12 Salesforce Security Best Practices for 2023
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Salesforce dominates the CRM landscape with a whopping 19.8% market share — more than its four leading competitors combined. Such prevalence underscores its reliability and vast reach, but it also emphasizes the pivotal role of security.
On average, organizations are exposed to a SaaS data breach risk of more than $28 million. As a SaaS application, Salesforce is no exception. Cloud and SaaS platforms mostly rely on a shared responsibility model. In other words, some of the responsibilities in terms of your account and data security lie on your shoulders, while the vendor handles the remaining measures.
This guide will walk you through 12 quintessential Salesforce security practices crucial in safeguarding your Salesforce account and sensitive data against attack vectors.
1. Run Health Check
Integrated within Salesforce's foundational architecture, the Health Check tool provides administrators with a comprehensive and complementary solution to evaluate and optimize their organization's security configurations.
This instrumental tool pinpoints and suggests remedies for any detected security vulnerabilities and empowers admins to establish and maintain custom baseline standards, ensuring that security protocols are tailored to and in harmony with specific business requirements. By leveraging Health Check, organizations can ensure their Salesforce instance remains robust against potential security threats and is aligned with best practices.
2. Enable MFA
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a formidable defense mechanism, introducing an additional security layer to counter prevalent threats, including phishing attempts, credential stuffing, and unauthorized account access. Organizations adopting MFA significantly bolster the protective barriers safeguarding their Salesforce data. This enhancement is not just a recommended best practice but arguably one of the paramount steps in fortifying a company's digital assets and ensuring the integrity of its Salesforce data against potential breaches.
3. Evaluate User Privileges
Permission sets let you control who can do what in your Salesforce setup. Start by understanding the main jobs and tasks your users do. Based on this, set up the right permission sets. If some permissions might be risky, remove them. But if a user needs them, you can return those permissions using permission sets. This way, everyone gets to do their job, but things stay secure.
4. Use The Principle of Least Privilege
The principle of least privilege means giving users only the access they truly need to do their jobs. Instead of allowing everyone to do everything, it's safer to limit their access. If someone only needs to view data but not change it, then that's all the access they should get. This reduces risks. If someone's account gets into the wrong hands, the damage they can do is limited. It's a simple but powerful way to keep your Salesforce setup more secure.
5. Allow Access Only to Trusted Login IPs
To keep your Salesforce data safe, limiting where people can log in using IP addresses is a good idea. Admins can set specific "safe" IP ranges. This means only logins from these trusted IP addresses will be allowed. If someone tries to log in from a different, non-trusted IP, they'll either be blocked or asked to prove they're really who they say they are. This helps guard against unwanted access and phishing attacks.
6. Ensure Connection Security
To protect your Salesforce data, it's essential to have a secure internet connection. Regular VPN use is a great way to add an extra layer of safety. Also, take the time to adjust your router's settings: turn on encryption (preferably WPA2 or WPA3) and keep its firmware updated. This helps stop outside devices from sneaking onto your network and keeps your data safe from prying eyes.
7. Use an Authenticator
Another Salesforce security best practice is using the Salesforce Authenticator. It's a straightforward two-factor authentication method, adding an extra layer of protection. Users simply tap on their mobile device to approve logins and actions. Plus, it can recognize and automatically verify logins from safe places. If you prefer, you can also choose third-party options like Google or Microsoft Authenticators. It's all about making security easy and effective for everyone.
8. Use a SaaS Security Tool
Implementing security measures becomes essential with the increasing reliance on SaaS solutions like Salesforce. Incorporating a SaaS security tool allows businesses to actively monitor potential vulnerabilities, oversee user access, and manage privileges efficiently across all SaaS apps used in your company, including Salesforce. Such tools promptly flag any anomalies or suspicious activities within your Salesforce environment.
9. Train Users about Security Awareness
Educating your team is a crucial step in protecting your Salesforce data. Even the best security tools can be bypassed if users aren't aware of potential risks. Regular training sessions can help your team recognize threats, like suspicious emails or unexpected login prompts. By keeping everyone updated on the latest security practices and potential dangers, you empower them to be the first line of defense against cyber threats. Remember, a well-informed team is a safer team.
