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Security Must-Haves for Protecting Your Cannabis Company’s Data

cannabis company data security
The cannabis industry has seen massive growth in recent years as legalization spreads across North America. With this growth comes challenges, one of the biggest being data security. Cannabis companies collect and store highly sensitive customer information, including personal and financial data. A data breach could lead to catastrophic consequences like loss of customer trust, steep fines, and even potential shutdown of operations. That’s why it is absolutely critical for cannabis businesses to take data security seriously and implement robust protections. Here are 5 must-have security measures every cannabis company needs to protect their data.

1. Encrypt All Data

Encryption should be the foundation of any cannabis company’s cybersecurity strategy. Encryption scrambles data using complex algorithms so that only authorized parties can access it. All data at rest on servers and endpoints should be encrypted, as well as any data in transit between systems. Encryption protects customer data even if devices are lost or stolen. Top cannabis POS systems like GreenBits and Flowhub have built-in encryption to secure customer payment info. Make sure any POS or inventory management software uses strong encryption.

2. Install a Firewall

Firewalls create a barrier between internal company systems and outside networks. They monitor incoming and outgoing traffic using predefined security rules to filter out malicious activity. Firewalls add an extra layer of protection by hiding systems from unauthorized access. Cannabis retailers with customer-facing websites and online ordering need web application firewalls (WAFs) to defend against cyber attacks aimed at web servers. There are many enterprise-grade firewall options to choose from, including Sophos, SonicWall, and Barracuda.

3. Use a VPN

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are a must for any remote workers at cannabis companies. VPNs establish secure, encrypted connections over public networks so remote staff can safely access company systems and data. Traffic is tunneled through VPN servers and encrypted using protocols like IKEv2, SSTP, or OpenVPN. VPN connections prevent customer data and other sensitive information from being exposed on public Wi-Fi networks or facing eavesdropping. Top options like ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark offer robust encryption and added privacy features.

4. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an extra layer of account security on top of passwords. Users must confirm their identity using multiple factors such as biometrics, security keys, or one-time codes. Even if a password is compromised, thieves won’t be able to access accounts protected by MFA. Cannabis companies should require MFA across all critical systems, including cloud apps, VPN, email, network gateways, and POS software. Most MFA solutions like Duo and Authy integrate easily through cloud identity providers like Okta. Never rely solely on passwords to secure sensitive data and accounts.

5. Monitor for Threats

Ongoing monitoring and threat detection is crucial for identifying security incidents quickly. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools monitor endpoints like servers, POS systems, and employee devices for suspicious activity indicating malware or intrusions. EDR software from SentinelOne, CrowdStrike, or Microsoft Defender for Endpoint combines AI and behavior analysis to detect emerging threats. Make sure to tune detection policies specifically for key cannabis industry threats. Pair EDR with a security information and event management (SIEM) platform like Splunk or IBM QRadar to aggregate alerts and improve threat visibility. Daily log reviews and monitoring adversarial tactics will help cannabis businesses respond faster to data security incidents.

Protect Your Most Valuable Asset with Qredible

Safeguarding customer data should be the top priority for any cannabis company. Start with these security fundamentals – encryption, firewalls, VPNs, MFA, and threat monitoring – to lock down your systems. Partnering with Qredible takes your cannabis tech stack’s security to the next level. Qredible works to validate and encrypt sensitive product data like strains, batch info, and lab test results. Our blockchain software adds an unalterable record of transactions, preventing fraud and system tampering. With Qredible, your customers can trust their data is protected across your entire supply chain. Sign up today to bring enterprise-grade security and transparency to your cannabis operations with Qredible. Our team is ready to help you safeguard what matters most — your customer, product, and transaction data.
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