Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Photo

ST. CLOUD -- Businesses, citizens and the United States government are facing increased attacks from cyber-criminals. That is part of the message from Tuesday's cybersecurity seminar, hosted by 6th District Representative Michele Bachmann.

Three FBI agents from the Minneapolis Field Office joined the Congresswoman in discussing the increasing number of attacks in front of a room, largely filled with area business leaders.

Bachmann points out that small businesses are starting to see an increased number of cyber-related crimes.

Much of what is being stolen from people comes in the form of intellectual property, trade secrets and sensitive business information. One FBI agent says they are fighting these crimes everyday.

According to a presentation by the FBI agents, there is an average of 102 cyber attacks per week with a cost of just under $600,000 to businesses. The 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report estimates that globally, there are 18 victims of cyber crimes per second.

With increasing globalization and the help of the Internet, thieves no longer have to be present for a crime to take place. Bachmann says these attacks are coming from all around the world.

The FBI says attacks are coming from countries like China and Iran, while hacking groups like Anonymous are also mounting challenges here in the U.S.

There are ways to protect yourself against cyber crimes. The FBI says limiting the number of employees with access to important documents can cut down on problems. You should also take great caution when traveling to other countries by bringing only needed information with you.

The presentation was hosted at the Stearns County History Museum in St. Cloud. Bachmann is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which deals with cybersecurity issues.