10. Apply Password Security Best Practices
Passwords are often the first line of defense against unauthorized access. It's essential to ensure they're strong and hard to guess. Encourage users to create unique passwords for Salesforce, avoiding easily guessable ones like "password123" or their birthdates.
Regularly changing passwords, avoiding repetition across different platforms, and using combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols can make them more secure. Additionally, avoid sharing passwords or writing them down where others can see them. Following these simple rules can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
Also read: Common SaaS Security Risks.
11. Strengthen Data Security with Shield Platform Encryption
Salesforce Shield is a suite of enhanced security tools specifically designed for Salesforce. It's tailored to ensure businesses can trust, comply, and confidently govern their essential apps. Shield Platform Encryption stands out within this suite by offering unparalleled data protection.
Unlike standard encryption that only protects data during transmission, Shield Platform Encryption secures your data even when stored or at rest. This ensures businesses meet high standards set by privacy policies, regulatory bodies, and contract agreements concerning sensitive data handling.
Alongside Platform Encryption, Salesforce Shield also features Event Monitoring and Field Audit Trail. Together, these tools create a robust security framework. If you're considering Salesforce Shield, consult your administrator to see if it's available for your organization.
12. Beware of Phishing Emails
Phishing is a sneaky tactic where scammers use fake emails to trick users into giving away private information. These deceitful emails often look like they come from legitimate sources but have hidden agendas. By clicking on links or downloading attachments from these emails, users might accidentally install harmful software that captures their data.
Always be cautious and double-check any unexpected or suspicious emails. If something doesn't seem right, it's best to avoid it and consult with your IT team or security experts.
What Are Salesforce Security Features?
Salesforce offers a comprehensive suite of security features designed to ensure your data's safety and optimize user experience. Here's an overview:
Security Health Check
- Designed for admins, the Health Check tool allows you to pinpoint and rectify potential vulnerabilities in your security settings from a single dashboard.
- A summary score reflects your organization's security status against a set baseline, such as the Salesforce Baseline Standard. Custom baselines can also be uploaded for a more tailored assessment.
Phishing and Malware
- Salesforce prioritizes transparency and trust. If you encounter anything suspicious linked to your Salesforce setup, you must immediately report it to email@example.com and your internal IT team.
- Salesforce provides real-time data on system performance, security alerts, and phishing or malware attempts at trust.salesforce.com. This site also offers security best practices and guidelines for organizations.
Manage Redirects to External URLs
- Safeguard users from harmful links by controlling actions when a user clicks on a link, redirecting them outside the Salesforce domain.
- Options include blocking such redirections, notifying the user of the external redirection, or marking specific external URLs as trusted for hassle-free access.
- Salesforce employs cutting-edge Internet security technology. With Salesforce-supported browsers, your information is shielded through Transport Layer Security (TLS) technology. This ensures data integrity and accessibility only to authenticated users within your organization.
- Auditing offers insights into system usage, a key factor in detecting and resolving security issues.
- While Salesforce's auditing functionalities provide valuable data, they are most effective when paired with regular internal audits to monitor and curb potential misuse.
- Salesforce Shield is a robust security solution comprising three pivotal tools to integrate superior trust, compliance, and governance into your essential business applications.
- Components include Shield Platform Encryption, Event Monitoring, and Field Audit Trail. It's recommended to consult your Salesforce administrator about Salesforce Shield's availability for your organization.
Salesforce Security FAQ
Is Salesforce a secure platform?
Yes, Salesforce is a secure platform, employing advanced internet security technologies and best practices to ensure data safety and user protection.
How do I ensure security in Salesforce?
To ensure security in Salesforce, routinely utilize tools like Security Health Check, set trusted login IP ranges, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA), and train users on security best practices.
What is the basic security of Salesforce?
The basic security of Salesforce includes user authentication through passwords and usernames, profile-based access controls, and Transport Layer Security (TLS) for data protection during transmission.
What is the best practice to control a Salesforce system?
The best practice to control a Salesforce system is to follow the Principle of Least Privilege: granting users only the permissions they need to perform their roles, combined with regular audits and monitoring for any security anomalies.
What is an example of a password best practice in Salesforce?
An example of a password best practice for Salesforce would be enforcing a complex password policy that requires a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, with periodic mandatory resets.
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