What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities?

What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities_CodeScan

What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities_CodeScanBeing aware of Salesforce vulnerabilities makes it much more likely your team can successfully prevent them.

Why It Matters: The way we interact with our Salesforce environment has a huge impact on our ability to properly protect the data it contains. Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding data breaches or costly data loss events.

  • Salesforce is used by more than 150,000 companies around the world and is often their largest container of data.
  • Failing to properly protect this data leads to costly downtime, loss of consumer trust, and noncompliance with data security regulations.
  • Team members have the capacity to strengthen or harm your data security strategy every time they interact with your Salesforce environment.

1. Field-Level Security Vulnerabilities

The way your team interacts with its Salesforce environment has a massive impact on the effectiveness of your data security strategy. There are a myriad of settings that can be implemented to guarantee proper access levels are maintained across data repositories. Field-Level Security (FLS) establishes access and editability of fields within objects for users.

Misconfigured FLS settings can give users the ability to view and edit sensitive fields within objects they are not authorized to access.

Reviewing users’ FLS settings to align with only needed profile and permission sets will reduce the opportunities for accidental deletions or damage to sensitive data.

2. Manual DevOps Processes

What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities_CodeScan

Salesforce vulnerabilities can be separated into two large buckets: technological vulnerabilities and human vulnerabilities. It’s easy to be distracted by outages and errors leading to data loss, but the way your team uses its Salesforce platform is what sets these issues in motion.

Repetitive, manual processes increase the likelihood of human error, which introduces bugs and errors into DevOps projects.

These errors—if not found by testing tools—become vulnerabilities in a live environment. Automating repetitive processes both increases the reliability of the update or application and expedites the release process.

3. Overly Permissive Object Settings

In Salesforce, object permissions define the access level users have to view, create, edit, or delete records. If object-level permissions are set too permissively, users may gain access to data and operations they are not authorized to view or perform.

Improper object-level permission settings can lead to unauthorized data access, leakage, or corruption.

An object that contains sensitive user data might be accidentally configured with “modify all” permission settings. A user with access then has total control over these sensitive records, creating compliance and data security vulnerabilities.

4. Cross-Site Scripting

What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities_CodeScanCross-site scripting (XSS) is a security vulnerability in Salesforce that allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into webpages, applications, and platforms. Within Salesforce Visualforce pages, an unescaped value has the potential to become a vector for an XSS attack.

User-generated content within a Visualforce page could be attached to malicious scripts that compromise the data of other users when viewed.

Unauthorized access to sensitive data can result from these attacks. Regular testing and code reviews are essential to find these Salesforce vulnerabilities before they impact regulatory compliance and general data security considerations.

5. Unsecured APIs

Every organization customizes its Salesforce environment to meet its specific requirements. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are sets of rules and protocols that enable teams to connect third-party software to their Salesforce environment. APIs enable external systems to access and manipulate Salesforce data. But if they aren’t properly secured, they can become a dangerous Salesforce vulnerability.

Unauthorized access to sensitive data, data manipulation, and even account takeovers are possible when APIs aren’t properly secured.

Implementing strict access control settings, limiting permissions to APIs, and conducting frequent audits strengthen the security surrounding these important Salesforce considerations.

6. Uncaptured Metrics

It’s important to keep an eye on the performance of your Salesforce environment. This includes monitoring data security considerations, including what is being accessed, from where, when, and by whom. Undetected security incidents increase the damage they cause to both your organization as well as the consumers whose data has been compromised.

Properly monitoring and logging important security metrics for data access events, type of data, and user activity gives InfoSec teams the information they need to keep your data safe and compliant.

Organizations should implement robust monitoring and logging practices, including relevant security-related metrics, data analyzation, and mechanisms to respond appropriately to security incidents.

7. Coding Errors in Live Environments

What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities_CodeScan

A strong DevOps pipeline enables organizations to quickly introduce applications and updates, both addressing the needs of their customers as well as any emerging data security issues. However, these updates are only as beneficial as the strength of the code.

