Between its growing volume and importance, SaaS data is constantly evolving–and so is the global regulatory landscape. With 69% of the world’s countries having enacted data protection and privacy legislation and 9% in the adoption process, SaaS security audits are ramping up–along with the consequences if you fail to comply.
If the thought of an audit makes you a little jumpy, you’re not alone. It’s also natural to wonder: Would my team and I be ready for an audit tomorrow? Next week? In a few months? If your answer is anything other than ‘yes’, it might be time to revisit your SaaS security efforts. In this article, discover what you need to keep Salesforce data audit ready and how Own can help.
Streamline Salesforce data classification
When it comes to understanding the type of data your business stores, data classification is a mandatory exercise, which is why it is found in all security frameworks. While data classification, conceptually, is relatively well known, the fact remains that few have ever actually done it. Successfully, efficiently, and accurately performing data classification requires knowledge of the business process and data generated/produced by the application(s), the right tooling, and the right method or process which should include a validation step by another person.
For those brave souls who have attempted to tackle classifying thousands of fields in their business applications with spreadsheets, the results have commonly been a project which takes far longer than expected with middling results. This is an untenable situation given that an accurate data classification is foundational to ensuring ongoing efficient protection of your company’s most valuable information.
To be and stay audit-ready, you must have data classification tools that you can rely on. This important component helps you retrieve specific information within a set time frame given by auditors. (And trust us, you’ll want time on your side when an audit comes). While you can go the spreadsheet route, many organizations source data classification tooling that allows automated data discovery and classification in Salesforce, with options for bulk classification, modifications, and advanced filtering. This way, you can manage your SaaS data efficiently and consistently, knowing that compliance (and peace of mind) is always baked in.
Have full understanding of user permissions
Your data is changing constantly–and, if you’re not careful, so are the eyes on it. As your org evolves, it can leave doors open for user access–sending up red flags for auditors and laying out the welcome mat for threats. To keep your SaaS data protected from audit scrutiny and unanticipated visitors, it’s up to you to review and assess your system’s end-user permission management.
In Salesforce, permissions dictate how users interact with accessible data and which users are privy to what data in your Salesforce org. Regardless of the size of your org, auditors will be checking to see that you’re putting up barriers from within to protect highly sensitive data. Unfortunately, Salesforce’s native tool has its own barriers when it comes to safeguarding permissions. Between large numbers of users across permission sets, profiles, and permission set groups, manually managing permissions easily becomes a tedious, time-consuming task (not to mention accidental oversights that could jeopardize compliance).
Picture this: You’re a Salesforce Admin for a large public sector business, and it’s your responsibility to ensure that PII-filled orgs adhere to data access regulations. In the middle of a busy workday, you’re suddenly contacted by an enforcement officer inquiring about who in your org has access to PII. Your team must drop everything to manually review tens of thousands of internal users who have access to compliance related data and determine what they’re able to read and edit. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once the review is complete, you’ll be on the hook for reports detailing who has access to compliance related fields, adding more time and headache to an already strenuous process.
To stay audit ready, make sure you have a transparent, easy-to-access view of Salesforce user access and privileges. This way, you don’t have to scramble when an internal or external audit request comes in, or spend your off time worrying about how you'll manage when the time comes. If you’re sourcing a third-party solution, evaluate if it allows you to conduct side-by-side comparisons of multiple users. This important capability will help you to illuminate what is going on within your orgs, so you can make timely, informed decisions that support your compliance initiatives.
Encrypt with ease
Data encryption, the process of taking information in readable form and translating it to a non-readable form, has become a hallmark of regulations like CCPA, GDPR, HIPAA, and more. Many organizations turn to Salesforce Shield, the platform’s native encryption solution, to help with encryption efforts. But, Shield can actually be shielding you from passing an audit, even with the best intentions.
Your org has custom configurations and probably API integrations, making Salesforce Shield Encryption difficult and time consuming to deploy–widening the gap between aced and failed compliance. Once you do get Shield up and running, many users find it hard to pinpoint if encryption has been successfully deployed–which you don’t want to be alerted of during an audit.
So, how can you ensure that your encryption efforts meet compliance encryption mandates? You must go the Salesforce route to encrypt your data at rest. Many organizations enlist a third-party solution to check compliance boxes and more. Make sure the solution you select also provides the ability to analyze which fields to encrypt within Salesforce, insights into why encryption succeeds or fails, and guidance on how to remediate issues. This way, you have awareness around every step of the Salesforce encryption process, while setting yourself up for compliance success.
Be audit-ready with Own
From the outside, an audit may seem like a nail biting exercise. It turns out that it’s a natural part of the SaaS security journey, and is an opportunity for growth and assessment. While you don’t have a say in when you will be audited, you have control over how the process goes for your team, starting with your SaaS security management.
With Own Secure, you can be audit-ready at a moment’s notice, without compromising time or accuracy. Secure streamlines Salesforce data compliance by enabling easier identification and classification of sensitive fields. The Who Sees What Explorer makes it easy to understand and compare who sees what across multiple users, giving you transparency when you need it most. And, with Platform Encryption Analyzer, your encryption capabilities are infused with guidance and insight, along with proof of encryption to meet compliance requirements.
Want to take the ‘ah!’ out of an audit? Request a free Guided Risk Assessment for Salesforce today, or schedule a demo below.