In this digital era, data has rightly been classified as the new ‘oil’ that is the driving force behind innovation, productivity, and improvement of core business operations. In fact all companies require data to make vital decisions that will affect their growth & profitability. Though the amount of electronic data is estimated to be about 2.7 zettabytes, it is expected to grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025.
Being a data-driven platform, Salesforce uses the data to better understand the customers, service their needs, & drive better, faster decision making that optimizes the business. Which is why the data in the Salesforce Org is really very important. But this also means that it’s a humongous challenge to manage & ensure the security of such large volumes of data.
Some Common Causes of Salesforce Data Loss
Data loss in Salesforce occurs when the Salesforce data in the systems is corrupted, deleted, or otherwise unrecoverable. It’s important to note that though data loss is different from data breach, which commonly happens when the data is stolen, the terms are used interchangeably since the data once stolen is never recovered or received back. The bottom line is, Salesforce data loss can take place because of a plethora of reasons, some of which have been highlighted below:
- Human error– One of the primary reasons for data loss is human error, whether during importing data, editing an Object definition, merging Households, or just accidentally deleting important Salesforce data.
- Data sync errors– Another common cause for Salesforce data loss is encountering a data sync error in Salesforce. This usually happens if there are more than one Salesforce admin or different third-party apps are being used along with Salesforce.
- Malicious actions– Sometimes disgruntled ex-employees or even the ones currently working may intentionally leak critical information or simply delete important Salesforce records to cause data loss & damage the enterprise’s reputation.
- Mishandled metadata– Since metadata is an essential part of a well-functioning Salesforce environment, it needs to be protected. Improper handling of metadata can result in critical operations grinding to a halt, compromised release quality, & exposure of sensitive Salesforce data.
- Bad Code– Important Salesforce data can also be lost when errors are made in the coding structure. Errors like improperly linked fields & botched up metadata can easily make it through the development pipeline and into production to instantly contribute towards lost or corrupted Salesforce data.
- Malware threats– Salesforce data can also be lost in case of cyberattacks or malware threats like hacking or phishing. Data can be stolen, compromised, corrupted, or held hostage for a ransom.
Preventing Data Loss in Salesforce System
Now that you are aware of the threats that are looming large over your critical Salesforce data, let’s quickly understand how to mitigate those threats & prevent Salesforce data loss. Some of the major techniques for data loss prevention have been discussed in detail below:
Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan
Having a well-thought-of Salesforce disaster recovery strategy goes a long way in protecting Salesforce data from being lost. A lot can go wrong or become corrupted in an emergency situation if employees don’t know what to do in case a particular threat to critical data emerges. A simple disaster recovery plan allows everyone in the organization to spring into action the moment a disaster occurs to minimize Salesforce data loss.
A thorough disaster recovery plan properly details different security incident scenarios & ways to protect the Salesforce enterprise from potential cyberattacks, in addition to explaining how to react in case of a data breach. Such a plan drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to identify data breaches, effectively recover lost Salesforce data & restore critical services to regain control of the business operations.
Encrypt Sensitive Salesforce Data
Encrypting Salesforce data is one of the most basic yet effective measures for preventing data loss. End-to-end data encryption provides confidentiality to the data & drives forth key security processes like authorization, authentication, non-repudiation & integrity, regardless of whether the Salesforce data is in a public or private cloud, on-device, or even in-transit. When implemented properly, strong encryption algorithms prove to be effective techniques in providing persistent data protection.
Even when backing up data, it’s not always guaranteed that the backed up data will be encrypted as well. Therefore, investing in data backup systems that automatically encrypt all the backed up Salesforce data is encouraged. Such data encryption also ensures that even if sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can not be deciphered or accessed to get anything of value out of it, thereby protecting it.
Specify Employee Access Levels
Accidental Salesforce data loss can also be prevented by simply preventing specific employees from accessing specific kinds of data on the Salesforce CRM. By setting up proper access levels for all employees, creating well-defined policies that restrict the usage of company data, & having employees sign a security agreement at the time of onboarding, a lot of Salesforce enterprises can protect themselves from losing important data. Companies can also assign a ‘Systems Administrator’ who can monitor everyone else’s access & permissions to critical Salesforce data.
Firewall and Antivirus
Since a major threat to the security of Salesforce data comes from cyberattacks, it’s best to have proper protection strategies against it. A critical step in the direction of protecting sensitive Salesforce data is implementing thorough antivirus & security solutions. Such firewalls & security software can proactively protect against a variety of hacking, phishing, ransomware, & malicious email attacks that can lead to major data losses. It’s also important to always keep such systems updated & properly maintained. Educating all employees about email security also goes a long way in this direction.
Backing Up Critical Salesforce Data
Perhaps the most important preventative measure against Salesforce data loss is to securely backup all business-critical data. Having a comprehensive Salesforce data backup & recovery strategy in place can effectively protect the business by helping users recover or restore the data that has been accidentally corrupted or lost. A structured data backup strategy, that consistently backs up the data, should secure the different levels of data maintained in the company & allow backups to be scheduled.
- Take Regular Data Backups– All Salesforce data must be periodically backed up on a regular basis, whether it be hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. A proper schedule for data backups helps build business continuity & guarantees better protection against data loss. All sensitive Salesforce data; like emails, spreadsheets, documents, databases, & decryption keys; must be backed up regularly using standard data protection mechanisms.
- Always Test Your Backups– Only creating data backups is not enough, checking if those backups accurately work or not & whether or not they can be recovered at the time of an emergency is another game altogether. Enterprises must proactively ensure that backups contain the most up-to-date data & perform mock restore tests to verify if all the Salesforce data has been copied & validated successfully.
- Diversify Your Backups– Diversification of Salesforce data backups is certainly a key aspect in preventing data loss. Make sure to have multiple copies of data in multiple locations. The general thumb rule is the 3-2-1 backup strategy which means having three backups of important Salesforce data, kept on two different formats, with at least one of them being an off-site backup location.
We hope we were able to help you understand some of the most effective approaches to prevent Salesforce data loss. Having said that, we are aware of the fact that it’s hard to come across proper Salesforce data backup solutions that can efficiently handle the data backup process & prevent important data from getting lost. But we have a solution to that problem of yours as well.
DataBakup, our robust all-in-one Salesforce data backup & recovery solution, can easily help you overcome your fear of losing critical business data by offering fast, reliable data backups & near-instant data recovery. This powerful data backup & recovery solution has plenty of tailor-made capabilities for seamless customization, setup & management. In addition to being highly scalable & user-friendly, DataBakup also allows users to carry out both full & incremental backups; either manually or through prior scheduling. By dramatically eliminating business downtime & improving productivity, this application is surely ideal for your enterprise’s long-term Salesforce data management strategy.