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.


How Internet of Things Security Is Impacting Retailers

Internet of Things (IoT) security is a growing concern for in the real eastate. “IoT is one of the biggest trends in the market today,” said Itzik Feiglevitch, product manager for Check Point Software Technologies at the RSA Conference in May 2021. Huge numbers of devices are expected to be added in the coming years to company networks. And while Feiglevitch said they’re great—they increase operational efficiency and move companies into the digital world—a retailer also needs to take into consideration that “all of those IoT devices are now part of our networks, and they bring with them lots of security risks.”

There are four pillars to address the risks that IoT devices pose to an organization’s network, according to Justin Sowder, a security architect for Check Point.

  • IoT discovery and risk analysis. “Finding out what devices are out there, how much shadow IT is happening, and mapping out what we don’t know, is the first part—and getting as close as we can to an accurate representation of what’s in our environment.”
  • Zero-trust segmentation. “Moving into some sort of zero-trust model where we are isolating devices from the rest of our network and from each other,” said Sowder.
  • Internet of Things security threat prevention. “Aside from basic firewall prevention, we want to look at what we can do from a threat prevention side,” said Sowder. Organizations need to examine how they can keep the devices functioning in their designed roles while preventing traffic to things like command-and-control servers, he added.
  • Detection and response. “Now that I know what my devices are, now that I have visibility into them, how do I detect those incidents, respond to them, and get the right people involved to take the right action with respect to those.”

Physical Security

Van Rams Into Toy Store In Dramatic Pokémon and Lego Heist

A group of thieves rammed a van into a Dutch toy store and successfully made off with an unspecified number of Lego and Pokémon products.  According to a press release from Dutch police, the ram raid occurred at 9:30 PM local time Friday and targeted a branch of the Dutch toy store chain Intertoys in Voorburg, a town of 40,000 in the southwest of the Netherlands. The manager of the store told Dutch media that the thieves were out for the store’s Pokémon and Lego collection. In April, Motherboard reported on how the surging Pokémon market has led to absurdly high prices, especially in the “graded” card market. Since Lego only manufactures sets for two years, its products are popular on second-hand and collectors markets where rare sets can sell for thousands.

Vehicles have been used to penetrate security at dispensaries in the past. Recent examples in Colorado, Montana, and Florida suggest that the popular tactic will continue nation wide as a perceived quick way to bypass more hardened facilities.

Six Keys to Cannabis Surveillance

As the cannabis industry continues to expand its physical footprint with new dispensaries and cultivation operations, securing these facilities is under heavy scrutiny, and regulations and laws vary by state. In any case, video surveillance will play a key role in this security, which is why video surveillance provider IDIS America, based on its success in this sector over the past two years, has published a free educational eBook, Understanding Video Tech Requirements for Cannabis Retail and Production, designed to support systems integrators as they expand into this emerging market. In this article, Security Infowatch builds a business case for integrating new technologies.

Natural Threats

Indoor Cannabis Producers Adopt Water-Efficiency Systems in the Heat of Drought

Drought has driven water restrictions across the West, impacting citizens, municipalities, farms and businesses – cannabis producers among them. In response, many indoor producers have implemented water-efficiency technologies in past years to maintain enough water for their growing seasons while ensuring they are responsible stewards of the environment. As the drought worsens, it’s likely more restrictions are coming, producers say. Adopting long-term water-efficiency measures must be the answer to show leadership in an industry that – right or wrong – has had a reputation for water overuse.

Tourists Beat Up Upper West Side Hostess Over Vaccine Proof

Three women from Texas attacked a hostess at an Upper West Side Italian restaurant after being asked to prove they were vaccinated, police said. The tourists assaulted the 24-year-old worker at the neighborhood mainstay Carmine’s at about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, cops said. The women allegedly punched and struck the hostess multiple times and broke her necklace. The tussle began after the Texans argued with the hostess over the existence or legitimacy of the women’s COVID-19 documents, police said. Over the course of the pandemic we have seen multiple instances of harassment for retail and hospitality workers, starting with the issue of masks, and now relating to vaccines. As vaccine mandates are put in place, and further debated in the courts, this is an issue that does not appear to be going away any time soon. And some retailers continue to implement COVID, mask and mandate policies the potential for confrontation and escalation persist. Leaders are encouraged to ensure policies are clearly understood by staff and patrons and that employees know how to respond when challenged by patrons, or even by other employees. The CDC has previously published a document titled “Limiting Workplace Violence Associated with COVID-19 Prevention Policies in Retail and Services Businesses” that we encourage cannabis leaders to review.

Be sure to check back every Tuesday as we publish our Library Card Series where we highlight one of the resources available in our library!

Check out the latest blog highlighting issues important to cannabis security!