Security and Compliance Considerations for Using Salesforce
The Salesforce platform has very high-security standards, but there have been few recent changes in global data protection regulations. Let's discuss protection
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Many MNC's (Multinational companies) use Salesforce as their main tool of option for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in the cloud. Also, it aims at providing a lot of flexibility and comfort while enabling or granting access to the data and that too from any device and working from any given location.
The most important point to note here is that the Salesforce platform has very high-security standards, but there have been few recent changes in global data protection regulations. This has further imposed limitations in many countries around the world.
This is the reason why such kinds of highly regulated businesses, like healthcare, financial services, and retail, will most importantly need to review their own Salesforce cloud data implementation strategy.
The built-in security of Salesforce does not provide the in-depth insights required to make further analysis and address risks involved that can influence other processes, applications, and even the intelligent enterprise at large. And at the same, as SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS types of business applications offer faster time to value and more scalability than the on-premises solutions, they also come along with a lack of visibility into the key security and compliance areas.
To ensure both the protection and compliance for all Salesforce instances, organizations must focus on five main areas and further understand the influence that these adverse outcomes could have over their work and main areas of business.
Five Main Security and Compliance Considerations
While there are many checks required for each Salesforce instance to go through to make sure of the complete protection and compliance, five of them are often overlooked. These checks are briefly described as follows:
One of the most hypercritical and important areas of focus for Salesforce security is its actual configurations. In case a team gets an error over an instance, it might even allow any of the attackers to hack into the users' sessions and further even upload nefarious or malicious content. Moreover, they could also manipulate a small weakness that could be present in the default settings and the encryption keys, and with the same, they could access all the back-end servers and customer data.
To fight this misconfiguration or manipulation, the security framework must configure as per best practices. These practices further include proper permissions given to users, sharing of defaults, HTTPS encryption, multi-factor authentication, minimum password lengths, etc.
A failure or mistake in providing the Salesforce authorizations correctly can become a big problem. It could further lead to or give unnecessary authority to the security or system administrator. They can freely make changes in the access permissions, edit the security configurations, and even mass export quite sensitive data from the system of the organization at any point in time. This could further be the seed of significant compliance-based issues (such as Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI-DSS, GDPR, and CCPA), create disruptions in the operations, and even affect the brand damage in a negative manner.
To prevent this from happening, the security teams must make sure that the users have the least privileged authorizations possible. This means that they should not have access to anything more than they require to carry on with their day-to-day operations.
Segregation of Duties
The segregation or distribution of different duties in an organization is quite an important part of the workings of any business. But, any staff member withholding more power than given access can create some issues. These issues include creating a new user, granting them big privileges, or intentionally making changes or removing important information, and even running and accessing the reports themselves, which further contain quite sensitive customer-related pieces of information.
To stop this from happening, the security teams must be pretty vigilant and further prevent a single user from owning even a small process from end-to-end.
It becomes significantly easy for any hacker or a rogue employee to impersonate or imitate people in the cloud systems. A successful imitation could enable even a bad actor with the capability to behave on behalf of or as a proper security administrator. With this impersonation, the hacker or rogue employees could delegate or enable access to other users and even approach the proxy management settings.
After understanding this huge amount of power at risk or stake, the organization's security staff must make sure that the users are only acting on behalf of other users for very legitimate business reasons and nothing else.
With the applications present over the cloud systems, organizations are often sacrificing their visibility for flexibility. This is the reason why it became hard to know about what goes on in the background. That is the reason why proper system integrations are proved to be so important. Poor integrations between the third-party systems could even allow the hackers to hack or interrupt the communications and even open any of the Salesforce instances on any unknown systems.
The Security teams must aim to ensure that the third-party integrations are present as per the best practices in security to lessen the risk involved regarding the attackers leveraging over any compromised third-party applications. This is done to gain access to Salesforce. There should be proper management of all the interconnected third-party applications, making sure that the APIs are quite secure and the authorizations and access to the same are securely configured. Moreover, there is a continuous need to monitor any disruptive behavior and misuse.
Amid so many clashing priorities, the five considerations mentioned above further give the security teams a tangible focus list to ensure that the Salesforce implementations are secured and compliant. However, the need to ensure and work upon configurations, authorizations, segregation of duties, user privileges, and integrations at scale could also become a bit complex, especially in such a constantly evolving and growing business.
To ensure maximum effectiveness, the security teams should consider taking help from support tools that can further help in the automation of these processes while monitoring and flagging any irregular behavior, identifying any prospect misconfigurations, and having the knowledge of how to fix them, and more. Furthermore, all these supporting assets can provide more free time for the security teams to carry on while supporting other strategic digital transformation initiatives while ensuring that adequate protection is present.
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