In the age of digitization, data security is a prerequisite before implementing any cloud-based solution within your organization. Salesforce is one of the most popular and in-demand CRM platforms providing extensive services to organizations for more than two decades. The cloud-based platform allows users to store, record, track, and analyze valuable records about their customers. This allows organizations across the world to provide personalized service to their customers.
Along with all the benefits offered by Salesforce as a CRM platform, it is important for users to be well-versed with the security of their databases. Salesforce users often store sensitive records pertaining to their organization and customers, including PII (personally identifiable information), email addresses, credit/debit card details, account details, and more. You cannot afford to compromise the security of these details while managing your database using a CRM platform.
Moreover, organizations operating in industries like healthcare, finance, and law are required to comply with a range of standards and regulations to ensure complete security and privacy of the records maintained by them. This further increases the importance of ensuring data security while operating on cloud-based platforms.
Salesforce is a platform that provides layered security to its users, protecting their records from threats like data leaks, fraud, unauthorized access, and more. The CRM platform is designed to keep sensitive records safe from internal as well as external users of the system. All the processes undertaken by Salesforce users, right from undertaking third-party integrations to developing Salesforce applications, are governed using high security standards.
Types Of Salesforce Data Security
Salesforce provides users with data security that is highly configurable. It allows the administrators to set up specific users and assign them roles based on the datasets they are allowed to access. It also sets permissions for different users when it comes to accessing the database to prevent unauthorized access of sensitive records.
The CRM platform also allows you to read and write exceptions and alter your permission settings based on your needs and preferences. This way, Salesforce allows users to set their own security standards and utilize the framework to ensure the complete security of their records.
In Salesforce, data is stored at three different levels – objects, fields, and records. Objects are essentially the tables within a database that store information about specific entities. Every object contains fields which are the different columns within the table. Further, every field has different rows, commonly referred to as Salesforce records.
Salesforce provides data security to the users according to the different levels at which their data is stored. This allows you to avail yourself of Salesforce data security at an object level, field level, and record level.
At every level, the CRM platform allows users to configure data security based on their needs and preferences. Each of the three types of data security can be considered as different layers used for keeping your data secure. Every layer has its own settings to alter and customize data security within your system.
This is the first layer of data security offered by Salesforce that deals with keeping different Salesforce objects secure. The CRM platform verifies which objects every user has access to. Object-level security allows Salesforce administrators to regulate the access to different Salesforce objects based on the roles assigned to different users.
This security can be configured with the help of two major settings – permissions and profiles. Admins shoulder the responsibility of assigning different permissions to different profiles to regulate the access to Salesforce objects.
Salesforce profiles help you control access to object-level as well as field-level security. On the other hand, permission sets allow administrators to further configure access to specific objects for different profiles. These sets can be used for granting special permissions to specific users within a profile to access Salesforce objects. This allows you to keep all the valuable information stored within your Salesforce objects secure and private.
This is the second layer of data security offered by Salesforce to its users. The settings here determine the specific fields (columns of data) that can be accessed by different Salesforce users. Just like object-level security, the profile settings can be used for configuring field-level security as well. This allows you to control who can and cannot see specific Salesforce fields. The settings also allow you to control who can edit specific fields stored within specific objects.
Field-level security helps you control access to the data stored within your system and the ability to make changes in the same. This allows you to stick to Salesforce best practices pertaining to data security without creating hassles in your workflows.
Salesforce allows users to access the records that are created by them by default. This provides all users access to the records owned by them. However, record-level security rules can be used to configure the manner in which every user can access the records owned by them. This allows you to regulate access to sensitive records.
This layer of Salesforce data security comes with a set of rules that are applicable for every user. This allows administrators to personalize the security of the CRM database based on the hierarchy and specific workflows. This level of security can be set to establish shared ownership of specific records between multiple Salesforce users. Also, the accessibility of your records can be set according to the data held by the users and the roles they occupy in the organization.
Record-level security in Salesforce is highly customizable in nature, allowing you to keep your records secure based on your needs and preferences.
Best Practices Regarding Salesforce Security
If you are willing to keep your database secure, it is important to implement the right security practices that help you keep your records safe from a range of threats.
Here are some of the best practices to implement when it comes to keeping your Salesforce data secure:
Activating Multi-factor Authentication
When you activate multi-factor authentication (MFA), it provides your data with an additional layer of protection, reducing the possibilities of unauthorized access. Owing to the infiltration techniques getting more powerful and subtle, a single password is no longer a secure way of protecting your records. MFA requires users to access your database by confirming their identities in two or more ways.
Here are a few simple ways in which you can achieve this additional layer of security for your Salesforce data:
- Authenticator Applications – These are the applications that create unique and temporary codes to authenticate the identity of users.
- Security Keys – These are security devices that can be used to access specific records instead of entering passwords. These keys can also be linked through ports or wireless technology to enhance platform security.
- Pre-built Authenticators – These are a range of authenticators built within the system that use technologies like face recognition to fingerprint scanning for maintaining the security and privacy of your data.
Undertaking Salesforce Health Check
Another important way of ensuring the safety of your Salesforce database is to undertake regular Salesforce health checks. Getting your Salesforce instance scanned and audited allows you to identify the major vulnerabilities that are likely to hamper the security of your data. Once you have identified them, you can go ahead with the troubleshooting processes and implement relevant data security measures.
The “Salesforce Health Check” tool allows administrators to create custom security standards and implement a simple yet effective scoring system. The tool also allows you to check how your Salesforce org performs against a specific security baseline.
Masking Your Salesforce Data
If you are willing to develop and test applications within the Salesforce sandbox environment, it is always advisable to mask your records with dummy data. This prevents unauthorized personnel from accessing valuable records that are not to be shared with them. Without affecting the data stored within the production environment, data masking helps you keep your records secure and private while undertaking development processes.
Performing Regular Data Backups
Along with undertaking complicated measures to keep your Salesforce data secure, it is important not to lose sight of simpler activities like performing data backups. Always make sure that you have your valuable records backed up to strengthen the resiliency of your CRM platform. Also, an effective backup system makes data recovery easier.
A seamless backup and recovery solution helps users receive real-time incident alerts, restore your system in case of unexpected data losses, and pinpoint the datasets impacted by specific losses. This way, users can keep a track of the data lost and recovered during bugs and system failures. It is also advisable for Salesforce users to automate daily backups to avoid making any compromises when it comes to keeping their Salesforce data secure.
The Final Word
These are all the basic areas you should cover in order to get introduced to Salesforce data security. Having a working knowledge of how the CRM keeps your data secure helps you in implementing Salesforce tools and developing Salesforce apps better. However, if you are willing to understand the nitty-gritty details about Salesforce data security, a deep dive is necessary.