Gone are the days when the only threat the cannabis industry faced was from the state, with bans and arrests. Now that the cannabis industry is ‘blooming’ more than ever - a number of US states as well as countries worldwide have legalized cannabis - the challenges facing the industry are starting to shift from law enforcement actions to security threats and regulatory requirements. IT security applies to cannabis sellers, too.
Now that it’s legal (mostly), the cannabis industry has to build reliability and trust – just like any other supplier, while at the same time they face many security concerns:
While there is an extensive range of over-the-counter cannabis products available - CBD oil, cannabis balms, beverages, skincare products, etc., they are all fairly expensive, making them highly susceptible to theft. Most cannabis manufacturers and retailers find themselves having to install video security cameras to keep theft losses down.
Cannabis is still not regarded as a “normal” product, and as such is treated with extra regulatory and compliance issues. This particularly applies to the medical side of the industry, where HIPAA compliance violations can easily make the local or even statewide news with the extra ‘spice’ that cannabis brings to news stories. Regulatory compliance for the cannabis industry is still in its early stages, but it’s coming!
Cyber hazards are even more common in this day and age, and particularly relevant to the cannabis industry. Since large amounts of money are moved about, a cyberattack on a cannabis retailer can lead to intricate hacking and blackmailing exploits.
A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can help take a load off the shoulders of a cannabis industry participant, and allowing them to focus on navigating this unfamiliar terrain. With the cannabis market expected to reach new heights, we all need to be prepared for those looking to make money off it in illegal ways.
That’s where an MSSP comes in. A MSSP has a package of cyber security tools designed to help companies keep their data safe from threats like phishing and ransomware. Over the years, MSSPs have evolved from basic firewalls and antivirus software to industry-ready threat hunters (rather than plain old threat-monitors).
Here’s what a cannabis manufacturer or retailer should expect from a secure MSSP system:
● Highly safe industrial-strength firewalls to ward off unwanted guests in the system.
● Anti-virus software to eliminate the chance that a piece of malware will destroy system data - or, worse, exfiltrate it to a hacking gang!
● Assistance in meeting ongoing compliance requirements.
● Protecting data and other important assets from vulnerabilities.
● Speedy damage control from threats that manage to penetrate the high security.
● The use of AI and machine learning to upgrade security to the next level.
● Monitoring of the dark web to detect when customer credentials have been leaked.
● Training to prevent phishing.
● Multi-factor authentication for employees to prevent password-guessing attacks.
Now that you have information regarding the real villains of the dark web, it’s a good idea to try those superhero MSSPs. Uplevel has recently launched a partner program for MSSPs and there is no better alternative than the high-level satisfaction and long-term security that Uplevel provides. Check it out today!
Uplevel Systems, as a small business IT infrastructure managed service provider, enables any of these options. Uplevel’s subscription offering is the most popular with SMBs, but some prefer Uplevel’s new equipment purchase program and use a CapEx model.