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BP Fights Off Up to 50,000 Cyber-Attacks a Day: CEO

Could your business withstand 50,000 cyberattacks a day?

This is among the many questions haunting businesses as they scramble to protect themselves from a constant barrage of domestic and foreign cyberattacks. What's at stake to businesses and the governments they work with in this high-tech warfare is nothing less than the nation's economic security.

As part of CNBC's ongoing special "Hacking America", we're asking top CEOs and cybersecurity experts about the potential damage of cyberattacks, and what businesses and governments can do to protect themselves—and you.

At the IHS CERAWeek Conference in Houston on Wednesday, CNBC spoke to BP CEO Bob Dudley about the persistent cyberthreats that companies like his receive.

"Cybersecurity is a growing issue around the world, not only with companies but with governments," Dudley observed. "We see as many as 50,000 attempts a day like many big companies … to my knowledge we haven't had an incident that's taken away data from us, but we're incredibly vigilant."

(Read More: Cybersecurity: How CEOs are Fighting Back)

Hackers seek to penetrate businesses security systems for an ever growing number of criminal motives, including obtaining intellectual property and economic disruption.

"It's not only the threats inside a company's center of computing, but also it's the equipment, it's the running of facilities around the world that we also have our eye on carefully," Dudley said.

(Read More: Hack Attacks Give Insurance Businesses a Boost)

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  • CNBC's senior correspondent and lead investigative reporter, Scott Cohn also appears on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "Today" and on MSNBC.

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Investigations Inc.: Cyber Espionage

  • When a person enters information on a website, like an email or credit card, it gets stored in that company’s data base. Those web-based forms are a simple tool for users, but they are also another way hackers can exploit a company’s system. Instead of inputting a name into the website, cyber spies can put in a specially crafted text that may cause the database to execute the code instead of simply storing it, Alperovitch said. The result is a “malicious takeover of the system,” he said.

    By attacking business computer networks, hackers are accessing company secrets and confidential strategies and creating huge losses for the overall economy.

  • China is working feverishly to counteract its slowest GDP growth in recent years, and one of the ways it’s doing so, say U.S. officials, is through the theft of American corporate secrets.

  • US businesses are enduring an unprecedented onslaught of cyber invasions from foreign governments, organized crime syndicates, and hacker collectives, all seeking to steal information and disrupt services, cybersecurity experts say.

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