One of our Washington cannabis clients recently learned that its employee was the target of a cybersecurity attack. The employee, who was following instructions via a messaging app, wired money to an individual at the request of who he believed to be an owner of the company. That was not the case! The employee had fallen victim to a cybersecurity attack. Our client has asked us to publish this post as a public service announcement to other cannabis businesses.
These attacks are becoming more and more prevalent as we continue to communicate online. In this case, the employee was a victim of “phishing,” which is a scheme where a fraudster impersonates another person to induce individuals to reveal information or, in this case, send money. Other cybercrimes include data breaches, where hackers obtain sensitive information by breaching a company’s secured files and then use that information for identiy theft, blackmail, or to commit other crimes. Cybercriminals can operate across the globe meaning that anyone online can quickly become a target. Marijuana businesses in Washington State (and elsewhere) need to be aware of the risk of cyber attacks as we enter a new decade.
No industry is safe from the threat of