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When you’re starting up a cannabis business, there is so much to be excited about. You’re ready to let your entrepreneurial skills shine.

And it’s worked well. You’ve spent years putting together a business you can be proud of. You finally have repeat business, and you’re gaining traction in the industry.

Yet it only takes looking at the news to have doubt creep in:

Surge in Cash Only Cannabis Business Dispensary Robberies Across US

Thieves Crash Stolen SUV Into Seattle Marijuana Dispensary During Burglary

Armed Robbers Continue To Terrorize Portland’s Cannabis Retailers

Are you doing enough to remain secure?

Getting To The Root Of The Problem

The trouble is, cannabis is still a new industry, with new problems we haven’t designed solutions for. It remains heavily a cash-based business, which means it has security risks unfamiliar in other retail sectors.

Thieves know this. Breaking in can provide a windfall of both product and cash. It can be worth the risk, especially if criminals watch and learn how specific cannabis retailers operate.

Yes, law enforcement recognizes the problems. Laws are being passed to increase penalties. The Washington Senate recently voted unanimously to approve a bill that increases the penalty for criminals who use a vehicle for a smash-and-grab robbery.

But that doesn’t solve the problem of these incidents growing. Once they occur, you’re the one who faces the consequences, which can be challenging to overcome.

The Importance of Physical and Cybersecurity

Smash-and-grab seems to be a purely physical crime. Yet physical security and cybersecurity measures are increasingly coming together. With technology, the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI), the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. This makes the attack surface more connected, allowing thieves to move between the two.

Cyber threats often target physical infrastructure, such as infiltrating a video management system to gain unauthorized access. Physical devices or systems are increasingly becoming tools in cyberattacks. This crossover means both sides need security.

Physical security can look like this:

  • Access control system
  • Perimeter security
  • Surveillance systems
  • Security lighting
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Security alarms

Cybersecurity has its own security measures:

  • Firewalls
  • Antivirus software
  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Security awareness training
  • Patch management

Compare the two. You’ll find they work together, are two sides of a coin. Improving one will ultimately build a stronger, more secure business. It starts with a plan.

Developing A Plan

This isn’t a comprehensive guide to crafting a security plan. It’s designed to prompt you into making significant changes to how you handle your every day. We suggest you:

  • Identify your risks and vulnerabilities. This should include both physical and digital assets.
  • Protect what you have. The more safeguards and security measures you can put into place to protect assets and data, the more you’ll prevent intrusion.
  • Detect and respond to any incidents as soon as they take place. Building this map before an attack will alert every employee of your strategy and provide guidelines and procedures for getting back on track.
  • Recovery response plans will provide you with peace of mind. They should detail your strategies for restoring all operations, including systems and data, to full functionality.

Securing your cannabis business doesn’t have to be your full-time job. But it does need full-time attention. The right plan can give you all that and more.

For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.