Salesforce Security 101—How to Secure Your CRM and Protect Data from Hackers

Salesforce Security 101—How to Secure Your CRM and Protect Data from Hackers

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can change the way an organization operates for the better. The right CRM software not only boosts productivity and enhances efficiency, it can also create better experiences for your customers. While it’s important to select a CRM that best suits the needs of your organization, Salesforce is a popular option for many enterprises.  

Leaders at organizations are often so focused on the features and benefits of a CRM that they forget to secure it (and CRM security is extremely important). Here is what you need to know about CRM security and how to secure your Salesforce instance to protect data from hackers. 

What is a CRM and Why Is CRM Cybersecurity Important? 

Customer relationship management software, or CRM, is a technology that companies use to manage all customer relationships. Within the platform, companies can manage interactions with existing customers and potential customers. Keeping information organized and centralized improves business relationships, increases productivity, and helps you grow your business. 

Salesforce is a top CRM vendor, with one of the largest selection of products and customizable features available to fit the needs of businesses of all sizes across various industries. All businesses, regardless of size, store massive amounts of data within the platform. It’s no wonder Salesforce security is becoming increasingly important. 

Salesforce to Require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in 2023 

Beginning in February 2023, Salesforce will be requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) for customers to access any of their products. Salesforce MFA will happen gradually, with auto-enablement and enforcement dates varying by product. This is one of the many ways Salesforce is improving the value of its products and helping customers to secure data within the platform. 

8 Salesforce Security Tips to Make Your CRM Environment More Secure

Salesforce is the top CRM provider worldwide and is constantly evolving and innovating to provide the best, most secure products to their customers. However, it’s still up to the individual companies to secure their CRM environment. If you’re not taking steps to adequately secure your Salesforce instance, you’re putting a lot of data at risk. 

Here are eight tips to make your CRM environment more secure. 

1. Understand the Current Health of Your Salesforce Environment

Before you can take the necessary steps to secure your CRM environment, you must understand where you currently stand. How healthy is your CRM instance, and what changes need to be implemented? A CRM health check assessment can help you answer these questions and formulate an action plan that includes future changes and enhancements. 

2. Calculate your Salesforce Health Check Score 

In addition to an assessment, Salesforce also makes it easy for customers to get a quick glance at what the health of their system currently looks like with a Salesforce Health Check Score. This score measures how well your security settings meet the Salesforce Baseline standard or a selected custom baseline of your choosing.  

The score is calculated by how well you meet or exceed compliance in certain areas. If you meet or exceed compliance, it raises your score. If you have areas that are considered at risk, it lowers your score. 

3. Back Up Your CRM Data Regularly 

Organizations that use Salesforce typically house large quantities of data within the platform. This data is related to a company’s sales and marketing efforts and losing it could cause detrimental harm to an organization and its customers. 

In September 2021, Salesforce announced Backup and Restore. This service supports automated daily backup of Salesforce data. While this provides peace of mind to organizations who use Salesforce, you can still never be too safe. Many organizations who house mass amounts of data within Salesforce will want backups to occur on a more frequent basis, and this is completely reasonable. 

If you use Salesforce as your CRM instance, consider a third-party backup option. A third-party backup vendor will help you back up your data as frequently as you’d like, and they will make sure to comply with all other backup requirements. 

4. Train Your Workforce on Cybersecurity Best Practices 

Sometimes your workforce, the people who you hired and trust the most, are the biggest cybersecurity threat of them all. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, all it takes is one slip up for a cyberattack to cause extreme harm to an organization. Employees might carelessly share passwords and documents or fall for a phishing attack. But if you educate your employees, it’s less likely that this will happen. 

As technology evolves, so do the methods by which cybercriminals use to perform attacks. Continuously educate team members on how to securely use Salesforce with the latest updates. Regular training sessions are also important and a great way to safeguard your organization against breaches. Topics could include secure web browsing, email communication, security processes, and hacking methods. 

5. Monitor Your CRM Data for Suspicious Activity 

Monitoring suspicious activity within your CRM environment is extremely important, especially since your CRM hosts copious amounts of data. An increase in activity logs typically signals a compromised CRM, especially if those attempted logins are during times when no one is using Salesforce. Make sure you set up alerts to be notified about these suspicious activity logs. 

As a Salesforce admin, you can utilize activity monitoring in Salesforce. This allows you to see who is logging in from when and where, what reports are being run, data exports, and more. Activity monitoring can give you deeper insight into the health of your Salesforce org. In addition to security, activity monitoring also covers areas like compliance, usage, and adoption. 

6. Implement Access Permissions Where Necessary 

While you certainly shouldn’t overdo it, user permissions are another foolproof way to secure your CRM instance. User permissions in Salesforce allow admins to specify which tasks users can perform and what features they can access. 

By restricting certain users from accessing certain data, you’re taking extra measures to protect your CRM data. Not only that, but it’s unlikely that every user needs access to all data within the platforms. Access permissions give employees in each role access to what they need and only what they need. 

When setting up your integrations use a Dedicated Integration User Profile instead of tying them to an actual user in your business. This allows you to avoid human errors and adds an additional layer of security around your integrations. 

7. Be Aware of What You Already Have 

An important part of reaching your security goals, involves knowing where your system stands as of today. Understanding your current system and how your integrated tools are accessing Salesforce will allow you to ensure that proper protocols are being followed.  
If you’ve used Salesforce, you know that errors can be just a fact of using the system. The goal should always be to reduce the amount of errors in your instance and enabling Error Logging can help you do just that. Check your error log every day to keep your system looking flawless. 

8. Make Sure All Users Create Strong Passwords 

Finally, make sure you’re always using strong passwords. Every user in the org needs a strong password and any new user who is added should be required to create a strong password as well. This might seem like a simple cybersecurity tip, but it’s still an important one. Your CRM, just like any other software solution your business uses, can be easily compromised if someone cracks the password on an account. 

A good password usually contains a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. It should be more than eight characters in length and shouldn’t be something obvious like a birthday or pet name. Educate your workforce on the importance of strong passwords and make it a requirement that they create one to use Salesforce. 

Secure Your CRM and Grow Your Business with Confidence 

Your company’s very own Salesforce instance offers many benefits. It helps your sales and marketing teams offer better services to customers. Additionally, CRMs enhance efficiency and boost productivity within the org. Although Salesforce is always taking measures to ensure its customers can securely operate using the platform, CRM security shouldn’t stop there. 

Your organization must take action to secure your CRM environment if you truly want to protect your valuable assets and data. Not sure where to start? Contact BDO Digital to connect with a professional about our CRM services