The cannabis boom is in full swing, and every week more and more dispensaries appear, capitalizing on the growing marijuana trend. Maneuvering this new and exciting new industry may be difficult, but you are determined to get it done. You’ve secured your license, you have a workspace, you have all the necessary materials to get started –except one.
Internet connectivity is the most important aspect of building a business in the digital age. Having a solid online presence can help expand your market, increase sales, and build better customer relations. However, by just putting your business online, you expose yourself to a host of cyber threats including; darknet hackers, ransomware, spyware, and DDoS attacks.
To be around for the best, you must prepare for the worst. Keeping your business safe online is a full-time job, and requires a dedicated cannabis security system. In order to establish the perfect system tailored to your needs, you need a solid plan and a powerful IT team to help you carry it forward.
Hire an Experienced IT Service Provider
The first step to creating the perfect security plan is hiring the perfect team. Every business is different and presents its own set of needs and challenges. When it comes to IT services, many companies decide to hire in-house specialists while others outsource to popular “turn-key” service providers.
A cannabis business cannot risk either option for two reasons:
1) The cannabis industry and the laws governing it are ever-changing.
2) There are no precedents to follow when it comes to owning a cannabis business.
The only solution is a cannabis security company. A cannabis security company not only offers software solutions but implements them as well, while keeping your business in compliance with the law. Once you have established a good relationship with an IT team, it’s time to consider your specific business needs in greater detail.
Consider the Direction of your Business
The second step in your plan should be considering your business type and direction. Your cannabis security needs are heavily dependent on your initial cannabis business structure and goals. Installing a firewall and a few cameras around the office is not an optimal security solution. Your IT team must develop measures that help turn your company into a robust business enterprise that is ready for anything.
Here are a few cannabis business models and their appropriate IT service needs, depending on the business’s primary mode of operation:
- Marijuana Cultivation Companies: A business that grows marijuana needs a reliable IoT device for fertigation, soil, and irrigation system monitoring.
- Marijuana Distribution Companies: A RFID tag system and dispatch software are needed for tracking and tracing state-to-state distribution.
- Dispensaries/Delivery Services: A reliable Point of Sale (POS) is needed, complete with a working, secure website with payment processing.
- Cannabis Product Manufacturing: A software and hardware system for maintaining, processing, and testing concentrates, infusions, and edibles.
While you may initially start in one of these areas, you know that a company is always in the process of scaling operations. Your IT service team can’t simply stop at providing you with a POS or dispatch system, they must be prepared to provide you with services and support every step of the way. You need and IT Team that can help your business get to the next step.
Work with a CIO to Scale your Business
The third step in creating the perfect security plan is working closely with your IT team and helping them scale with your business. Your IT service provider should offer you the aid of a reliable Virtual CIO. This is an agent or group that manages your IT tasks including; protecting your data, performing disaster recovery, providing technical support (both remotely and on-site), and improving your software.
A good CIO doesn’t just protect your business, they grow your business. It is their duty to streamline your IT department, making it as up-to-date and efficient as possible. A good CIO develops stronger and more adapt security measures as you progress, always keeping you one step ahead of the competition. Reliability, optimization, and 24/7 support should be the core principles of your ideal Virtual CIO.
Many small businesses are at high risk for a security breach from both outside and within their own company. A dedicated IT team of dispensary security specialists must be prepared for anything. A good virtual CIO can mean the difference between thriving in the cannabis industry or sinking like a stone.
An IT Team Made for Cannabis Security
The cannabis industry is excellent for those looking to an opportunity for growth, wealth, and lifelong prosperity. However, those who choose to take advantage of the spike in cannabis popularity need to be active and prepared. Being active online exposes your business to a host of hackers, spyware, security breaches, and other threats. Whether you’re creating a retail service, a cultivation farm, or a distribution center, your business must have a secure IT network and a dedicated support team.
GeekTek is a modern IT/security provider, specializing in cannabis security systems, and dedicated to guiding emerging businesses through this new and exciting market. Our expert team of cannabis security specialists is well versed in cannabis business laws and best practices. As a business owner, your main concern should be growing your company –not studying to be an IT security specialist.
Our Virtual CIO service provides around the clock IT support, audit systems, data encryption, cannabis cyber-security, security monitoring, and much more. We will work with you to determine your business needs and create a robust, scalable, and effective IT security plan. Contact us and get on the right path to IT security today.