There’s more than one approach to managing cloud security, though perhaps not all of them are created equal. When it comes to securing your Salesforce org specifically, it’s important to understand the differences between these approaches so that yours best aligns with your current capabilities and the security mechanisms already built into the platform.
Software-as-a-service security posture management, known as SSPM, is a category of solutions for assessing and managing risks related to SaaS applications that aren’t addressed by the applications themselves. SSPM tools often enable users to identify vulnerabilities in the configurations of native SaaS security settings and receive recommendations on how to mitigate the associated risks.
These products are so critical that Gartner anticipates we’ll start to see them included as native features of SaaS solutions (and in other broader security solutions). Despite the valuable capabilities of SSPM, however,
the fact that Salesforce is a cloud platform rather than a software application — an important distinction often overlooked by new adopters and veteran users alike — means that SSPM solutions will inevitably fall short in providing end-to-end protection for your org.
The Expansive Nature of Salesforce
Salesforce is one of the most popular platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions, which means it’s often a company’s first cloud product. If it’s being used as a simple CRM tool, it makes sense that an adopter might mistake it for a SaaS application. But Salesforce capabilities go far beyond CRM.
In fact, the powerful features and flexible nature of the platform regularly lead departments ranging from sales and marketing to IT to adopt it. With the platform so deeply entrenched in an organization, it’s chock-full of huge volumes of valuable data, and protecting that data should be a strategic imperative for any organization.
So if SSPM is an insufficient approach to Salesforce security, what other options do CSOs and IT leaders have?
Delivering a More Secure Salesforce
Cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions are tools that allow users to pinpoint compliance risks and network vulnerabilities arising from misconfiguration issues in the cloud. The term was coined by Gartner, and it refers to products that are often especially useful for automating certain aspects of security and providing ongoing compliance assurance. More sophisticated CSPM products incorporate robotic process automation capabilities that address issues without user action, while others will simply alert users of vulnerabilities that are usually defined against a preexisting set of best practices and optimal configuration settings.
Organizations that have implemented a cloud-first strategy and want to reduce risks in IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS cloud environments (including hybrid and multi-cloud environments) will often rely on CSPM. When PaaS solutions are the focal point, these security management products might also be referred to as PSPM, though the terms are largely interchangeable.
CSPM and PSPM products help ensure that security gaps aren’t inadvertently created due to constantly changing cloud infrastructures. Gartner research shows that misconfigurations are already responsible for about 95% of cloud security shortcomings, but that figure will increase to 99% by 2023. Without PSPM managing your platform’s evolution, it likely resembles a block of Swiss cheese to experienced hackers and cybercriminals, with so many security holes they don’t know where to start. While some organizations turn to cloud access security brokers for help, Gartner warns that these vendors shouldn’t be seen as an effective substitute for careful configuration of security settings native to SaaS and PaaS solutions.
At RevCult, we know that Salesforce is a powerful, feature-rich platform and that relying on SSPM to secure it is like relying on a luggage lock to secure a mansion. Salesforce includes hundreds upon hundreds of security settings that have to be utilized properly to prevent gaping security holes, and configuration and security guides for the platform are hundreds of pages long. Instead of trying to lock up the valuable data in your Salesforce org on your own, save yourself time and endless headaches by relying on a partner that specializes in exactly that.
There’s a reason we’ve earned five-star consulting and five-star product ratings on the Salesforce AppExchange. Let us show you how we can transform your company into a more productive and secure environment that’s poised for growth. Get in touch today!
Here's more to explore:
- NEW: Get a copy of RevCult’s report with 5 key takeaways: The State of Salesforce Data Security
- Related reading: Not Sure About Your CSPM? Start With Salesforce
- Read the 3 Steps to Assess Risk & Verify Security of Your Salesforce Data
- Learn about Cloud Security Cockpit® to implement, manage and prove Salesforce security controls
- Contact us to learn about a Salesforce Security Risk Assessment