;

Should Your Salesforce Monitoring Tools Include Static Code Analysis for Security?

Ensuring Code Quality + Security

Static code analysis is crucial to identifying weaknesses in source code and code quality. These gaps might lead to vulnerabilities in the application, which can compromise application quality and functionality once deployed. In addition to maintaining quality, adherence to coding guidelines and standards can be enhanced with static code analysis tools. It will help organizations implement code quality guidelines easily across their environments while also providing more project transparency.

Static Analysis vs. Dynamic Analysis

Static analysis and dynamic analysis fundamentally have the same goals – to detect defects. However, the difference between the two is the software development lifecycle stage to which the analysis is applied.

In static analysis, defects are detected before executing the code. Static code analysis software compares the code against a given set of rules or coding standards before the unit or integration testing. Organizations using DevOps and CI/CD pipelines have static analysis as a quality check parameter before pushing the code from the testing environment to production.

In dynamic analysis, defects are detected after you run a program. There are no set of rules as the source code may run with a variety of inputs. Dynamic analysis can be used to troubleshoot production incidents faster. In CI/CD pipelines, it will prevent bad quality code from going into production.

Not all coding errors are discovered in dynamic testing, but they can be found in static testing. The best static code analysis tools provide more comprehensive coverage of code quality through the development pipeline.

What are the benefits of static code analysis tools?

Below is a breakdown of the benefits you gain by applying static code scanning tools to your DevOps workflow:

  • Code Optimization: Static analysis tools provide early insights into code errors and issues. This enables early vulnerability identification and fixes before the testing stage. It helps in reducing efforts, costs, and complexities that would occur if defects were discovered at a later stage in the software development lifecycle.
  • Speed: Manual code review is time-consuming. Using static code analysis software, large volumes of code can be analyzed quickly, thereby increasing productivity and reducing resource efforts.
  • Depth: Static code analysis tools analyze code in-depth and find weaknesses in the exact locations in the codebase. Good static code analysis tools will pinpoint the error with a single click.
  • Accuracy: Static analysis tools accurately point out vulnerabilities and adherence to common coding standards. Common errors committed by developers are easily identified.
  • Security: In complex coding environments, developers can miss security vulnerabilities in a manual review. The usage of static analysis tools helps in improving the security aspect of the application. These tools can identify issues like XSS in lightning applications, prevent SOQL/SOSL injections, cross-site scripting, etc.

Code review in Salesforce

With dedicated Salesforce DevOps team members in charge of code review, why does static code analysis matter? Maintaining code quality helps with the longevity of Salesforce applications in design, implementation, and updates. Static code review tools assist teams in identifying common errors, increase testing turnaround time, and increase efficiency and productivity with lower margin of error. The ways that static code scanning tools benefit Salesforce development are:

  • Prevent bad coding
  • Enforce organization coding standards
  • Prevent security vulnerabilities
  • Identify performance gaps
  • Identify weakness in testing
  • Identify and eliminate bad code
  • Reduce code duplication

Salesforce static code analysis tools are important in order to work with Salesforce coding languages, like Apex, Lightning, Visualforce, and Metadata.

Salesforce Apex static code analysis tools

Apex is a development platform for building SaaS applications and the proprietary language for the Lightning platform. It lets developers access Salesforce’s back-end database and client-server interfaces to create third-party SaaS applications. An Apex code analysis tool or API can be used to access user data on Salesforce. You can choose from multiple self-hosted and cloud-based code analysis tools for Apex Salesforce. PMD is a free Apex code analyzer, while the others like Checkmarx and CodeScan will require paid licenses to detect cross-site scripting, SOQL injections, SOSL injections, frame spoofing, and access control issues. Free apex static code analysis tools have technical limitations to the lines scanned, the rules, and access to the platform.

