Myths and Truths About Protecting Your Salesforce Data: Part 2
In “Myths and Truths About Protecting Your Salesforce Data” the first post of this two-part series, my colleague Brundage discussed three commonly held misconceptions about Salesforce data and offered his vantage point on the truths that anyone who values their data should take to heart.
The reality is that Salesforce is more complex and challenging than most of us give it credit for. Anyone who wants to drive Salesforce adoption forward should take the time to think through the full implications of protecting Salesforce data and develop a strategy that makes sense for their organization and stakeholders.
Any successful strategy demands a clear-eyed view of what’s happening. So here are the last four key myths and truths we suggest keeping in mind as you develop your approach to managing Salesforce data.
4. Are weekly data exports good enough?
Myth: “Weekly data exports are good enough.”
Truth: If you back up weekly, your data is still at high risk
If you’re backing up weekly, a lot can happen in the period of time between when you back up your data and when you lose it. At Odaseva, we’ve had customers who have created, updated, or deleted more than 13 million records in a week. If you run a weekly export on Friday, then experience a data loss the following Thursday, you’ve lost six days’ worth of data. A recent study by analyst firm ESG* found that just 2% of IT professionals responsible for data protection technology can tolerate losing more than four hours of Salesforce data.
5. Back up Salesforce data for more than disaster recovery
Myth: “The only reason to back up Salesforce data is in case of a disaster.”
Fact: Data losses are an everyday occurrence, and most of them are accidental
In the past years, numerous research studies have been published showing SaaS data losses do happen, and that the most common cause is human error, by a wide margin. As a company with a specialty in backup and restore, we can confirm this.
The simple fact is that typical data losses aren’t caused by a phishing attack or a rogue employee. Most are just mistakes. And the larger your Salesforce implementation is, the more likely it is that mistakes will happen. Every time every user with Modify All permission logs into your Salesforce org, every API call, every connection point with another application, every interaction with a third party service provider, is an opportunity for someone to make a mistake that corrupts or destroys your Salesforce data.
6. Is data restore simple?
Myth: “As long as my Salesforce data is backed up somewhere, it will be easy to restore”
Fact: Restoring data is a detailed process that must be executed correctly.
As Salesforce has grown more deeply integrated into businesses, the relationships between data have become as important as the data itself. Parent-child relationships can be intricate and many-layers deep. To preserve them, data needs to be restored in the right order.
Because Salesforce data must be restored through APIs, the same customizations and automations you’ve made to enforce rules and execute business processes can work against you. A validation rule created last week to ensure data quality can prevent a record entered last year from successfully restoring. The trigger or flow that sends an email upon record creation will also execute during the restore–both slowing the time to restore and introducing unexpected side effects.
The timing of Salesforce releases can also be a complicating factor. New releases can lead to changes in metadata, which can make a restoration more challenging.
There are just a few of the countless complications you might experience when you restore lost data—and all of them are reasons why having a data recovery plan is so important.
7. What should you look for in a backup provider?
Myth: “All Salesforce data backup solutions are basically the same.”
Fact: Enterprise companies with large, complex Salesforce implementations need solutions that meet much higher requirements
Now that Salesforce has discontinued disaster recovery services, a growing number of tools and services are stepping up to fill the need for backup and recovery. There are many excellent options available, but it’s crucial to match the level of solution to the level of need.
A solution that works well for a small or mid-sized company is unlikely to meet the needs of a large enterprise. Here are a few key points of difference to think about when you’re evaluating your options:
Security. Most backup solutions targeted to smaller businesses can’t deliver “no-view” service—that means they can see your data, which can leave you exposed to additional risk of a breach. For organizations with high regulatory requirements or security needs, this can be a major issue.
Performance. Handling large data volumes, at speed, without triggering Salesforce’s Governor limits requires specialized infrastructure and the ability to capture every aspect of your data, which incremental backups can’t do. Solutions designed around the needs of smaller businesses may be too limited to handle the amount and granularity of data that enterprise companies need to manage.
Expertise. Simply having the technology is only part of the equation for effective backup and restore. You also need the right process and training for teams, and in many cases, the ability to outsource backup when internal teams aren’t available. This requires a level of expertise and support that simpler apps may not be designed to provide.
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