In this blog series, our Executive Director Ben Taylor highlights a selection of cybersecurity, physical security, health or natural threat related stories from the past week.

Cybersecurity

New Ransomware Website Launched

Today the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched a new website to help organizations reduce their risk of ransomware. StopRansomware.gov is the new ransomware homepage for federal government agencies to pool resources that can give businesses and organizations of all sizes the opportunity to better protect their networks. The website will also highlight the latest ransomware-related alerts from these agencies. Considering that 31% of US companies close down after a ransomware attack, any resource used in this fight is valuable, particularly for smaller cannabis organizations that don’t have a strong cybersecurity background.

Check Point Releases Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2021

Check Point’s Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2021 reveals that technology is still the most likely industry to be targeted by brand phishing, followed by shipping and retail. In Q1 2021, retail was interestingly overtaken in the list by banking, but it has now reclaimed its position in the top three possibly owing to the likes of the Amazon Prime Day sales. In a brand phishing attack, criminals try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and web-page design to the genuine site. The link to the fake website can be sent to targeted individuals by email or text message, a user can be redirected during web browsing, or it may be triggered from a fraudulent mobile application. The fake website often contains a form intended to steal users’ credentials, payment details or other personal information. This report can be very useful to show to employees, particularly those with less experience, so they can be aware of the threat from phishing emails, and know what to look for. Data breaches increased 38% in Q2 and are projected to reach an all-time high by the end of 2021.

Top phishing brands in Q2 2021

Below are the top brands ranked by their overall appearance in brand phishing attempts:

  1. Microsoft(related to 45% of all brand phishing attempts globally)
  2. DHL (26%)
  3. Amazon (11%)
  4. Bestbuy (4%)
  5. Google (3%)
  6. LinkedIn (3%)
  7. Dropbox (1%)
  8. Chase (1%)
  9. Apple (1%)
  10. Paypal (0.5%)

Physical Security

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Active Shooter Preparedness Webinar Series

Given today’s ever-changing threat environment, preparing for and training employees to cope with active threats and workplace violence should be a key piece of an organization’s emergency action plan. CISA has multiple active shooter preparedness webinars coming up that would be valuable for any corporate security personnel. The 2-hour security webinar is meant to enhance awareness of, and response to, an active shooter incident. The following are the course objectives:

  • Discuss the elements of active shooter incident response planning with guidance from expert instructors.
  • Describe common behaviors, conditions, and situations associated with active shooter events.
  • Discuss how to recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  • Provide information about best practices, communications protocols, and resources that will assist stakeholders to develop or enhance their emergency planning, preparedness, and response to active shooter incidents.

 Course Dates:

  • CISA Region 10- July 20
  • CISA Region 8- July 27
  • CISA Region 4- August 10
  • CISA Region 1- August 12
  • CISA Region 6- August 17
  • CISA Region 9- August 20

Natural Threats

Weed Farmers Are Building Tricked-Out Firefighting Rigs to Save Their Crops

Many homesteaders living in the cannabis-producing Emerald Triangle of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties in Northern California, are relying on DIY fire trucks to protect their valuable crops. Multiple growers told VICE News they absolutely rely on their trucks—mostly large pickups outfitted with massive water drums and heavy hoses, or in some cases updated, full-scale decommissioned fire trucks—to keep their weed farms safe from wildfires, because the state officials “have an axe to grind” with Humboldt County. Growers told VICE News this beef started back in the 1960s when residents often dissed law enforcement as authority figures, and officials have always viewed the area as outlaw country. However, it’s really a tight-knit community, they say, where everyone looks out for each other—especially during fire season. While every organization should take the initiative and responsibility for emergency preparedness on their own, the reality is it’s especially vital for the cannabis industry that may still be growing their relationships with local, and state entities. 

As wildfires continue to blaze throughout the west, authorities reported some good news earlier this week that they had made some progress in corralling the flames and forecasters predicted a gradual decrease in extreme temperatures.

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