Protocol: Russian hackers get the headlines. But China is the bigger threat to many US enterprises.

Chinese government’s efforts to steal intellectual property require more attention from targeted businesses — and in some cases, a different approach to cyber defense.

Hacking is not the only cyber threat that China poses to the U.S. and the West, experts say. And it may not even be the most challenging, said Samuel Visner, a longtime cybersecurity executive and former NSA official, who currently serves as technical fellow at MITRE.

The harder question, according to Visner, is how to respond to China's initiative to build a "Digital Silk Road" across much of the globe using exported Chinese IT infrastructure. The technology is believed to be capable of facilitating surveillance on citizens. Ultimately, the fear is that the Digital Silk Road could be used to feed information about Americans or Europeans traveling abroad back to the Chinese government.

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