An error-filled application creates its own Salesforce vulnerabilities, negating any potential benefits to both the user and the organization.

Integrating static code analysis is a nonnegotiable aspect of a modern Salesforce DevOps strategy. Faster development and more secure results are possible by adding this automated tool. Use it to increase productivity and enhance the capabilities of even your most talented developers.

8. Misconfigured Security Settings

Administrative settings can sometimes go stale. When more team members are brought on, new applications are utilized, or new practices are implemented, failing to immediately update important settings is a critical oversight. Outdated permissions, access settings, and integrations all open up Salesforce vulnerabilities that threaten an organization’s data.

Review existing security settings with an automated scanner, enabling teams to address emerging threats using a contemporary approach.

A policy scanner can be used with 100% accuracy to verify adherence to internal rules such as permissions and security settings. Frequent use ensures total compliance with these mandatory safeguards.

9. Login Portal Vulnerabilities

What Are the Biggest Salesforce Vulnerabilities_CodeScanAccess screens are still one of the first potential entry points targeted by cybercriminals. Why go through the trouble of hacking into a system when you can simply enter a username and password? These credentials can be compromised through phishing attempts, weak passwords, and exposed information.

Unauthorized access through login portals grants unauthorized visitors all the permissions and data access afforded to the user account they undermined to gain entry.

Requiring two-factor authentication is essential to guard against these kinds of Salesforce vulnerabilities. Requiring frequent updates to user passwords and communicating best practices also go a long way to help secure these potential points of entry.

10. Periodic Backups

Falling victim to any of these Salesforce vulnerabilities exposes the potential to lose access to critical system information. This creates security, compliance, and functionality issues that can be incredibly costly. Even companies with the most comprehensive data security strategies can experience data loss events.

Having a recent and complete data backup provides the coverage your organization needs to return to operations even if a data disaster occurs.

Automating data backups on a frequent, repeating schedule ensures recovery processes have relevant information to draw from. This coverage means the difference between incredibly costly downtime and a swift recovery.

Next Step…

Salesforce data security requires a full-featured approach to address and prevent negative outcomes from these vulnerabilities. Static code analysis is a huge part of this approach.

Read our blog, “Should I Integrate Static Code Testing Into My Release Pipeline?” to learn more about how this tool fits within a larger strategy.


User permissions are a deceptively large aspect of a Salesforce data security strategy. It’s easy for IT security teams to become so focused on external threats that they fail to consider insider threats. There’s always the possibility that a disgruntled employee could corrupt or even steal some sensitive system data, but that’s not the only way your team members pose a threat. A simple accidental deletion could also lead to costly outages and lost data. The good news is that you can address both of these possible threats by updating the permissions afforded to each team member. Utilize a Salesforce policy scanner to ensure each team member is only able to access the data they need to perform their job duties and nothing more. Overexposed data is more likely to experience accidental deletion.

Salesforce is a secure platform. However, vulnerabilities can be introduced in the way these environments are customized to meet specific needs. Third-party integrations, permission settings, and customizations all have the potential to create vulnerabilities if they aren’t properly configured, managed, and sourced. Open-source applications in the marketplace can connect to a Salesforce environment, become corrupted, and open the door to failures, deletions, and breaches. This can be prevented by sourcing applications from reputable sources and monitoring access logs. Keeping a continuous eye on the stability of your environment makes it more likely that, should a breach occur, it can be contained before it becomes a major issue.

Having the ability to quickly introduce secure applications and updates makes organizations more flexible, better able to respond to emerging threats, and patch any potential Salesforce vulnerabilities. However, prioritizing speed over security to accomplish this makes it more likely that errors will slip through to a live environment, negating the potential benefits of the patch, update, or application. These bugs can result in misfires in the application that corrupt or lose data. They can also be exploited by cybercriminals to open up a back door to your environment. Static code analysis enables teams to achieve the speed they need without sacrificing quality, preventing vulnerabilities that could result from bugs in a live environment.

Develop high quality, secure code!

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