Salesforce customers, whether they realize it or not, are responsible for the data they store in the cloud and guarding it against security threats. While many business leaders assume that the cloud is the most secure option for their data to live and operate in, the truth is data in the cloud is only as secure as the company that places it there.
Companies that utilize Salesforce can reinforce their security posture by:
- Taking steps to understand their own data protection responsibilities in Salesforce and the inherent risks of the platform
- Implementing a SaaS security strategy
Understanding Salesforce Risk & Responsibility
Salesforce customers must realize that the cloud, despite having many benefits, still faces serious security risks. In fact, 98% of organizations recently said they have experienced at least one cloud data breach in the last 18 months. Moreover, research suggests that 88% of sensitive information inside Salesforce remains exposed to hacking and misuse by employees because most users can read or edit high-risk fields.
To mitigate these risks, companies must understand the shared responsibility model, which mandates that both Salesforce and the customer take proactive steps to keep the cloud secure. This is evident from Salesforce’s recent update to enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA). As of February 1, Salesforce has mandated that all customers deploy MFA to bolster security under the shared responsibility model. This makes it a business imperative for organizations to take charge and understand their own role in preventing Salesforce security breaches.
Implementing a Salesforce Security Strategy
Once you understand your Salesforce risk, it is time to take action and implement a holistic security strategy. Here are the key components of a proactive strategy that reduces data risk in Salesforce:
- Data model analysis and classification: Before you can determine how best to protect your data, you need to determine exactly what data you have. Data classification helps you prioritize and focus your security efforts on the most important/critical sensitive data.
- Security posture analysis: Organizations must understand their current security posture and analyze their data security risks. Understanding the extent of current misconfigurations and vulnerabilities, such as over-privileged users, lack of data classification, poor encryption execution, undefined data retention policies, lack of proactive alerting, and no way to prove compliance audits, will go a long way to inform your security strategy.
- Remediation: Once you understand your data and risks, it is time to implement risk mitigation strategies such as user access controls, encryption-at-rest, data backup and recovery, and data anonymization in non-production environments. Other helpful remediation tools include setting up proactive alerts for data protection, automated compliance reporting, and implementing DevOps management to fuel innovation with reliable and secure data.
Taking these steps is paramount to ensuring your organization is well-positioned to strengthen its Salesforce data security and prevent costly business disruptions. Whether it is a systems outage, data exfiltration or complete loss of data, data security breaches can significantly damage a company’s reputation, create legal and regulatory headaches and ultimately diminish profits. If your company utilizes Salesforce, be sure to understand the risks and your role to protect against them, and not be lulled into a false sense of security.
Understand your data exposure risks to proactively strengthen security posture.