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9 Salesforce Security Vulnerabilities Addressed with Automation

CodeScan - Using a Security Code Scan to Fill Salesforce Gaps

9 Salesforce Security Vulnerabilities Addressed with AutomationIntegrate automated tools to address Salesforce vulnerabilities and protect critical system data.

Why It Matters: Salesforce itself is a secure platform but the way we use it has the potential to introduce data security vulnerabilities. Failing to account for these vulnerabilities opens an organization to costly data breaches, corruptions, and exposures.

  • Human error is the leading cause of data breaches.
  • 83% of companies experience a data breach—some of them more than once.
  • Failing to properly protect your Salesforce environment can lead to costly fines, penalties, and loss of consumer trust.

1. Bad Code

The code that makes up your applications and updates has the greatest impact on the stability of your end products. You can’t build a sturdy house without strong lumber, and you can’t build a secure application without strong code.

Automating the code review process takes a highly repetitive task off your team members’ plates while boosting speed and reliability.

Manual code reviews can result in missed opportunities. Any errors that make it through to production create bugs in the application that have the potential to cause data security issues. Automating this process with a static code analysis tool prevents these Salesforce vulnerabilities.

2. Generic Profile Settings

9 Salesforce Security Vulnerabilities Addressed with Automation

The settings that make up your environments can introduce their own Salesforce vulnerabilities. It’s common practice to clone existing profiles to create new profiles with generic settings. This tendency can provide improper permissions to team members who don’t need them to perform their duties.

Reviewing existing profile settings and putting practices in place to guarantee new profiles are properly configured restricts access to sensitive data and reduces the likelihood of accidental exposure.

The chances of improper handling of data increases with each person who has access to it. Minimizing this by updating profile configurations is a best practice that can be implemented through automation to support a healthy Salesforce environment.

3. Undefined Metadata Dependencies

Metadata helps facilitate proper functionality and order of operations within Salesforce deployments. Improperly managing these essential data sets can lead to misfires and problems during the deployment stage of the DevOps pipeline.

Incorrectly defining metadata dependencies can cause packages to experience errors and prevent them from being deployed correctly.

There are three ways you can define metadata dependencies in Salesforce to prevent errors during deployments:

  1. Use Salesforce CLI: This provides a convenient way to define metadata dependencies using a simple JSON file.
  2. Use Salesforce Metadata API: This allows you to create, update, and delete metadata components in your org.
  3. Use Salesforce Metadata API Deployment Tool: This command-line tool provides an easy way to deploy metadata components to your org.

4. Improper Permission Sets

9 Salesforce Security Vulnerabilities Addressed with AutomationPermission sets work alongside profiles to grant users access to types of data. In Salesforce, administrators can grant multiple permission sets to a particular profile to customize the data they are able to access. However, this can create conflicts and lead to someone having access to data they don’t need to perform their duties.

Automated reviews of permission sets can highlight overexposed data and help prevent costly accidental deletions.

Proper access across your team is critical to maintaining a stable and secure Salesforce environment. This is an ever-growing consideration as team members change roles and new team members are hired.

5. Login Screens

Login screens are still the first line of defense against cybercriminals. This Salesforce vulnerability has been around as long as the internet itself, but that doesn’t mean it’s been solved. In fact, weak passwords account for over 80% of hacks.

Automated reminders and requirements can ensure team members update their passwords on a regular basis.

Strong, frequently updated passwords are a great help, but this can be taken another step further. Multi-factor authentication automates sending a passcode to the user’s email or phone to verify the identity of the person trying to access the account. Together, these automated tools dramatically increase the stability of your login screens.

6. Technical Debt

The way we produce applications and updates in our DevOps pipeline can create Salesforce security vulnerabilities if speed is prioritized over quality. Technical debt refers to errors left in the code to be fixed later.

Leveraging a static code analysis tool enables your DevOps team to produce reliable applications at speed, preventing potential security vulnerabilities.

It’s tempting to push a new product through production to address immediate needs, but quality and security considerations need to be addressed. Failing to do so can introduce bugs and errors into live environments that create opportunities for cybercriminals to access your environment.

7. Unauthorized Access

9 Salesforce Security Vulnerabilities Addressed with AutomationProtecting your Salesforce environment isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. Unauthorized individuals can gain access to system records without giant alarms going off. In fact, it takes an average of 7 months just to detect a data breach.

Frequently analyzing access logs and export reports will point to the existence of a breach in your Salesforce data security strategy so you can get a head start on containment.

The most damage is done when a long-term breach goes unrecognized in your Salesforce environment. Early detection is critical to mitigating the negative consequences. Frequently reviewing logs and reports gives you the best chance to discover a breach sooner.

8. Unclean Data Repositories

Salesforce is your largest container of data. And over time, the repositories continue to grow as more customers and team members are added. Many users become so focused on expanding their data that they fail to perform routine maintenance on older sets of data.

Archiving mostly unused—but still important—data cleans up your environment, streamlining data backups, increasing the reliability of insights, and improving data security efforts.

Outdated information can be removed entirely, but there are some sets of data that need to be retained for compliance or other reasons altogether. Frequently checking these data sets ensures proper functionality and easier data security considerations.

9. Repetitive Manual Processes

9 Salesforce Security Vulnerabilities Addressed with Automation

It might sound contradictory, but your team members are your greatest asset and your greatest threat to data security. Simple mistakes can have huge consequences by creating Salesforce security vulnerabilities. And when it comes to highly repetitive tasks like manual code reviews, mistakes become pretty much guaranteed.

Utilizing automated tools like static code analysis to address highly repetitive tasks eliminates the potential for errors and reduces data security risks.

Leveraging automation to address these Salesforce security vulnerabilities also provides a series of other business benefits. Streamlined processes, higher ROI, and a reduction of errors—automated tools expand the capabilities of your team members and reward end users with more reliable products.

Next Step…

Now that you understand all the ways automated DevOps tools address Salesforce vulnerabilities, it’s time to dig a little deeper into how this impacts regulatory compliance.

Check out our blog, “How Salesforce Code Scanning Tools Support Compliance,” to learn more about how this DevOps tool addresses critical considerations.

FAQs

While we’d like to think that a data breach will be noticed immediately, this is unfortunately not the case. It takes companies an average of 277 days to notice a data breach has occurred and contain it. There won’t be any flashing lights or alarms that occur when your system is breached. It’s up to you to put the tools and infrastructure in place to alert your team to these breaches. Automated reports can be set up to scan your system for unauthorized access to your Salesforce instance, which will then need to be analyzed by your data security team to ensure any breaches are found and contained as soon as possible.

There are a series of steps you should take if you have a suspicion that your Salesforce environment has been breached. First, isolate the compromised system from other parts of your Salesforce instance. Then, try to gather as much information as possible about the breach by analyzing reports and access logs. Notify your data security team and compliance officers, then ask your team members to change their passwords. After a full assessment has been completed, implement additional security features to address the compromised section of your environment to prevent it from happening again.

The short answer is: all of it. However, different types of data need higher levels of protection than others. Any organization in a regulated industry such as finance, healthcare, and insurance have even higher stipulations for the types of protections that need to be put in place. Any failure to maintain these standards can result in costly fines and penalties. However, every company needs to protect data relating to its customers and team members—particularly anything that relates to these individuals’ personal information. Any type of system data can be used to damage a company should it be exposed, compromised, or corrupted.

Develop high quality, secure code!

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