What does that mean to you?
For many small cannabis businesses, security is an inside job. They view security as a physical protection problem, and spend their resources to keep products safe from theft.
But security is more than physical protection. Cybersecurity is an all-too-familiar risk that many small businesses simply ignore. They think that “it can’t happen to me” or “I’m too small for cybercriminals to hit.” That naive opinion puts you at even greater risk in today’s world.
Automation techniques can make every part of the grow environment more efficient. Sensors can guide you every step of the way, helping you with water, temperature, lighting, trimming, etc. These sensors alert you through reports when adjustments need to be made, and can support every aspect of your process more efficiently. But these same techniques can make you more susceptible to cyberattacks.
Privacy is a big concern for every company, especially if your dispensary is considered a healthcare provider. HIPAA has specific data privacy and protection regulations establishing rules for handling medical records. Given healthcare information is one of the most valuable information sources for cybercriminals today, it’s essential to keep data protected from harm. The penalty for a violation can be as much as $50,000 per incident.
Financial risk can hit you from many angles. Phishing or ransomware strategies can open up your data to all kinds of hostile takeovers. Operating as cash-only without the full support of financial institutions brings on more risk. And if you don’t follow the rules, you’re subjected to penalties from various government authorities. If you’re trying to grow through investors, or even just with the help of a bank loan, these risks can leave you vulnerable to calling in loans or losing financial backing.
Cannabis business owners never operate without outside support. That can come in many different ways. Vendors, suppliers, investors, employees, and others can all add to your risk. This is about building the right systems at every level of business to ensure action (or inaction) doesn’t impact your operations and revenue when an incident occurs.
What’s your strategy?
Security is all about controlling risk. This includes the risk you’re aware of, and the threats you aren’t.
Partnering with a security advisor who understands the industry and how to mitigate your risks can decrease your vulnerabilities and hedge against potential threats. Knowledge is critical in this ever-changing world. Building a robust security program before an incident occurs is one of the greatest strategies you can include in your growth model. It’s the best way to protect your assets from the ground up, and increase your chances of business success.
For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.