CheckRed Editorial

21 August 2023

Data exposure in Salesforce Community websites

Data leaks have been a growing concern for multiple significant companies that include, but are not limited to, banks and healthcare providers. These data leaks have stemmed from their public Salesforce community sites. These Salesforce leaks have been traced back to misconfigurations in the Salesforce Community platform. The misconfigurations have allowed users without proper authentications to have access to privileged data. In this case study, we explore the events surrounding these data exposures and shed light on the consequences faced by affected organizations.

Understanding how it happened

The misconfiguration occurred within the Salesforce Community platform, a widely-used cloud-based software product. Salesforce Community offers two types of access: authenticated access, requiring login credentials, and guest user access, wherein users without credentials are able to access limited data.

The problem arose when Salesforce administrators mistakenly granted guest users access to internal resources, inadvertently exposing sensitive information. As a result, unauthorized individuals gained access to private data, leading to potential data leaks. The misconfigurations were discovered by a security researcher, Charan Akiri, who developed a program to identify organizations running misconfigured Salesforce pages.

Why did this happen?

The misconfigurations in Salesforce Community sites can be attributed to several factors:

Rapid deployment without security checks

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, organizations rapidly created Salesforce Community sites, bypassing their usual security review processes. These hurried deployments often lacked the involvement of native Salesforce developers, leading to oversight and misconfigurations.

Lack of visibility and monitoring

Salesforce administrators may not be fully aware of the potential consequences of granting guest user access to internal resources. It highlights the importance of thoroughly understanding access control permissions and following best practices provided by Salesforce.

Communication challenges

The security researcher, Charan Akiri, faced difficulties in getting responses from the organizations he notified about the misconfigurations. The lack of response from government organizations raised concerns about the awareness and responsiveness to such security issues.

The way forward

How can one prevent such exposures and manage security risks? CheckRed is a robust and comprehensive SaaS and cloud security posture management platform. Designed to help companies secure themselves against misconfigurations, CheckRed offers powerful features and functionalities that improve your security posture. Here’s how it can benefit your organization:

Holistic SaaS and cloud security: CheckRed provides a holistic approach to SaaS and cloud security, covering multiple SaaS applications (including Salesforce) and cloud providers. It allows you to identify misconfigurations and security risks and provides remediation workflows, ensuring comprehensive protection.
Continuous monitoring: With CheckRed, you can continuously monitor your SaaS and cloud environment for any security gaps or misconfigurations. It performs real-time scans and assessments to detect potential threats and provides instant alerts, enabling proactive mitigation.
Compliance and governance: CheckRed helps you maintain compliance with industry regulations and security frameworks. It offers predefined policies and compliance templates, simplifying the process of adhering to standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and more.
Automated remediation: Detecting issues is only the first step; CheckRed goes further by automating the remediation process. It provides actionable recommendations and allows for automatic or manual remediation of misconfigurations, reducing the window of vulnerability.
User-Friendly interface: CheckRed boasts of an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and understand. Its dashboard provides clear visibility into security posture, giving you insights at a glance.

By leveraging CheckRed, your organization can enhance its SaaS and cloud security posture, mitigate risks, and prevent data breaches caused by misconfigurations. Protect your sensitive data and maintain the trust of your customers and stakeholders with this powerful, all-in-one SSPM and CSPM platform.

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