Data Security for Economic Development Organizations
By now, it’s obvious: Work from home (WFH) is here to stay. The number of WFH employees has been trending upward for years. New COVID-19 regulations have accelerated the migration to this new business model. Now more than ever, data security needs to be a top priority for all organizations. EDOs, are no exception. EDOs depend on irreplaceable data: Company records; activity history, and project information. Loss of this data can be catastrophic, and result in loss of capital investment, jobs created, and jobs retained.
At the end of the day, security is the responsibility of IT. That said, there are steps that can mitigate potential threats. Here are five, easy to implement, security precautions I recommend to all of my Salesforce for economic development clients.
No one wants to change their passwords. It’s not uncommon for individuals to use the same password for every application they use for years! EDOs using Salesforce are no exception. The solution to this one is easy. Configure Salesforce.com to require more frequent password updates (quarterly), while increasing the required number and type of characters.
Also, be sure to deactivate users who no longer need access to Salesforce.com. I have seen many examples of EDOs with active accounts for users who left the company two to three years ago. Your organization, and the previous employee, will be better off for it.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) has been around in the banking and healthcare industries for some time. We are recommending that all of our economic development clients implement MFA. It is easily enabled in Salesforce.com. All that is required of Salesforce users is to enter a short code, sent by text or email when they log in.
One of the most often missed security risk is incorrectly configured user privileges. Economic developers have sensitive data that must remain confidential. Salesforce.com allows you to set your own security protocols at the user level. Controls include:
- Ensure only appropriate users have “view all data” permission
- Eliminate users’ ability to delete or export records
- Restrict access to confidential project and investor data-specific data
These profile privileges can be quickly customized for any EDO using Salesforce.
Backup Your Data!
Incremental backups are a life raft for all economic development organizations and a must have “insurance policy”. Salesforce backup procedures provide the following benefits:
- Restore data that had been inadvertently deleted or overwritten
- Mitigate the risk of ransomware. Including as much data as reasonable within Salesforce.com provides double redundancy. The file is available on-demand on Salesforce.com. It is also available in another secure location.
Data backups are absolutely necessary for all EDOs. It is inexpensive insurance for data loss and security risks.
Economic Development data security is so important, Conrin offers a complimentary security audit. For more information, contact Todd at 616-897-4325 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.