HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Several national agencies are coming together to warn Americans about the most serious cyber security threats.

In a Cybersecurity Advisory released by the National Security Agency (NSA), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), China is listed as a top threat.

News 19 spoke with a cyber security expert about how this could impact the industry in North Alabama. Gray Analytics is a Huntsville-based cyber security risk management company that provides services for the United States government and defense industrial base.

“What is keeping Americans safe, that is born right here in Huntsville, Alabama so we have to take proactive measures,” says Jay Town.

Gray Analytics Vice President Jay Town says the threats have increased significantly.

“Since the pandemic, ransomware attacks occur around every 11 seconds. There’s been a 130% increase in ransomware attacks in just the last couple of years,” says Town.

According to a report by the National Security Agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one of the biggest threats is China.

“Economic espionage, it’s ransomware, it’s malicious software its data exports, ex-fills through tradecraft or other traditional cyber or human means and its just getting worse. China is our enemy and everything they do is as our enemy,” says Town.

Town says China is a threat to not only the government and national security but also to companies in any sector.

“Whether its the defense industrial base, pharma, agriculture, finance, oil, all of it,” says Town.

Especially those in North Alabama.

“Whether it’s Redstone Arsenal or Research Park, we have companies engaged in national security, biotech, big tech, big data, the whole gamete. The whole type of information, the whole type intellectual property and trade secrets china is seeking,” says Town.

That’s why Town says its crucial for companies to tighten up security.

“It’s so important companies here in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley are ensuring that their networks are safe and networks are secure their cyber environments are secure and they use good cyber hygiene. And it can’t be something you only touch on once a year in training,” says Town.

Town says he finds it increasingly difficult to get executives to understand the importance of preventing a cyber attack or data breach and hopes this warning will hit home.

The National Security Agency also highlights threats from other countries like Iran, Russia, and North Korea, who it says are all working to steal data and information from the U.S.