Salesforce Lightning code analysis tools

Salesforce Lightning is a component-based framework for app development that helps simplify business processes. Lightning Web Components (LWC), an updated version of Lightning components, implements lightweight frameworks built on web standards, giving Salesforce Admins and Developers the tools to enhance user experience. There are a limited number of code analysis tools for Salesforce Lightning in the market. There is a Lightning CLI component in CodeScan, which is built to catch the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities. On Salesforce, CodeScan can identify specific security issues like FLS violations, SOQL-injections, CRUD, and more. CodeScan has also over 350+ security and quality rules and is one of the ideal choices for Lightning. It integrates directly with Salesforce and popular CI/CD pipelines.

Visualforce code analysis tools

Visualforce is a component-based user interface(UI) framework that Salesforce developers use to create dynamic, reusable interfaces. It is part of Salesforce’s Force platform as a service and is supported by many static code analysis tools. Apex PMD or PMD (Programming Mistake Detector) has a few built-in rules for Visualforce pages. Other products with Salesforce static code analysis tools that support the Visualforce interface include Checkmarx, SonarQube, and CodeScan.

Static code analysis tools for Salesforce Metadata

Metadata in Salesforce is about the fields, code, logic, configurations, and page layouts that enable the architecture of Salesforce information, platform, and environment. You can import Metadata and also modify it through the Salesforce Metadata API. CodeScan static code analysis tool has Metadata scanning along with numerous security and quality rules. Salesforce has a variety of low code and pro-code development options as well. While static code scanning tools are necessary for both low-code and pro-code development, the urgency for a tool may be lower for low-code options. In any event, it is important that the static analysis tools support the ability to scan Metadata.

CodeScan’s code analysis solutions

CodeScan provides end-to-end static code analysis solutions exclusively for Salesforce development teams. It has over 350+ quality and security rules and is the most comprehensive static code analysis suite available, supporting all Salesforce languages, Apex, Lightning, Visualforce, and Metadata. CodeScan directly integrates with Salesforce CI/CD pipelines and with popular Salesforce IDEs, making code review convenient for DevOps teams using different tools and plug-ins.

CodeScan enables Salesforce developers to develop quicker by maintaining continuous code quality. With the ability to customize quality gates, CodeScan’s intuitive dashboard has mission-critical metrics and the ability to track technical debt across projects. With the ability to automate code analysis, DevOps teams save time and effort in the code review process with early detection of issues, helping to reduce production issues significantly. It enhances code security based on CWE and OWASP standards, while enforcing coding standards and guidelines across the organization. Explore our Salesforce Lightning, Visualforce and Apex static code analysis tools.

salesforce monitoring tools for security

Data security needs to be a top concern for every Salesforce user. Cyberattacks have become even more of a pressing issue over the last few years, leading the White House to issue a statement to all business relating to their data security practices.

Is Static Code Analysis a Salesforce Security and Monitoring Tool_CodeScanA Salesforce security and monitoring tool can go a long way toward supporting data security measures.

Simply maintaining best practices when utilizing company systems isn’t enough to protect your platform. Cybercriminals have grown increasingly savvy when it comes to gaining access to your most protected, sensitive, and critical system data.

Static code analysis is an important Salesforce security and monitoring tool that focuses on maintaining strong code throughout your system. But how does static code analysis support your data security strategy?

1. Coding Errors Create Data Security Vulnerabilities

We aim to introduce the best code possible to our updates and applications because we want to create a stable product. The experience for the end user is important because it’s what positions us as a leader in our industry. However, there are unseen dangers lurking within bad code that also need to be considered.

A buggy or error-filled update can create backdoors in a Salesforce environment that create opportunities for cybercriminals or costly errors.

Proper functionality is essential for a secure Salesforce platform. Static code analysis acts as a Salesforce security and monitoring tool by flagging these errors as they are introduced to the system, cutting them off before they can become an issue.

2. Even the Best Developers Make Mistakes

Is Static Code Analysis a Salesforce Security and Monitoring Tool_CodeScan

Mistakes are going to happen. It might be tempting to think you don’t need a code scanner because you trust your developers to write high quality code. However, nobody is perfect. Coding errors are inevitable and without the help of static code analysis, these errors can lead to failed deployments, longer production time, or buggy applications.

