Wisconsin Bank & Trust Introduces Security Brief, Aims to Heighten Cyber Security Awareness

Madison, Wisconsin – October 1, 2018 – The ever-changing landscape of cybercrime introduces new threats. Keeping up with cyber security best practices can be a little overwhelming, but the professionals at Wisconsin Bank & Trust created a list of the top three steps businesses and individuals can take to protect themselves. “We thought it would be helpful to cut through the clutter, and establish the most critical steps toward protecting families and businesses against cybercrime,” Curtis Chrystal, President and CEO of Wisconsin Bank & Trust, said.

While the cyber security industry has been making great strides, cyber criminals are becoming more creative and have diversified their attack strategies. For more than a decade, complex and sophisticated cybercrime organizations focused on large organizations. Today, cyber criminals are increasingly attacking small businesses and consumers with greater frequency, which means we all must take steps to safeguard our information.

“We invest in security technology and education 365 days a year,” Curtis Chrystal said. “The first step in protecting your family and/or business is cyber awareness,” Curtis Chrystal said. Wisconsin Bank & Trust introduced “Security Brief” for business and for families.


1. Make sure you’re paying an actual vendor. Always verify payment requests submitted to your business. Verify with a second individual or with the requestor, but through a different channel than the one used to submit the request. Always use a phone number on file, not a phone number contained in the request. Never feel pressured to initiate a payment without verification. It is safer to take a little longer and be sure the payment is legitimate, than to be quick and lose thousands of dollars to fraud. Always verify any change to vendor payment instructions (i.e., bank name or account number) and use dual control—establish a dual control requirement for all outgoing ACH or wire payments.

2. Reduce payment fraud risks by separation of Accounts Payable (AP) duties and account segregation. Once your process has the checks and balances you need to avoid duplicate and/or unauthorized payments, talk to your Treasury Management team to evaluate today’s tools and technology that not only help reduce payment fraud, but can also help you automate some of the AP process to save time and money.

3. Require multi-factor authentication when receiving initial payment information or a request to change payment information.


1. Use strong passwords and change them at least once per quarter. DO NOT use the same password for multiple log ins. Use multi-factor authentication whenever it’s available.

2. Avoid unknown links or attachments in email. When you receive a request for payment via email, review it carefully and if there is any doubt, contact the vendor via the phone number listed on a previous invoice or look up their number online to verify. Fraudsters can change any company’s email address by adding a letter, a period or another character that people may miss if they are not aware of the risk of fraud.

3. Use anti-virus software. Install and maintain current anti-virus software on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets.

For more information about cyber security, visit

Wisconsin Bank & Trust is also hosting “Recognizing the Danger and Minimizing the Threat,” a fraud seminar that will cover employee theft schemes commonly encountered in the workplace, in Monroe, Wisconsin and Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday, October 18. The fraud seminars will feature guest speaker Tim Tribe, Forensic Accountant, and occur at Turner Hall in Monroe from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. and Madison Club in Madison from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. If you wish to attend, please RSVP by Wednesday, October 10, here for Monroe or here for Madison.

About Wisconsin Bank & Trust

Wisconsin Bank & Trust (WBT), a subsidiary of Heartland Financial USA, Inc., (NASDAQ: HTLF), is a business-focused community bank with assets of more than $1 billion. With seventeen banking centers and one loan processing office, WBT serves customers in the Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Monroe and southwest areas of Wisconsin. WBT offers a wide range of personal and business banking, private client and mortgage lending services. For more information, visit or call 608.203.1214. WBT is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.

For further information please contact:

Curtis Chrystal

President and CEO


Bridget Hughes

Regional Marketing & Sales Support Director


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