Common Cyber Security Issues Every Cannabis Company Should Be Aware Of

October 2, 2019

In recent years, technology has evolved into an important component of any business. From collaborative documents and financial transactions, to professional networking and email correspondence, many companies depend on technology to stay connected and work effectively 24/7.

But once these lines of communication are compromised or threatened, it could spell major disaster for your organization. Cyber crime affects all kinds of businesses and those in the cannabis industry are no exception, so you need cyber security to keep you and your customers protected.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the process of defending and recovering devices, programs, and networks from any kind of cyber attack. It is also defined as the array of measures you take to prevent unauthorized access to your sensitive data.

Importance of Cyber Security

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, hackers sometimes get one step ahead of security professionals hired by various organizations. This can be seen in the rising number of attacks that involve data security breaches every year.

However, when a business has an effective response plan and robust network security, it is more equipped to handle and mitigate cyber attacks.

The cannabis industry seems to be especially vulnerable to cyber attacks. Not too long ago, the Cannabal City Collective in downtown Los Angeles had its software system go down long enough for it to have an impact on their daily operations. The Natural Health Services in Canada faced a data breach involving customers' personal information.

Obviously, no one wants that to happen again, especially given the nature of the information that could be compromised.

Common Cyber Security Issues

Phishing

One of the most successful ways for cybercriminals to execute a data breach is through phishing attacks. Phishers trick people by posing as a trustworthy person or business so they can steal sensitive personal or financial information. They do this by sending fraudulent instant messages or email.

Malware

Malware includes different forms of harmful software like ransomware and computer viruses. Once it infiltrates your system, it can cause serious kinds of damage–from monitoring your computer activity and keystrokes to taking control of your device. It can also send confidential data from your network to the hacker’s home base without you knowing it.

Hackers

It's people who are responsible for creating malware and all other security threats–not computers. Online predators are programmers who target users for their own gain by illegally accessing computers, doing this in an effort to steal, alter, or destroy all sorts of information. These hackers can lock you out of your own device, steal your identity, or compromise your credit card information.

Related Content: Critical Cyber Security Mistakes Your SMB is Making

October is Cyber Security Month, and there’s no better time for your cannabis business to start taking action against potential cyber security threats. As the cannabis industry reaches its tipping point, expect exponential growth in the years to come. This means it will become a bigger target for cybercriminals looking for vulnerable businesses. There are several reasons the cannabis industry would be a desirable target, including:

• Valuable information. A cannabis company's databases would have patients' personal and medical information and order history, among other things.

• Complicated compliance, which makes a company a prime target for hijacking and ransomware.

• Undertrained security, with few people, if any, being there to implement known best practices.

And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. So safeguard your organization, strengthen your data protection and vulnerability management, and anticipate any regulatory changes by getting help from a reliable IT security company. They can assess the unique needs of your cannabis company and provide services that are tailor-made to your business.

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