On Friday, state and federal officials spoke to around 30 local businesses about the threat China poses to systems they use everyday.
U.S. Attorney Jay Town says China is one of the biggest threats to economic and international security. The assistant attorney general for national security says he's seen China steal technology from businesses and replicate the product that eventually replaces the company, not only in China, but around the world.
That's why the China Initiative strives to educate businesses on what steps they can take to prevent their information from being stolen. One local business owner says the meeting opened her eyes to the unnerving issue.
"They're looking at it from China from a perspective of attacking your company in general. They don't care how they can penetrate it," the CEO of Project XYZ, Kim Lewis, said.
During the meeting, business owners were encouraged to develop relationships with law enforcement and the FBI to keep them aware of any threats.
"There's a lot of steps we can take," Lewis said. "There's an outline of some of the things we can do, but the biggest thing we can do is just awareness. I think if we can make employees aware that the threat is real and that we can concentrate and make sure that everybody is aware that that possibility can happen. I think that's the first step."