CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Data breaches and security hacks are a problem, especially here in the Carolinas. 

Last year, North Carolina ranked fifth in the entire country for cybercrime losses with more than $137 million stolen. 

On Wednesday, UNC Charlotte is hosting world-class speakers to discuss security issues and best practices for businesses to mitigate security risks during the 20th Annual Cybersecurity Symposium.

"We're generating more information more than ever before," UNC Charlotte's Dr. Bill Chu said. 

Chu said business has only started tackling cybersecurity over the last few years. But technology is advancing and creating more issues. 

In the past, several local agencies and governments have been victims of hacking. Mecklenburg County was held hostage by cybercrime back in 2017.

Big businesses and small businesses are losing billions of dollars due to hackers. Dr. Chu says there's a lot at risk. 

"Customer information, your intellectual property information, people can steal that from you and the reputation costs," Dr. Chu said. 

Most businesses don't even know when hacks are happening. Experts recommend looking out for phishing emails, different passwords, and make sure your security software is up to date. 

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