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Internal Threats to Salesforce Data Loss for Healthcare Companies

Salesforce Data Loss HealthcareHealthcare companies work with many types of sensitive information. Personally identifiable information of their employees and patients—along with medical records and financial information—must be protected. Not only does a healthcare company owe it to those that trust them with their sensitive information, but it is also required by a variety of government regulations.

Every company needs to guard against all types of data loss. But this imperative is particularly pressing for healthcare companies.

External threats such as cybercriminals and system failures are often paid a lot of attention—and for good reason. These threats are responsible for a large percentage of data loss events. However, they are not the only threats a healthcare company needs to keep in mind when building out a data security strategy.

Here are 6 common internal reasons healthcare companies experience Salesforce data loss, as well as some tips to avoid them:

  1. Accidental Deletions
  2. Inadequately Secured Credentials
  3. Intentional Data Leaks
  4. Improper Security Settings
  5. Departing Employees
  6. Failure to Adhere to Best Practices

1. Accidental Deletions

Mistakes are going to happen. Our DevOps team members are responsible for a lot of different processes throughout the development pipeline. And with these numerous touchpoints comes opportunities for these mistakes to impact the code repository.

Accidental deletions of system data can set back operations and impact regulatory compliance if this information is unable to be recovered.

A Salesforce data backup and recovery tool is essential to accounting for these costly mistakes. You will need to recover this information quickly and sufficiently in order to avoid redundant tasks. Any time lost to re-working previously completed sections of your project will amount to lost time and lost money. Protecting against this with an automated tool allows your team to focus on moving the project forward.

2. Inadequately Secured Credentials

Healthcare data security

As we’ve seen with other explorations into the threats facing your Salesforce DevOps pipeline, a complete data security strategy needs to account for a variety of factors. Your team members can impact the overall stability of your system in multiple ways—one of which being the attention they pay to securing their credentials.

Compromised logins through weak passwords or falling victim to phishing attacks can have wide-ranging impacts on your entire system.

This threat is a combination of both internal and external threats. However, the external factors won’t come into play if the internal processes don’t provide the opportunity for access. Your team members must remain motivated and informed to guard against opening their accounts up to bad actors.

3. Intentional Data Leaks

We don’t want to suspect our team members of intentionally exposing internal files and creating a scenario for Salesforce data loss, but we must be aware of the possibility. Disgruntled employees have access to sensitive system data just like anyone else.

Intentional data leaks can come from malicious employees with access to private or otherwise sensitive areas of your system.

Consistent oversight is the only way to guard against this type of Salesforce data loss. Access logs and reports will provide insight into who is retrieving sensitive data. Compare that information to the needs and duties of anybody accessing these areas. Are there any outliers? Is there anybody that doesn’t have an explicit reason to open these files? If so, an internal audit might be necessary.

4. Improper Security Settings

This one has some overlap with the last consideration. Your team members only need to be able to access the areas of your Salesforce system that directly impact their ability to perform their tasks. Overexposure of data creates opportunities for Salesforce data loss, both intentional and unintentional.

Frequently revisiting employee access configurations ensures your system is up to date and protected.

An employee that falls victim to a phishing attack will create vulnerabilities in every aspect of the system that they are able to access. This is contained to a smaller section of the overall Salesforce environment when their access settings are configured to only allow entry to certain areas. This also reduces the amount of data that is susceptible to an intentional data leak.

5. Departing Employees

Healthcare CompaniesHealthcare companies have a lot to protect—customer information, system data, internal procedures, and more. This information can be very beneficial for competitors that aren’t afraid to operate in a shady manner. And unfortunately, this isn’t as uncommon as we might like to think. Departing employees are likely to be moving into a new position at a competing healthcare company, and they might take some secrets with them.

Monitoring departing employees and updating their user configurations can help guard against intellectual theft.

Not all Salesforce data loss ends up in the hands of cybercriminals. Recently departed employees might still be able to access their accounts in your system if their settings aren’t immediately updated. A failure to do this leaves your system open to unauthorized access by former employees that might be tempted to steal information for competitors or simply leak the information out of spite if the professional relationship wasn’t ended amicably. Stay on top of user settings in order to avoid these costly scenarios.

6. Failure to Adhere to Best Practices

We’ve touched on this a bit above, but the way in which your team members conduct themselves will have a huge impact on the overall security of your Salesforce instance. These behaviors should be guided by a series of best practices put in place by the management team and communicated throughout your organization.

Establishing and maintaining employee best practices works to avoid costly mistakes that can lead to Salesforce data loss.

Strong passwords, avoiding suspicious emails, avoiding accessing company platforms on personal devices, locking the computer when away from the screen, frequently backing up system data—these types of best practices might seem rudimentary, but they go a long way toward securing your Salesforce environment. Analyze your needs, establish a set of best practices, and ensure your team members stay up to date with these procedures.