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519 Million Reasons Why Your Financial Records Are in a Hacker's Hands FBI officials warn business owners and the financial sector to stay vigilant.

By Nina Zipkin

entrepreneur daily

Troubling statistics out of Washington, D.C., show why business owners must be on alert about cyber security, perhaps now more than ever.

Officials from the FBI cautioned that nearly 519 million financial records in the United States have been stolen over the last 12 months by hackers. Within the past six months, 439 million have been taken.

Related: U.S. National Security Prosecutors Shift Focus From Spies to Cyber Attacks

The comments were made at an event this week hosted by a lobbying organization for the financial industry called Financial Services Roundtable. The organization's president, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, noted that 100 million citizens have had their data breached in some way over the last year -- a sobering thought given the fact that the country has a population of over 319 million, USA Today reported.

Data breaches come at a significant monetary cost for both the companies affected and all over the world. Of course, it takes a great deal of resources and time to uncover and recover from a hack, not to mention rebuilding customer trust.

Related: Why Uncovering a Network Security Breach Can Take Weeks or Months

The Wall Street Journal reported back in Feburary that in 2013, data protection spending was on track to hit $46 billion. And according to a report from the Washington Post, as of this summer, the effects of cybercrime cost the global economy roughly $445 billion. The U.S., along with Germany and China, made up roughly $200 billion of that figure.

In a recent interview, FBI Director James Comey identified China as the major point of origin for cybercrime in the United States.

We want to hear from you, what does your company do to defend against cybercrime? Let us know in the comments.

Related: Data in Motion is Data at Greatest Risk

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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