Increased cannabis legalization entails the growing need for managed IT services
It is no secret that the cannabis business is booming. So far in 2021, the states of New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and New Mexico have passed legislation to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana. States such as Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, and many more have already legalized cannabis for medical use.
Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of this — growing, processing, and selling their own products.
Owning any business of any kind, however, comes with a higher demand to protect all aspects of said business. Everything from finances, products, physical security, and cybersecurity constitutes an ever-growing need for cannabis business owners. Cannabis companies can reach out to IT companies for their help in maximizing the value in various aspects of their business.
Benefits of hiring IT service providers in cannabis
Having a reliable IT infrastructure in the cannabis business is an absolute must. Cannabis businesses that do not have an IT professional on staff can greatly benefit from hiring IT service providers. Moreover, even businesses that already have an IT professional on staff can still reap the benefits of hiring service providers to help support their IT infrastructure. As cannabis becomes increasingly available, the reliance on digital solutions, powerful cannabis CRMs, and knowledgeable professionals in the digital sphere will become more and more valuable.
Aspects such as surveillance, regulation compliance, and cybersecurity will be improved with the hiring of IT support, thus furthermore optimizing a business.
IT services for security and surveillance in the cannabis industry
Dispensaries and growing locations being robbed are all too evident. With the popularity of cannabis ever-increasing, its value is only growing, which makes businesses more at risk of security breaches.
The market value for legal cannabis is projected to reach $66.3 billion by the end of 2025.
In hiring dependable IT assistance, facilities that grow, process, and distribute cannabis products can better guard against the possibility of theft. The installation of security systems cameras, and key cards are just a few of the many ways that IT service providers could aid in the safekeeping of cannabis businesses.
Cannabis industry’s need for cybersecurity
Many times, cannabis businesses make the mistake of focusing on just physical security. Not only do cannabis companies require physical security to keep their location guarded. They also require reliable monitored cybersecurity. Valuable data such as financial information, passwords, and customer records are meant, often required to be kept safe. The cannabis industry is a high-risk cybercrime target due to factors such as its recent progressiveness, the value of the industry, and the current lack of IT support for many cannabis businesses.
The average cost of a data breach in the cannabis business is $3 million, mostly due to the cost of legal action, system remediation, and customer awareness. According to the national cybersecurity alliance, 60% of small businesses go out of business within 6 months following a security breach. This percentage could very easily be higher in the make it or break it competition often seen in states with newly passed pro-cannabis legislation. To avoid losing millions of dollars and potentially one’s business, there are many actions and precautions to be considered, including:
- Security risk assessments
- System hardening
- Software and hardware updates
- Data loss prevention
- Dark web monitoring
IT support aiding in compliance with HIPAA laws
With its expanding popularity, many individuals are looking to medical marijuana as an option to help with injuries and other ailments. Keeping track and securing all of the patient data to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) becomes very overwhelming.
In 2020, a leak of 85,000 dispensary files containing 30,000 customer files occurred. This leak exposed personally identifiable information and possibly the protected health information of medical cannabis users. While this is a violation of HIPAA laws, fines of up to $50,000 can be given for each record that is exposed. Solutions can be reached with the help of IT support such as:
- Advanced user authentication
- Encryption of data at rest and in motion
- Intrusion detection and prevention
(new frontier data)
How we can maximize the value of our clients’ cannabis business
As always, we are dedicated to helping our clients reach their full potential in their business. In the cannabis industry, dependable IT support is pivotal in the success of a business. At Your Tech Team, we can provide services such as:
- Installing and managing security systems, cameras, key cards, etc
- Managing and maintaining POS systems
- HIPAA and PCI compliance
- Provide reliable cybersecurity, deterring cybercrimes
- Design scalable IT infrastructure solutions
We look to provide affordable, reliable, and efficient IT solutions for all of our clients. As the cannabis industry grows ever upward, we look to help our clients grow along with it.