Chicago Partner Ryan Holz and Hartford Office Managing Partner Ted Augustinos were quoted in an article outlining the reasons cannabis companies could be especially vulnerable to cyberattacks and actions the industry may take to limit this risk.
“The cannabis industry, because of how new it is and because of the cash-strapped nature of the business, is going to be a target for cybercriminals. Especially medical marijuana facilities and dispensaries because of the valuable information that they have,” Holz said.
Holz also pointed out the “inherent tension between cybersecurity and the value of data” for cannabis companies, many of which are startups “incentivized to get data on their customers in order to understand what their customers like, what their customers are purchasing, what the demographics are.”
However, he noted, Illinois has “made it a high priority to limit the amount of consumer information that is taken in by dispensaries,” suggesting consumers there may be better protected than in other states.
Augustinos noted the importance of trade organizations and consumer groups bringing more attention to privacy and cybersecurity threats, which could prompt the industry to better safeguard data.
“Consumers are fairly vulnerable here,” he says. “A lot of it is about awareness.”
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