Preparing for errors ensures you are covered when the inevitable occurs.

Utilizing a Salesforce security and monitoring tool like static code analysis supports your team members and allows them to focus on writing new code without needing to go back and re-work error-filled sections.

3. Static Code Analysis Can Locate Sensitive Data for Encryption

Personally identifiable information and other types of sensitive data need to be protected. Regulatory compliance dictates this for some industries, but properly handling sensitive data is simply a best practice for every business, regardless of regulations.

Static code analysis works to find sensitive information that should be encrypted to ensure your system is fully protected.

Properly protecting sensitive information is a necessity. Automated scans support Salesforce code security. Reports can be scheduled to continually monitor your Salesforce environment so nothing is left behind.

4. Technical Debt Opens Back Doors

Unless you’ve scanned for it (and continue to do so), technical debt likely exists within your Salesforce environment. This is the result of errors and bugs that have gone undetected that have the potential to create data security risks and improper functionality within your updates and applications.

Static code analysis finds technical debt existing in the background of your system, allowing your team to shore up any potential data security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Manually scanning and testing your system for this type of technical debt is simply impossible. Many platforms with have hundreds of thousands of lines of code. A Salesforce security and monitoring tool can be used to find and flag these vulnerabilities.

5. Automated Code Reviews Provide Continuous Benefits

Is Static Code Analysis a Salesforce Security and Monitoring Tool_CodeScanScheduling automated and repeated code reviews ensures you always have an up-to-date view on what is happening behind the scenes in your Salesforce environment. Static code analysis provides dashboards and reports that provide continuous visibility into code health.

Automation enables a high-level analysis of code health that can be repeated so nothing slips through the cracks.

Proper data security is an ongoing effort. Static code analysis provides the ability to continually scan your code and offer recurring benefits as your platform grows.

6. Multiple Security Checks Provide Comprehensive Coverage

Cyberattacks, employee errors, natural disasters, system outages—there are simply too many potential threats to your data to guarantee complete security. And because of these multiple threats, you need to institute multiple layers of security to give yourself the best chance at avoiding data loss or corruption.

Static code analysis provides your first layer of security by avoiding errors that can have a snowball effect on later areas of your Salesforce environment.

Combining static code analysis with other tools like data backup & recovery, CI/CD, and other DevSecOps tools supports a full data security strategy. Implementing static code analysis as a Salesforce security and monitoring tool offers support on multiple levels, from the moment code is written all the way through production.

FAQs

There are a variety of DevOps tools that can be considered a Salesforce security and monitoring tool. Any automated tool that can be set to perform repeated scans for vulnerabilities and support data security can be called a security and monitoring tool. This includes static code analysis, data backup & recovery, and CI/CD.

As many as possible. Data security is most effective when there are multiple levels of protection. There are numerous ways your Salesforce environment can be compromised so it’s important to protect it every way you can.

Static code analysis reduces bugs and errors which can create entry points for bad actors. It also finds and flags technical debt which can create more vulnerabilities without you even knowing they exist. Your team can then work to rectify any flagged vulnerabilities to further secure your system.

Develop high quality, secure code!

RELATED BLOG POSTS
Setting Up and Using CodeScan Effectively
Setting up and CodeScan in your salesforce org

Running CodeScan on your Salesforce Org is a great first step towards quality code, but maintaining that quality is a Read more

Estimating ROI with CodeScan
Estimate ROI using static code analysis tool CodeScan

Every Software Development Professional knows the following fact: the later bugs are found, the more expensive they are to fix. Read more

SFDX Tutorial | Setting Up CodeScan
CodeScan with Salesforce DX

Salesforce DX is a new focus on source-driven, collaborative development. The Salesforce CLI (Command Line Interface) easily integrates into your Read more

CodeScan and Visual Studio Team Services
continuous integration visual studio

Visual Studio Continuous IntegrationVisual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is a quick and powerful tool to set up continuous integration and Read more