Some Basics Insights for Enterprises to Secure Salesforce Applications

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Application security is a comprehensive discipline, which requires a custom set of procedures, practices, tools, and above all, a security-oriented mindset among all the levels of users and admins. For enterprises, it is essential to protect their applications from any kind of security threats throughout the application lifecycle. For this, you should analyze the application functions properly and implement measures to handle various types of application security threats effectively. Administrators and developers need to follow the development best practices too while creating enterprise applications.

Ensuring application security will help enterprises protect all their applications accessed by internal and external users, including the employees, customers, business partners, and other stakeholders. However, we can see that application security is a growing concern day by day, and there are a lot of cases of data breaches and internet frauds being reported. This article will discuss some basic insights you need to have about security in light of Salesforce application management.

Top risks to application security

There are possibilities of various flaws during enterprise application management, through which the attacker can gain access to your data and systems. Let us explore some of the major security risks in application security.

Injection – Injection security flaws can let the attackers or hackers use to inject malicious and unfiltered data or codes to attack the directories and databases which are connected to public web applications.

Data exposure It is seen that many web applications and APIs do not have proper measures to protect sensitive data. This is a crucial thing, especially in finance and healthcare applications, etc. By leveraging these flaws, the attacker can steal these weakly protected data and conduct theft, credit card fraud, or other such crimes.

Broken authentication – Another common security flaw seen on the application is the broken authentication, with which the hackers can compromise the needs for passwords, session tokens, or keys to gain access to the account information and other identifiable details.

Security misconfiguration – With insecure, incomplete, or ad hoc default configurations it can be a big security threat to applications. Incomplete configurations, open storage, HTTP headers misconfig, and the verbose error messages which contain sensitive information can do big harm. Attackers can easily gain access to your systems through these ways and steal the files and data.

Cross-Site Scripting In this approach, attackers use malicious codes to be injected into sites and attack the users’ web browser. Attackers may insert the codes through links, which are shared with users, clicking on which the code will execute.

CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) – Attackers use the same social engineering principles here as cross-site scripting to lure the users into clicking on the link with malicious code to trick users into clicking a hyperlink, as an example, and take control of their sessions.

Along with these, attackers use varying new methods to gain access through the application using unvalidated forwards and redirects, leveraging components with vulnerabilities, etc. So, you need to practice due diligence while considering the usage of any third-party components or codes in Salesforce applications.

Is Salesforce secured?

Even though Salesforce has a higher level of in-built security, points out the fact that it is not 100% secure. Data security is the priority of the enterprise users for which we have to initiate foolproof data governance policies. While creating custom applications as a mobile application, lightning components, or custom applications using external JS libraries, there can be risks involved. So, follow the code writing best practices, and we should only use trusted and libraries.

Salesforce offers two security types as:

  • System-level security and,
  • Application-level security. 

System-level security is applicable to the whole Salesforce org as to who will access the applications. Application-level security is meant to control user activities such as who can view, edit, and delete the objects and fields’ values. Let us explore these two security types in detail below.

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1. System-level security

System-level security is a comprehensive approach to architecture, policies, and procedures which ensures system and data security on the individual and network computing systems. System-level security is implemented by using authorizations and authentication. Authentication consists of measures to recognize the user identity and prevent any unauthorized access to Salesforce. The authorization covers the matters as to which types of features and data can be used by authenticated users. This can be put as an additional layer once the authentication is in place.

2. Application-level security

Application-level security will help control and restrict what the users can view, edit, and delete on an object’s fields. We can secure Salesforce applications by using the implementation as below.

  • Health check

You may simply use the health check tool of Salesforce to spot and fix any possible security vulnerabilities in the default and custom settings.

  • Auditing

Auditing will offer crucial information about your systems’ usage, which may be critical in diagnosing the potential security threats. In order to verify that your Org is fully secured, one should perform frequent audits to monitor any changes or malicious usage trends. We may closely monitor the login history, record modification fields, failed and successful attempts, field audit trails, field history tracking, etc.

Salesforce Shield

Salesforce Shield is a combination of security tools that help the administrators and developers to incorporate additional levels of compliance, trust, and governance while building business-critical apps.

Shield platform encryption

This approach will let the developers natively encrypt the sensitive data at rest in Salesforce apps. Encryption will add one more protective layer on the PII, confidential, sensitive, or proprietary data. It is also possible to add masking for better security of the PI and PII info.

Along with these measures, we may also consider real-time monitoring of events, field audit trails, and other data security measures to control which users access the apps and access information and objects. You may utilize profile, custom permission, permission set, apex sharing, role hierarchy, and sharing setting to restrict access to objects and fields and share records.