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Common Salesforce Security Concerns

The security of your data should be one of the top concerns of your company. Your data is what sets you apart from your competition. Any breach of this data has a direct impact on your customers and clients.

Protecting the data of your company and customers should be a constant effort.

The first step to properly protecting your Salesforce data is to take some time to assess your potential vulnerabilities.

You don’t know what you need to protect if you don’t know where these vulnerabilities lie. And in the instance of a breach, the ability to expeditiously address security concerns is vital.

Salesforce has many measures in place that make the platform itself secure. However, one of Salesforce’s greatest assets is its customizability. This means many companies use third-party applications to run alongside their Salesforce processes.

The variety of options for customization create the opportunity for users to unknowingly open the door to security vulnerabilities.

With this in mind, we thought we’d look into some common security concerns that users can run into if they aren’t careful. Keeping these factors in mind will help you to prevent any potential losses or corruption of sensitive information.

Intentional attention is a great way to protect your company, and awareness is the first step toward putting useful systems in place.

1. Access Control

The ability to keep your information and data safe—at its core—means you can control those who are able to access it. Maintaining this base level of control is the first line of defense against compromised data.

The amount of data and metadata contained without your Salesforce account is going to grow over time. And while the platform is secure, this doesn’t guarantee your ability to maintain the security of this abundance of data.

A Salesforce DevOps solution can enable you to manage user permissions and track developer activity through audit trail information, providing insight into the permissions afforded various individuals and their involvement in code changes impacting the Salesforce org.

This becomes important when considering previous employees, or those with an upcoming departure.

Third party applications run alongside your Salesforce processes and might not be as secure as you assume. A breach in these applications means your information becomes compromised.

Stay on top of this by removing outdated or unused applications.

2. Exporting Reports and Data

Unauthorized access to data can result in exports of various reports as well as the data itself. This puts private and valuable data in too many people’s hands—making it difficult to control.

Your Salesforce data—whether it’s lines of code, performance metrics, or sensitive customer information—can be beneficial to your competitors as well as hackers.

Protect this information by adjusting permissions relating to access points within your system. Make sure that only essential people have access to important information and the ability to export it.

Disallowing access to information by simply adjusting permissions drastically limits your exposure to potential security risks.

Monitor the number of reports being run, by whom, and when it’s happening. Look for outliers such as:

  • An abnormal number of reports exported
  • Employees running reports without a clear reason
  • Frequently run reports

 

3. Use of Personal Devices

Many companies will issue devices to their employees—whether it’s computers, tablets, or phones. These devices are likely to come with pre-installed security measures.

However, people are generally not as secure in their day-to-day usage of personal devices.

The ease with which we can access information throughout the day leads many to check their work accounts while on their personal devices. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it.

Hackers and malware can get into company systems through improperly protected devices.

Track the sign-ins to your system. Look for anybody accessing your Salesforce platform in areas not known to be frequented by employees (a different country, for instance). Also, find any users logging in with personal devices and make it clear to only use approved devices in the future.

4. Application Program Interfaces

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) define interactions between various pieces of software. Information is passed between the applications with the goal of improving user experience.

Salesforce is often used in conjunction with APIs. And while the goal is to improve user experience, the program’s vulnerabilities are also frequently expanded.

The danger comes from the transfer of information between software. A compromised API can start transferring that information elsewhere, or insert faulty information to the source.

Always use caution when working with APIs. This includes tactics such as:

  • Encrypting the information passed through APIs
  • Use passwords so you know who is accessing
  • Monitor your logs
  • Keep your network infrastructure up to date

5. Overexposed Data

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There are numerous avenues a person can take to access Salesforce data. We’ve gone over a few of them and stressed the necessity of controlling and monitoring who is accessing your data and why.

Your data sets will continue to grow over time. And the larger your pool of data becomes, the more difficult it will be to keep it secure.

The most efficient way to watch over a large set of data is to secure the methods by which it can be accessed.

This includes adjusting permissions, updating third party applications, and enacting strict protocols for employees.

Every interaction with your data is a potential security risk. Limiting the amount of exposure this data receives will diminish the likelihood of an attack.

6. A False Sense of Security

A strong Salesforce data security policy is the result of intentional practices. Constant attention is necessary to successfully implement a policy.

The worst thing that can happen is for a company to become complacent and simply assume their data is safe.

A false sense of security leads people to leave themselves open to attack for no other reason than they aren’t protecting themselves as well as they should. Don’t let this happen to you.

Put systems in place to keep unauthorized users away from your information. Backup your Salesforce data so you’re prepared for an outage.

Downtime is costly. And laxed security methods leave your Salesforce data prone to becoming compromised.

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