Even if you never read the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities, you are still probably familiar with its opening line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. This line has become so common in the culture it has become a cliché. The reason it is popular though is because it does do a good job of describing how situations that are fresh, exciting, and new (like Europe of the verge of the French Revolution) can also be scary, dangerous, and difficult.
While nobody involved in the CBD industry will (literally) lose their head, the explosion in popularity and legitimacy of CBD has created a revolutionary situation. It is a new frontier with endless possibilities and profits but also with unforeseen challenges and pitfalls along the way. Among these challenges will be web security. In an industry that does the majority of its business online, web security is paramount. Here is what CBD retailers should know about web security in 2020.
The CBD oil craze
CBD oil is a chemical compound derived from the Cannabis Sativa that has been shown to have extraordinary benefits for both physical and mental health. This article from CBDKyro goes more into depth into all the benefits and the science behind it. The thing to know though is that with hemp and cannabis being legalized or decriminalized all over the world, many businesses have seen a huge opportunity in this market.
This has led to a surge in new companies producing best CBD oil and other CBD-related products. These companies produce a wide range of products that vary greatly in both quality and price. The good news for retailers though is that the market has reached saturation and that has begun the process of bringing down the prices that producers can charge.
According to an article about the industry in The Columbian, hemp prices have fallen from $40 a pound to under $10 a pound by the end of 2019. They also found that cannabis prices have dropped throughout 2019 in most U.S. states. This will ultimately lead to better profit margins for retailers.
The downside for CBD oil retailers
As the CBD oil craze marches on for the industry, there are still many challenges faced by CBD oil retailers. As mentioned before, the quality of different products can vary wildly from producer to producer. To help find the best and most popular CBD oils on the market today, Cool Things Chicago put together this great list of top brands.
In addition to finding the right products, there are challenges retailers face around selling the products as well. While much of the selling of the best CBD oils reviewed is done online, which has many advantages such as a better reach and less overhead, it can create a lot of problems as well. Different municipalities have different laws around the sale and use of CBD products which can make life difficult for retailers.
Also, as with any business that is focused on online retail, cybersecurity is a huge issue. In today’s web-based world, the potential for hackers to gain access to your company’s web site or digitally stored information presents an enormous threat. If you fall victim to a cyberattack, it can cost your business time, money, customers, and even ultimately doom your business to fail if it is bad enough or not handled properly. For that reason, web security is something CBD retailers need to consider even more than your average business.
What to know about web security
As a CBD retailer, there are some things that you have to know about web security to keep your company and customer data secure.
Retailers are the biggest target of cybercriminals. If you sell a product (like CBD oil) online, you have an incredibly valuable database of consumer information. It is the exact kind of data hackers are looking for. Yes, credit cards and other financial information are great for criminals but other info is prized too. Standard customer info like names, email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses are also very valuable.
The cost of a breach is immense. Failing to implement proper web security can be incredibly damaging to your business. In addition to the possibility of actually having money stolen, there is negative PR, damage to your brand, loss of customers, downtime costs, legal fees, governmental fines, and more that can possibly cost you thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
Fix and patch what you can. How do most cybercriminals get in? By exploiting known weaknesses in systems that there is already a fix for! The majority of attacks are caused by business failing to patch vulnerabilities after software companies have created a solution. You need to stay on top of all your software and make sure you update it to fix the latest problems as soon as possible.
Train your staff. Another big way cybercriminals infiltrate retailers’ systems is by taking advantage of human error. When an employee clicks on a malicious link or shares a suspicious email, it can give access to people who want to do your company harm. To prevent this, training employees on understanding cyber threats and how to deal with them is a great first step to improve the overall web security of your company.
Dedicate someone to security. If you have a physical CBD store and you are worried about theft, what is the first thing you would do? Probably hire a security guard and post them at the door, right? The same principle applies to cybersecurity. You need a dedicated person or company looking after your web security. It is too involved, too complicated, and too important to handle on your own or as part of a larger job.
Whether it is hiring someone on staff or outsourcing to a third-party company, giving someone the sole task to monitor, assess, test, and update your web security will go a long way to ensuring that your systems, and by proxy, your company, and consumer data are as secure as possible.