Cannabis Cybersecurity Matters in 2020

7/6/2020

Companies Face Invasive Cyber Attacks

Did you know that cybersecurity attacks have increased 71% since the pandemic started? Many businesses are facing financial setback or – in the case of the cannabis industry – overwhelming surplus in the wake of COVID-19. And cybersecurity has never been a more pressing issue.

Cannabis businesses are processing orders on a massive scale, developing new software and infrastructure to enhance online services. These unprecedented measures demand due diligence paid towards ensuring digital security. Otherwise, cannabis consumer data and businesses across the supply chain will face serious risk.

Phishing Threats Resurface

Cannabis cybersecurity isn’t a new threat. In fact, plenty of professionals have documented how and what kind of cyberattacks impact the industry the most. One infamous method that has resurfaced in the wake of the pandemic is phishing – an old foe of burgeoning cannabis companies.

Phishing involves a user receiving fraudulent emails that ask them for personal account and financial information. Usually the sender is disguised as a peer in the industry or, in some cases, a wealthy investor looking to get involved in cannabis. Any licensed operator that falls for this classic cyber scam could be stripped of their capital and identity, ultimately stonewalling any progress their business could’ve made this year.

The best way to protect your company against phishing is to never open any suspicious message from someone presuming to be an industry professional or investor. Sounds easy right? Not quite! You’d be surprised to learn that nearly half of all successful cyber fraud attacks are through phishing scams. Cannabis accounting and management teams need a refresher on dangers of phishing. It certainly couldn’t hurt. However, phishing is only one part of a very complex problem.

Massive Vulnerable Digital Technology

When COVID-19 first struck and cannabis storefronts across American began to shut their doors for months ahead, retailers were tasked with creating or scaling digital technology to accommodate huge amounts of online orders. In Nevada, new virtual delivery systems were created by dispensary organizations practically overnight for consumers in the state. Yet, the fear over the security of these hastily built solutions still persists.

55% of respondents in a recent survey acknowledged the difficulty of developing new online technologies for scalability. 49% felt intimated by how spontaneous demand doesn’t ensure total security. If cannabis technology for high quantities consumer and business data were being hastily developed overnight – wouldn’t any entrepreneur using it feel a bit nervous? The claim doesn’t sound misplaced.

Similar to the protecting your business against phishing attacks, using new technologies for scale requires education. Knowing where consumer information is stored and how it can be infiltrated enables any cannabis business to fortify its protections. In unprecedented times like these, healthy skepticism enables better cyber safety, especially for operators using recently developed technology.

Prioritizing Cannabis Cybersecurity

Cannabis consumer data and valuable business information are on the line in 2020. Cyber-attacks are resurfacing at an all-time high and the cannabis industry needs to keep ahead of the hackers. While increases in cyber fraud probably come as no surprise, the developments in massive online cannabis service technology need to be evaluated for robust security. The cannabis industry needs to keep staying educated and constantly ensure its digital backend; or else COVID-19 won’t be the only thing to radically change this sector.

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