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How to Optimize Your Salesforce Securityby@devinpartida
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How to Optimize Your Salesforce Security

by Devin PartidaAugust 12th, 2022
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Many of Salesforce’s vulnerabilities are a result of user customizations. The Salesforce platform alone can’t fully protect users from their actions — companies must make ongoing efforts to help secure their cloud applications. Four common Salesforce vulnerabilities to keep in mind: Unsafe authorizations, excessive privileges, compromised system integrations and security best practices. These complications often go unaddressed due to the idea that, since the platform includes those measures, security is its exclusive domain, but cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

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Companies implementing Salesforce’s built-in security solutions may find their customizations limit visibility into the risks that can impact other processes and applications. These complications often go unaddressed due to the idea that, since the platform includes those measures, security is its exclusive domain.

However, the truth is that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Many of Salesforce’s vulnerabilities are a result of user customizations. The Salesforce platform alone can’t fully protect users from their actions — companies must make ongoing efforts to help secure their cloud applications.

Here are four common Salesforce vulnerabilities to keep in mind. They show why it’s vital to find ways to optimize your company’s security.

1. Unsafe Authorizations

Customizing authorizations in Salesforce can result in users with unsafe permission settings. This could leave your company vulnerable to internal or external cybercriminals and cause potential compliance issues. A single user may be able to modify access permissions for other people or even export sensitive data.

You can close this security gap by replacing standing authorizations with a more restricted security model. Here are two to consider:

  • Just-in-time model: The JIT model grants users system or application access as they need it. You can implement this method with privileged access management (PAM) software that will grant temporary access at users’ requests. 
  • Zero trust model: A zero trust model requires authentication from all users before they can access data or applications. Adopting this method means limiting everyone to the minimum access they need to perform their jobs and regularly validating their security status. It requires implementing technologies like multifactor authentication and identity-based segmentation.

2. Too Many Privileges

Users with excess privileges can represent a similar security risk. 

Many companies delegate their Salesforce upkeep to a single administrator with a basic development staff for support. However, the access this person would need gives them almost unlimited power. They — or someone with their credentials — could purge vital data, create a new user with similarly elevated privileges and access reports with sensitive customer information.

It’s crucial to avoid giving a single user too many permissions to prevent a situation like this, even if you think you can trust them. Even the most trustworthy employee can make costly mistakes. You can divide Salesforce management responsibilities across a department or hire a managed services team.

3. Improper Security Configurations

Salesforce’s security customization options mean companies can accidentally create holes in their defenses. Misconfiguring may give a cybercriminal an opening to access customer data on your servers or upload malware by hijacking users’ sessions.

Prevent this potential vulnerability by configuring your security framework according to best practices. Ensure that you’ve set it with:

  • Multifactor authentication
  • HTTPS encryption
  • Minimum password lengths
  • Appropriate sharing defaults and user permissions

4. Compromised System Integrations

Salesforce’s flexibility sometimes makes it challenging to maintain full visibility, which can become a liability during system integrations. Improperly integrated third-party networks can create security gaps, leaving Salesforce vulnerable to external systems and giving hackers the chance to intercept communications.

It’s vital to manage integrations according to security best practices to reduce the risk of hackers accessing Salesforce through compromised third-party applications. You should ensure your access and authorization configurations and APIs are secure. You can also use tools like Metazoa Snapshot that document your change and release process. Reviewing reports during the change and testing stages lets you double-check the process when integrating something new.

Optimize Your Salesforce Security

Four of the most common causes of Salesforce security vulnerabilities — unsafe authorizations, excessive privileges, improper security configurations and compromised system integrations — stem from user customizations. Salesforce offers various services and security options, but it’s up to users to implement them safely by ensuring compliance and following best practices.