empower them as the front line of defense. “Ensuring that anti-virus/spyware software is installed, functional and updated with the most current version is a must,” she said.

King recommends assigning a minimum of two individuals to create and sign checks, as well as originate and approve electronic funds transfers. “Businesses also should use Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay. These tools act as fraud prevention systems for check and electronic fraud by alerting businesses to potentially fraudulent transactions before they impact the company’s accounts,” she added.

Additional seminars will be held in Houston, San Antonio and Tampa now through late May. Further information is available at


About Grant Thornton 

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (link sends e-mail) (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. In the United States, Grant Thornton has revenue in excess of $1.3 billion and operates 57 offices with more than 500 partners and 6,000 employees. Grant Thornton works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions. Please see (link sends e-mail) for further details.

About Cadence Bank

Cadence Bank, N.A., based in Birmingham, Ala., is a $5.7 billion bank with more than 100 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Backed by 126 years of financial expertise, Cadence serves commercial and consumer clients with a full range of innovative banking and financial solutions designed to keep pace with their lives. These products and services include commercial and consumer banking, small business banking, treasury management, international banking, specialized lending, commercial real estate, wealth management, investment and trust services, financial planning, retirement plan management, business and personal insurance, consumer loans, mortgages, home equity lines and loans, and credit cards. Cadence Bank and its affiliates, Linscomb & Williams and Cadence Insurance Agency, are wholly owned subsidiaries of Houston-based Cadence Bancorp, LLC. Additional information about Cadence Bank is available at Cadence Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Contact Information: 

Danielle Kernell

Cadence Bank, N.A.
713-871-4051 direct | 713-392-7709 mobile

[email protected]

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