Salesforce offers a very comprehensive and flexible model for data security at various levels. Salesforce also has many tools for data sharing and data management, which will not only allow fully secured data access to the users at various levels but also a high level of security. Salesforce also has many native and third-party tools for backup and retrieval of data in case of data loss. In this article, we will discuss how the Salesforce security features will come together in a real-time scenario for effective database management.
Basics of data on Salesforce
There are three primary constructs, which are related to Salesforce data as objects, fields, and records.
- Objects are similar to the tables of conventional databases.
- Fields can be compared to the columns in the table
- Reports may be more similar to the rows of the database tables.
Salesforce uses many object-level, field-level, as well as record-level security measures to ensure protected access to data. Let us explore these in further detail.
On the standard Salesforce ecosystem, before a user is allowed to access an object, Salesforce will verify that the user has all the permissions to see the object of the specific type. Access at the object level can be managed through two different configurations profile and permission sets. The profile is a way to control the access to different object levels as well as field-level security. As the permission sets get released, Salesforce requires the users to use those as the basic way to configure the permissions at object and field levels. Assigning different users with a different profile is a way to go for it as it will help the admins to configure other different things like the page layout, IP restrictions, or logs in case of the object and field-level security. You can configure any number of different profiles to provide minimum to maximum access and can use the permission sets to add permissions.
Field level security
Salesforce administrators also offer different permissions like reading and writing data for individual fields also. It is also possible to set specific fields hidden to specific uses. While you hide the field using field-level security, the field may not be accessible through any given entry points. The security best practice recommended here is to use field-level security instead of simply removing a field from a record layout or page. As in the case of object-level security, it is recommended that you configure field-level security also using the permission sets and the permission set groups.
Salesforce data backup
While planning for Salesforce security at different levels, it is also essential to keep the Salesforce data backup and restoration needs in mind. Sometimes the data loss can be minor whereas the lost data can be easily retrieved from the recycle bin. Sometimes it may be major as like replacing millions of records accidentally through a Data Loader bulk export or so. By keeping the scope of a data loss in mind, it is important to have a proper salesforce data backup recovery strategy in place.
Salesforce, being a cloud application, has its own ways to backup and safeguard data at multiple servers, but the retrieval and restoration of data using the Salesforce native Data Backup Service is a bit costly and time taking. So, it is advised that you make use of any good third-party application for Salesforce data backup and restoration when needed.
Record level data security
At object-level access and field-level security access, users can access the records which they are allowed to, but sometimes the admins need to open access to these entities at various levels and this is where they can use record-level security. It is often considered as a Salesforce data-sharing model or simply record sharing. Salesforce offers different ways for sharing records with others and accessing various records. You can start by simply configuring the defaults for locking down your data at different levels. One can also use other types of security tools for granting additional access to specific uses as needed.
So as you see, Salesforce offers three distinct security layers which offer a lot of flexibility for the Salesforce administrators to accommodate various types of business needs. In any case, a proper combination of all three levels of control will make the Salesforce database most secured and less vulnerable to attacks or data loss. The profiles, as well as the permission, sets controls at field level and object level with proper permission sets can be considered as the next-generation model of job roles instead of distinct profiles.
Further to these three levels of security, we can also contain other 5 types of security models at record level itself as org-wide defaults, role hierarchy sharing, rule-based sharing, Apex based sharing, manual sharing etc. All these five controls can have access to a distinct set of records or different individual records for the users even if they do not own this record. This has to be done in a unique manner based on your business and data access requirements.
Coming back to data backup and restoration, the best-advised approach is to look at Salesforce App Exchange for respective tools. Salesforce themselves advise the users to go for third-party tools for data backup then rely on the Salesforce data recovery service. The recovery service offered by Salesforce may cost about $10000 per instance to the users. It may also take about six to eight weeks time for Salesforce to respond to data retrieval tickets, which may be a critically longer period for businesses.
Usually, Salesforce shared the data requested for in . CSV format files, which has to be manually restored by the Salesforce admins. This also may be time taking and task-intensive with possibilities for errors and confusion. Most importantly, Salesforce does not have a backup of metadata to be shared, which will end up in losing all your Salesforce customizations done in the past. With the possibility of all this chaos in mind, it is essential for the Salesforce users to have a solid third-party data backup and restoration service in place.