- In a recent exclusive interview with Benzinga, Brian Haugli, SideChannel’s CEO, highlighted the looming cybersecurity issues threatening the cannabis industry, noting the vulnerabilities and glaring loopholes that could be exploited by individuals online with ill intent
- He emphasized the importance of addressing the human angle to cybersecurity, in addition to understanding that the sector has the same susceptibilities as the traditional agricultural sector
- This interview echoed SideChannel’s stand on matters of cybersecurity, as reflected in its annual meeting of stockholders held on February 15, 2023
- During the meeting, Deborah MacConnel was elected as chairperson, a welcome addition that also saw Anthony Ambrose and Kevin Powers join its board
In a recent exclusive interview with Benzinga, SideChannel (OTCQB: SDCH) CEO Brian Haugli laid bare the looming cybersecurity issues threatening the cannabis industry. Of note was his focus on the complacency of players in this sector, with many downplaying cybersecurity threats with the pretext that “no one would hack a weed company” (https://ibn.fm/NU36F).
As a company on a mission to make cybersecurity simple and accessible, based on the belief that small and mid-sized organizations deserve the expertise of an experienced Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”), SideChannel is helping demystify issues surrounding cybersecurity across various industries. By making cybersecurity services more accessible, particularly to small and medium-sized businesses, the company is helping to keep businesses operational, intellectual properties secure, and workers protected from people online with ill intent.
Mr. Haugli noted that with the move toward online processing of payments, scheduling, and making payments, businesses within the cannabis space are exposing themselves to the same risks as those in other industries. The mere association with the cannabis space does not exclude them from the cybersecurity risks often associated with other sectors, especially in retail. In addition, given that the cannabis industry uses the same systems and has the same vulnerabilities as the traditional agricultural sector, players in this space ought to take cybersecurity much more seriously.
“People need to look at where they are in the cannabis supply chain, whether they’re growing, distributing, manufacturing, or selling cannabis products, and take the steps to address different risks,” Haugli noted.
In addition to having the appropriate cybersecurity infrastructure, Haugli emphasized the importance of addressing the human angle to cybersecurity and having a corporate culture that bolsters online safety. He highlighted SideChannel’s “focus on the people who do the operations and are the largest attack surface,” noting the importance of employee training for every position, safety training, and fire drills, among others.
“Companies are fine locking the front doors and hiring a security guard at their building, but sometimes they won’t patch or secure the computer systems or the cloud systems that hold their intellectual property,” Haugli noted.
“Nobody is going to physically steal the intellectual property of a cannabis company. It’s a lot easier to go through the system than through a wall,” he added.
This Benzinga interview echoed SideChannel’s stand on cybersecurity matters, as reflected in its annual meeting of stockholders on February 15, 2023. On the Investor Day broadcast, live-streamed on the same day, the company touched on the factors underpinning the growing demand for its cybersecurity program leadership and its focus on revenue relationships, evidenced by its trailing 12-month revenue.
“We appreciate the stockholder approval of our annual meeting proposals,” Haugli noted.
“We are committed to increasing direct engagement with our stockholders and were pleased with the participation at our investor day,” he added (https://ibn.fm/TuLig).
Haugli also noted SideChannel’s team’s commitment to delivering meaningful leadership to its clients, emphasizing why he wanted stockholders to understand why mid-market companies appreciated what the company does and why cybersecurity professionals love being on the SideChannel team.
During the stockholders’ meeting, Deborah MacConnel was elected chairperson, replacing Tom Wilkinson. This welcome addition also saw Anthony Ambrose and Kevin Powers join the board of directors. MacConnel will lend her knowledge and expertise from years of experience working in technology and software. She started at Adobe and just recently retired from IBM, where she was head of global sales teams and was responsible for transforming IBM’s internal processes in human resources.
“SideChannel is doing something special,” MacConnel noted.
“They are focused on solving a significant challenge for mid-market companies, and I look forward to working with the other members of the board to support and monitor SideChannel’s progress,” she added (https://ibn.fm/s97rF).
Haugli was optimistic about MacConnel’s appointment, noting that she would influence SideChannel’s go-to-market strategies and culture.
A replay of SideChannel’s Investor Day is available at https://ibn.fm/Gh0KT.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.SideChannel.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to SDCH are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SDCH
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