Does Legalized Pot Equate to a Rise in Cyber Crime?

Does the rapid legalization of medical marijuana in the US, 20 states to date, and legalization by countries around the world contribute to cyber crime?

This is the question I asked myself when I read that Uruguay is planning to start selling marijuana legally next year for $1 a gram. Forgive me if I’m late to the party, but considering that the illegal traffic and sale of marijuana brings billions of dollars to drug lords, $1 a gram weed and medical marijuana laws must be putting a major crimp in their cash flow. A 2012 study, by the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO), found that “Mexican drug cartels could see their revenue drop by as much as 30 percent across the board if current ballot initiatives on marijuana legalization in three states are passed.” That’s only 3 states.

So what’s a drug lord to do?

How does a smart (drug) business maintain revenue when one source dries up? They either downsize or diversify. Let’s suppose for a moment that diversifying to legitimate business is unpalatable to the average drug lord, cyber crime could be a viable revenue stream. The rise of e-commerce and the public’s willingness to freely provide their credit card, social security number and other financial data to websites will look like easy pickings to forward-thinking criminals. This is why we believe that cyber crime and hacking will rise with the ongoing legalization of marijuana.

E-commerce websites, financial websites, membership websites, mobile app companies need to take extra steps to make sure their users, clients and customer’s privacy is protected. Hackers are relentless, like the Terminator in that Terminator movie, they will relentlessly search for and attack any weakness in your code, servers or network. There will be an increasing demand for network security professionals and services that “harden” websites to reduce the vulnerabilities rampant in common web code, plugins and frameworks.

At Executionists we offer solutions to harden websites above and beyond what is offered by hosting companies.  As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Businesses that don’t want to be a low-hanging fruit should contact us for more information.

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Posted: October 23, 2013