A strong Salesforce deployment process must be fast and secure without sacrificing quality. You can successfully accomplish this by focusing on key considerations.
Why It Matters: A compromised Salesforce deployment process results in faulty updates and applications, and has the potential to expose sensitive data in multiple locations.
- Many apps and systems are interconnected within your Salesforce environment—and each one is a vulnerable entry point for cybercriminals.
- Human error is an unavoidable aspect of lengthy manual processes. Streamlining various processes can prevent costly mistakes.
Here are 10 ways to secure your Salesforce deployment process:
- Require Strong Passwords
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
- Establish and Enforce Rules
- Install Scalable Processes
- Automate Whenever Possible
- Restrict Permissions
- Encourage Communication
- Don’t Be Afraid to Go Backwards
- Prioritize Planning
- Review Dashboards and Reports
1. Require Strong Passwords
The first step to securing your Salesforce deployment process is to secure your environment as a whole with basic best practices. This includes a factor that might seem incredibly simple, but goes a long way toward preventing unauthorized access to your Salesforce environment.
Require your team members to change their passwords every 90 days and use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols at least 10 characters long.
This type of maintenance ensures the integrity of your access control systems. Use this tool to see how secure your current password is and make sure you don’t use sequential sequences or easy-to-crack phrases in the future.
2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Another basic building block of Salesforce security is to utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA). Passwords and accounts can become compromised in a variety of ways. Implementing the additional layer of security afforded by MFA makes it much more difficult for a hacker to access an account—even if they have a team member’s information.
An extra security code sent through an email or text message authenticator app ensures the person accessing your system is the account owner and not simply someone with the right login credentials.
These precautions are a good idea for every company, but especially for teams working in the cloud spread over a vast geographic area.
3. Establish and Enforce Rules
It’s critical to have internal rules that dictate how profiles and permissions are set up, manage how team members interact with your platform, and enforce regulatory compliance considerations. Adherence to these rules impacts the Salesforce deployment process by either giving your platform the support it needs to produce quality products and mitigate risk or leaving it exposed to vulnerabilities.
Utilizing a policy scanning tool guarantees internal rules are followed with 100% compliance and accuracy.
Meeting with team leaders to configure a set of internal rules establishes protocol that sets up deployment processes and creates reliable updates and applications. Automating the verification of these rules ensures your team consistently complies with these standards moving forward.
4. Install Scalable Processes
No business is static. Having flexible teams means being better equipped to expand your capacity when demand surges. On the flip side, failing to account for market expansion and contraction leaves your DevOps teams scrambling to address emerging issues on the fly. And when it comes to Salesforce deployments, every misstep has the potential to sink a project.
Integrating scalable tools and adaptable processes increases your team’s productivity, output, and development velocity.
Mistakes create bugs and errors. Any errors that make it to production can lead to a failed deployment. Source scalable Salesforce DevOps tools that not only meet your current needs, but address projected requirements for the foreseeable future as well.
5. Automate Whenever Possible
DevOps tools come in a lot of different forms to address various aspects of the development pipeline. Some of these tools help with organization while others directly address processes previously performed manually.
Reducing manual touchpoints eliminates the potential for human error, which continues to be the leading threat to data security.
Automation expedites processes like populating new sandboxes or verifying proper coding structures. It also provides a series of testing layers to weed out costly mistakes and ensure a smooth Salesforce deployment process. Applying tools like static code analysis and data loaders should be utilized as frequently as possible.
6. Restrict Permissions
Speaking of human error, minimizing exposure greatly reduces the possibility of a costly mistake. Salesforce administrators have the ability to dictate which team members have access to particular types of data.
A user with a level of permission such as “modify and delete all data” has the potential to delete essential pieces of information, which could lead to a deployment failure or developing a faulty update.
Permission sets, profiles, and roles all need to be directly configured to reflect the needs of each individual team member. Using a policy scanner helps you enforce these requirements to mitigate the risks of affording users unnecessary access, which could result in unintentional data loss.
