Haley's Cabinet meets in Columbia

Gov. Haley in Thursday's Cabinet meeting.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley has directed her Cabinet to come up with creative ways to help South Carolina residents sign up for a credit monitoring service offered through the state.

Haley asked members of her Cabinet to do what they could to reach as many people as possible about the state's cyber hacking.

The Republican governor gave directors of her 16 Cabinet agencies until Tuesday to submit their ideas, which state attorneys will review for privacy concerns.

As of Thursday, 653,000 people have called into the state's hotline with 521,000 of them signing up for identity protection.

On Wednesday, Haley said up to 657,000 businesses in South Carolina had also been affected. The businesses affected are in addition to the roughly 3.6 million personal income tax returns accessed.

Starting Friday at 8 a.m., business owners can also sign up for protection by going here or calling 1-800-279-9881.

This is the first official meeting of agency heads since an announcement last week that millions of South Carolinians' taxpayer information had been compromised after an attack from an overseas hacker.

Last week, Haley ordered all state agencies to cooperate with South Carolina's inspector general in a new effort to improve the state's cyber-security