Is Your Salesforce Data Secure?
Data security needs to be a top concern. Every business is connected to the internet in one way or another. Cloud-based systems such as Salesforce are mostly secure when operated correctly.
However, nothing on the internet is 100% secure.
Cybercrime is up 600% over the last year, and that’s just one potential source of data security risks. Our systems have multiple access points. These can become vulnerabilities that are able to be exploited by someone with the proper motivation and skills.
The cost of a data breach is growing. In fact, it’s estimated to cost companies $10.5 trillion per year by 2025. Salesforce data security is not simply a useful consideration, it’s essential.
This is particularly true for industries that are subjected to government regulations relating to how they handle sensitive information. Failure to meet these regulations through laxed data security measures can lead to steep fines.
Protecting your Salesforce data is an ongoing effort that needs to be continually examined, refined, and updated. This requires constant attention to the various aspects relating to data security. And while the general considerations will remain constant, the specifics involved with maintaining proper levels of security will evolve over time.
We’ll explore these essential aspects of Salesforce data security:
Phishing, ransomware, and malware are all frequent methods of gaining access to your system and extorting resources. These types of attacks are often targeted at specific businesses and individuals, which makes them difficult to spot.
Proper employee conduct can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyberattacks—such as not clicking on links in suspect emails—but they won’t be able to stop all attempts. Hackers exploit any weakness they can find.
Strong access controls are an essential step to securing Salesforce data.
Enable two-factor authentication and require team members to utilize strong passwords. A compromised account can open the entire system up to cybercriminals, leading to potential data loss or corruption.
It may be uncomfortable to consider, but our own team members pose a significant threat to Salesforce data security.
About 30% of security issues are linked to insider threats.
This can come in a few different forms, and they’re not all malicious.
Simple mistakes account for a large portion of data loss events. Accidental deletions are unfortunately common and can pose a considerable risk to your Salesforce system functionality.
Negligent habits also pose a threat. Using unsecured browsers to access company systems, leaving a computer without locking the screen, using a single password across multiple platforms—these behaviors can lead to a compromised system and threats to Salesforce data.
Malicious actions by current or former employees are also on the table. Company data can be useful to competitors, which might create a tempting situation for unscrupulous employees.
The Importance of Strong Code
The quality of code used in development projects has a variety of effects—success of deployment, functionality, stability—but perhaps the most important is how it impacts data security.
Updates are frequently introduced to various systems in order to address new threats or offer new functions. These updates will affect how the end user enjoys the platform. It will also have an impact on how accessible your Salesforce system might be to cybercriminals.
Improper code structure creates openings that can be exploited by bad actors. Utilizing a tool such as static code analysis will help to identify areas that should be improved or altered to support the stability of the project as a whole.
Backups Are Essential
An integral aspect of protecting your Salesforce system is to prepare for worst case scenarios. Preparation can reduce the chances of a data breach or any other type of data disaster, but the risk will never be eradicated.
A reliable and current backup of your Salesforce data—as well as the ability to quickly restore it—is essential to ensuring the continued operations of your system.
Malicious actions and careless habits can be guarded against, but circumstances such as hardware failures—or even natural disasters—can also trigger data loss events. A current backup repository of Salesforce system data is integral to restoring operations and adhering to regulatory standards for handling sensitive information.
Run a Data Security Diagnostic
Frequent check-ins can alert you to potential data security issues before they become massive problems. Addressing and fixing any potential vulnerabilities before they can be found by hackers and cybercriminals provides some obvious benefits.
Salesforce security audits can be scheduled and repeated to give you important insights into these areas that might be exploited to compromise your data.
Set these audits to frequently repeat to add an extra layer of oversight to your security efforts. It becomes difficult to keep an eye on every aspect of your Salesforce system, especially as it continues to grow.
The output of your Salesforce DevSecOps pipeline will dictate how often these audits will need to scan your system for errors and vulnerabilities. However, it’s always best to play it safe and err on the side of more frequent reports.
Best Practices to Remain Secure
We’ve discussed a few ways you can reduce your chances of experiencing a data disaster—either through accidental loss or through malicious actions. There are a few best practices that can be instituted that will further this effort.
Maintaining strict attention to a few aspects of your Salesforce development pipeline will help maintain the security of your most sensitive information and data.
Contemporary User Permissions
Update your team members’ permission sets within the Salesforce platform so they are only able to access the information they need to perform their duties. Overexposure of information increases the potential for that information to be leaked—either intentionally or on accident.
Some of the largest data breaches occur because a hacker was able to gain access to a small part of a larger system and move freely within it. The 2014 Home Depot data breach is a prime example. This can be guarded against by placing security barriers between the various sections of your Salesforce system.
Clear, Open Communication
The best way to combat compromising data through errors is to communicate individual best practices with team members. This includes the items we discussed earlier such as using strong passwords and accessing company platforms through secure connections.
It’s difficult to prepare for potential security issues if you don’t know they exist. Threat Modeling is the systematic and structured process with the goal of identifying and addressing potential security concerns. Analyzing your DevSecOps systems with an eye toward data security will help you address security concerns before they can affect your Salesforce system.