7. Encourage Communication
The Salesforce deployment process requires the input of a variety of team members across numerous teams. DevSecOps works to combine essential functions into a singular pipeline to create more secure products at speed. Failures in communication can lead to unchecked errors that negatively impact the deployment of the product.
Open communication across teams is essential to maintaining a functioning DevSecOps pipeline that produces secure updates and applications.
Team leaders need to encourage and facilitate cross-functional communication that centers on quality and security.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Backwards
Momentum can be a major driving force in Salesforce DevOps projects. This is what leads to technical debt—known shortcuts that are meant to be addressed at a later stage, usually post-production. However, a truly successful Salesforce deployment process is one that produces secure products every time.
Team members need to pause and revert a project the moment they notice something isn’t correct.
This does have an impact on the overall speed at which an application or update is produced, but it will yield the most secure results. Are you willingly advancing a product you know to be faulty?
9. Prioritize Planning
A successful Salesforce deployment comes toward the end of a well thought-out DevOps pipeline. While it’s tempting to jump into a new project and figure it out as you go, this is not a repeatable approach that can be refined over time. Streamlining development processes starts before anybody writes a line of code.
Take time to plan out the processes needed to achieve a successful deployment early in the pipeline. This will allow you to remain flexible should unforeseen circumstances arise.
Data security is no accident. It takes focused care and attention. Proper planning, including delegating tasks, nominating security owners, and reiterating best practices, sets your Salesforce deployment process up for success.
10. Review Dashboards and Reports
You know it’s vital to implement repeatable processes that can be refined over time. But the only way to learn from your mistakes and successes is by taking the time to recognize them. And with something as large as a Salesforce development project, it’s difficult to organize all the factors in a consumable way.
Sourcing DevOps tools that provide dashboards and reports on the success or failure of your Salesforce development process will help you find ways to make the next project more stable.
A secure deployment relies on perfect coding structures, ample testing, and a stable environment. Keeping all these factors in mind will help you put together a repeatable strategy that will streamline DevOps efforts and produce more successful deployments.
Intentionally sourcing the right Salesforce DevOps tools goes a long way toward supporting a successful deployment. And one of the most beneficial tools to enable quick and reliable deployments is a code quality tool.
Learn more by reading How Code Quality Tools Support Salesforce Deployments.
Should security, quality, or speed be prioritized for Salesforce deployments?
A frequent misconception is that one of these factors must come at the expense of the other. However, security, quality, and speed can all be accomplished simultaneously with proper attention. DevOps tools and practices can be leveraged to quickly produce secure products. Static code analysis is an integral aspect of a complete DevSecOps approach. This reduces manual touchpoints, effectively minimizing potential errors, which also eliminates security vulnerabilities before they become an issue. Other DevOps tools like data loaders expedite essential processes that help dev teams produce quality work that flows through the deployment stage without incident.
What scenarios necessitate automated deployments?
So now you’ve heard about the potential benefits of automating processes like code reviews, but what about automating the deployment process itself? True continuous deployment includes the process of automatically sending new updates and applications through deployment and into production. This is the fastest way to introduce new products, but it isn’t perfect for every situation. Companies bound by regulatory requirements, for instance, often need the additional layer of security provided by a manual approval prior to the production stage. However, companies that want the fastest release cycles and are not bound by strict regulatory requirements are able to automate this process. Expediting deployments is possible for DevOps pipelines that utilize well-designed tests for every aspect of their products.
Should DevOps projects be rolled back after a deployment?
It’s never too late to address a problem. However, it becomes much more labor-intensive and expensive to do so post-deployment. That’s why it’s so important to instill multiple layers of testing throughout the DevOps pipeline. Utilizing tools like version control give you the ability to manage software revisions over time. This makes it much easier to find and fix errors without impacting the project as a whole. Static code analysis enables developers to fix errors the moment they’re written, drastically reducing the need for later rollbacks. Finding errors at this stage makes them 150% less expensive to fix compared to finding bugs post-production.