There are many things you have to worry about when you run your own business, one of them being the potential threat of being hacked. While hackers pose a threat to individuals and businesses alike, small businesses have the most to lose when being hacked considering that many of them don’t have the experience, staff or resources to protect themselves online. Though unavoidable, there are a couple of ways businesses can avoid cyber attacks but in order to counter them, businesses must be constantly vigilant towards online threats.¬†Below are 6 threats your business should be aware of when it comes to cyber security.

Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are emails made to resemble emails sent from other organizations. They are hard to notice sometimes which is why the only way you can protect your business from them is by having a team of well trained IT security management professionals who can prevent them from becoming an issue for your businesses. For those that can’t afford this, a more cost effective solution would be creating a spam folder that automatically sends suspicious emails in a separate file or verifying any online request sent from any organization over the phone which may be a hassle for some people but beats having sensitive information about your business being leaked online. Be sure to not open emails from people you don’t know if it looks suspicious to you.

Weak Passwords
Changing your passwords can be a hassle because there are so many rules that are put in place that limits what your password can be which may make you want to settle for a weak one. Weak passwords though can be a huge liability to your business which is why you should do everything in your power to keep changing all of your business’s password accounts and also educate your staff on the importance of making strong passwords. Though annoying, creating passwords with specific characters such as numbers, symbols etc makes it a little harder for other people from finding out and changing them every 90 days decreases your chances of being hacked.

Buffer Overflow
Buffer overflow are more advanced methods hackers use to gain data about customers through online forms. They transfer large volumes of data into a form field through different entry points and considering how complex this method is, traditional methods of cyber security are ineffective against it. A hacker can simply create a form that ask for a specific piece of information that they can get through a set of codes that are highly sophisticated that can extract data and cause serious damage. Threat management technology can identify and prevent such attacks from happening and keep your most important data safe. Other solutions include using ASLRs, a feature found in many modern operating systems, to randomize items in a process’s address space.

Downloading Free Software
Downloading anything that is free online no matter what it is is always a risk you’re taking with any electronic device you’re using. No matter what you’re looking for online if its “free” chances are it could bring unwanted surprises like viruses, malware and other types of malicious software. If you want what’s best for your business you’re better off paying for a more trustworthy software.

Ransomware
Ransomware is a clever portmanteau where hackers basically hold your website captive until you offer them a ransom. They are pretty difficult to deal with as you’re facing the risk of having your business’s most private information be exposed or have them manipulate your website which can have a huge impact on your business. Your relationship with your customers, suppliers and other third party stakeholders can be at risk too so the best way you can avoid this is by, backing up your data regularly and changing your passwords every now and the again will ensure this never becomes a threat to your business. A strong security package for your computer will add extra protection for your business in the future.

Social engineering
Social engineering is the newest hacking threat to businesses in which hackers use social media information to hack into your business’s website through passwords. Companies can lose millions of dollars in social engineering hacks so you must take extra steps to be wise about how you present yourself on your social media platforms. This means being extra discreet and doing security audits four times a year to decrease your likely hood of social engineering attacks. What you post on Facebook or Twitter could come back to haunt not just you but your business as well.