The Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security says the nation is "not ready" for serious cyber security threats.
Texas Congressman Michael T. McCaul, whose committee oversees the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, made the remarks during an RNC Cyber security Forum meeting in Cleveland Tuesday to draw attention to the nation's vulnerabilities regarding cyber attacks.
"We're not ready for this," said McCaul, "we are in a cyber war in the United States and most Americans don't know it and I'm not sure we're winning it."
The forum presented views by ten of the nation's leading experts on internet technology and was sponsored by the Center for CyberSecurity and Privacy Protection at Cleveland Marshall College of Law.
Center Director Brian Ray said the the RNC "provides a higher profile opportunity and higher concentration of people in one place which creates an opportunity to do more damage."
FBI and industry reports reveal how quickly cyber threats are growing.
A new study sponsored by IBM estimates 1 in 4 companies will be hit by hackers this year.
Computer security firm Symantec reports over a half billion personal records were stolen or lost in 2015.
According to the latest FBI report , 288,012 internet crime complaints were received last year with loses totaling over $1 million.
Dr. Steve Belovich, founder of IQware Solutions, predicts some of the biggest threats are to the nation's infrastructure as well as intellectual property thefts.
"Large and small companies are getting intellectual property stolen," said Belovich.