The medical marijuana industry is constantly changing. New laws are popping up, and states are either legalizing the drug for recreational use or expanding its medical usage. Operators in this industry must remain diligent:
- to stay compliant with state regulations
- avoid potential liability
- and protect their businesses from cyber threats
Medical marijuana is legal in many states and countries, but the possession of cannabis leaves on paper. So how can you keep your medical marijuana records and personal inventory private?
To do so, you need to have a solid information security program in place that is continuously monitoring your risk profile. There are many ways you can safeguard your confidential data as a cannabis business.
These tips will help you in several ways. As:
- to understand your risks.
- know what types of records you need to keep,
- and implement policies to protect them from unauthorized access and identification.
What Is Confidential Data?
Confidential data is any information that could pose a risk to your business if it is exposed. The data can be:
- patient data
- information about suppliers or employees
- or financial data
You must take steps to secure all of these types of information in order to protect yourself and your business. If you are audited, you will need to prove that you have taken adequate measures to safeguard this data.
You must know what type of confidential data your business holds and where it is at all times. There are three types of confidential data that are relevant to the cannabis industry. They are customer data, employee data, and financial data.
1.Customer data includes information about the customers who purchase your products. Such as: their names, addresses, and personal details.
2. Employee data includes information about your workers, such as their personal details, social security numbers, health insurance information, and other data. These data could represent a risk if it got into the wrong hands.
3. Financial data includes your company’s financial data, such as your customers’ financial information, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and any other information related to financial transactions.
Establish Internal Protocols
Before you even think about creating a business plan, purchasing equipment, or hiring employees, you should have a clear idea of your internal protocols. These include both your physical security procedures and your cyber security protocols.
Physical security protocols will include:
- procedures for access control
- video surveillance
- maintaining the physical security of your business premises.
Cyber security protocols will include:
- procedures for handling customer data
- protecting confidential information in your databases and systems.
Establishing these protocols up-front will help you stay compliant with state regulations and will help you avoid potential liability. They will also help you to protect your confidential data. You must have clear protocols in place that employees understand and follow. This will help reduce the risk of any confidential data being exposed.
Have a Strong Password Policy of Medical Marijuana Records
Strong passwords are an essential part of any good security protocol. If you are using a word that is in the dictionary, an employee could easily guess it and gain access to your system. While using a random string of letters, numbers, and symbols, you will be significantly harder to breach.
Your employees should also change their passwords on a regular basis to prevent someone from using their old passwords. In that way, they can’t gain access to your systems. You should also make sure that all employees are aware of the types of devices that are on your network.
Are there any IoT (Internet of Things) devices?
What types of devices are they?
Are they currently patched? Are they running the correct software?
This will help you identify the risks associated with these devices and track which ones need to be fixed. You can also put protocols in place that will automatically patch IoT devices when new software updates are available.
Use Encryption Where Possible
There are many points in your business where you may need to encrypt data. If you are storing customer data, credit card data, or any other sensitive data, you should strongly consider encrypting it. This will help protect this data from unauthorized access by both humans and computers.
You can also encrypt sensitive data while it is in transit. In that way,you can protect it from being intercepted by third parties. You can use various forms of encryption, such as Transport Layer Security, Secure Sockets Layer, or virtual private networks.
Moreover, you can also use a hybrid approach that combines a variety of different encryption methods to protect your data. You should also regularly monitor your encryption systems to make sure they are functioning properly. If a breach occurs and you encrypted the data but it didn’t work as expected, you may need to re-think your encryption strategy.
Keep Track of Your Software Upgrades
Most software comes with an update feature. These updates are only to help you fix bugs, patch security vulnerabilities, and add new features. You should keep track of these updates. Make sure that all of your systems are running the latest versions.
This will help you protect against potential security threats. You should also make sure that your systems are ready to automatically install updates when they are available. Besides, it will help ensure that all of your systems are equipped with the latest security fixes.
It is also a good way to track which systems are behind on their updates. You can also prioritize your patch management tasks. Many businesses also have a software license management system in place which will help you track which systems are using which software licenses.
You can then make sure that every system is only using the correct number of licenses to prevent you against regulatory non-compliance and software piracy.
Protecting your confidential data is an essential part of running a successful business. Without data security protocols, you could face regulatory fines, lawsuits, or even have to shut down your business. There are many different types of data that you need to protect, and there are many different ways to protect it.
You can use physical security measures to protect your data from potential threats such as theft and vandalism. Moreover, you can also use cyber security protocols to protect your data from potential threats such as hackers and malicious software. You can also use encryption to protect specific types of data from unauthorized access.