The rapid growth of the cannabis industry in the United States has made it a prime target for cybersecurity crimes. It is no longer an option for cannabis company owners to focus just on scaling; they must also now focus on ways to keep their data and their customers’ personal information secure. The cannabis industry has been built with stringent rules and regulations around the functional areas of operation, such as: growing, harvesting, packaging, and selling of all cannabis products. Today’s society has now exposed the risk of cyber security weaknesses in this industry.
Cybersecurity Threats to the Cannabis Industry
With rapid growth, like the cannabis industry has seen, comes operational challenges, such as cybersecurity. Cannabis business owners must rise to the challenge and seek out efficient methods to secure the data of their clientele. Cannabis companies are acquiring sensitive, personal information from their customers, as well as credit card numbers. These are just two of the areas that are at risk of cybersecurity attacks. Ensuring that you remain compliant and proactive in your cybersecurity protection is imperative to the growth of any cannabis organization. In today’s technological world, most, if not all, data is stored to a cloud in a transactional environment. If your customers are purchasing your products online, in the store, or even on a company app, their data is still obtained and held by your company. It is the duty of the business owner to protect that data and have proper protocols in place to provide that sense of security to their customers. Securing your digital assets must be on the forefront of all business owners’ minds as the data privacy laws evolve frequently.
What Could a Cyber-attack Mean for Your Company?
According to Ponemon Institute’s ‘Cost of a Data Breach Report,’ the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in 2020.  While there was a small down-tick from 2019 (1.5%), experts say that those unprepared for a cyberattack faced a higher cost of remediation due to the lack of security automation and a plan for incident response. Ponemon also notates in their research that industries with higher regulatory bars face higher data breach costs. This is in part because a data breach stands to be more detrimental causing organizations to lose business and face public scrutiny.
Technology today offers the ability to identify threats and breaches, alert your organization, and take action immediately to notify customers with action plans in place to reduce the severity of the attacks. While physical security is important at offices nationwide, cybersecurity is equally important.