6 Most Common Reasons for Salesforce Data Loss
Salesforce data loss is a major concern for every business. It can affect compliance with government regulations, cost massive amounts of money, threaten the functionality of the Salesforce environment, and impact consumer trust.
And while data breaches are only one form of data loss, it’s indicative of how important it is to take these matters seriously. Data loss has major effects on the functionality of your system at large.
Restoring operations takes your team members away from their important tasks and delays future releases, degrading customer experience and threatening their confidence in your company’s ability to protect their sensitive information.
The first step toward protecting yourself from the harmful effects of Salesforce data loss is to make sure your team members are aware of potential threats.
1. Accidental Deletion
Depending on which source you trust, accidental deletion is responsible from anywhere between 50% and 90% of data loss. But even if the specific percentage value is disputed, it’s agreed that accidental deletion is the leading threat to your Salesforce data.
A simple click in the wrong place—or even a spilled beverage—can lead to essential Salesforce data being deleted from your system.
These accidents can have drastic impacts on the functionality of your system. Regulatory compliance can even be impacted if the affected information isn’t properly protected and handled.
And while you can’t exactly put systems in place to keep an accident from happening, you can plan for these inevitable mistakes. A reliable data backup and recovery plan is the only way to guarantee you won’t feel the negative effects from an accidental deletion of important Salesforce data.
Cyberattacks might not be the top reason for Salesforce data loss, but it’s probably what pops into people’s minds the most when they think of digital threats. And this is for good reason—hackers are attacking systems every 39 seconds.
Cyberattacks often directly target your system data with the goal of stealing information, compromising it, or holding it hostage for a ransom.
Your Salesforce system data is very attractive to cybercriminals no matter your industry.
Of course, some industries are more highly targeted than others. Healthcare and financial services industries will face a higher risk of cyberattacks because of the sensitive information inherent to their businesses.
Government regulations are in place to stipulate proper handling of personally identifiable information (PII) because of the risk it poses to customers should it become compromised.
Ransomware, phishing, and malware are common types of cybercrime that can be guarded against by communicating a series of best practices to your team members.
3. Hardware Failure
Computer systems are made up of many different moving parts. Working in the cloud might seem untouchable, but all processes are rooted within a server. And if it’s connected to a piece of hardware, there’s always the chance that this hardware can become damaged or corrupted.
Natural disasters, human error, and more can lead to harmful damage of your computing hardware and lead to data loss.
Data stored within a damaged system can become inaccessible. And any data that isn’t backed up in a separate location will be lost.
Much like accidental deletions, which we discussed earlier, this is not a threat that can be completely guarded against. Preparation is the only way to protect yourself from its harmful effects, and strategic backups of your Salesforce system are the best way to do so.
4. Corrupted Software
Anybody who’s worked on a development project knows that the software we use every day is built with a series of interconnected parts. Corruption of even a single aspect of this construction can lead to the failure of the whole program.
Improper shutdowns—perhaps during a power outage—can corrupt your data and erase any unsaved information.
Our computer systems are more fragile than we might like to think. Forcing a shutdown during an update can lead to this update impacting important areas of the system. And when something misfires, it can create large headaches.
Ensuring your team members frequently save their progress and follow all recommended usage practices will help guard against contributing to software corruption and potentially losing important Salesforce data.
5. Mishandling Metadata
Metadata is an essential aspect of a well-functioning Salesforce environment. Here are a few Salesforce features that are powered by metadata:
- Platform customizations
- Screen and page layouts
- Permission information
- Interconnected fields
- Creation information
Every piece of information from a screen change for a form, updating customer information, or a new piece of code update generates metadata.
This information needs to be protected as much as any other type of Salesforce system data. Failure to do so will result in these operations grinding to a halt. Input data might populate the wrong field and become lost. Stored repositories can become missing.
Improper handling of metadata can compromise release quality, lead to downtime, and expose sensitive or protected data.
Automation can be utilized to reduce errors from manual process. Metadata needs to be protected and controlled at a granular level. A failure to do so will have wide-ranging effects on your Salesforce system.
6. Bad Code
The stability of your Salesforce environment is directly tied to the quality of code with which it is built.
Any errors in the coding structure that make it through the development pipeline and into production instantly become a liability and can contribute to lost or corrupted data.
This includes examples of improperly linked fields, as we saw with mishandling metadata. Bad code can also create Salesforce data security issues that contribute to cyberattacks.
Continually verifying the quality of all code integrations will not only provide the best possible product, but it will also create a more secure product. Static code analysis automates this process to alert developers to coding errors in real time, instead of waiting for a future checkpoint.
This saves time and money, while also contributing to successful deployments and a reduction in the likelihood of data loss.