By monitoring Salesforce data exports and reports run, you can quickly learn a great deal about how users are interacting with Salesforce — and use those insights to strengthen your security and drive usage and adoption. In fact, Salesforce Shield with Event Monitoring includes exports and reports among the dozens of events it logs. And it’s the first thing most organizations look at to get an overall picture of Salesforce usage and security vulnerabilities.
The ability to run reports on nearly everything in the platform — from contacts and leads to customers — is one of the most powerful aspects of Salesforce. Once run, you can easily export those reports for reference and analysis anywhere, anytime. The availability of such user-friendly reports, however, means large amounts of sensitive data can also be extracted from your Salesforce instance. This can leave your organization vulnerable to data theft and breaches.
The most common scenario? Departing employees taking confidential company data as they walk out the door. For example, an employee may run and export a Salesforce customer report, then leave the company and use the list to build or grow a competitive business. In fact, one study found that half of all workers who changed or lost their jobs in the previous year took confidential company data – and 52 percent of them didn’t view the use of such documents as a crime.
Security is often the leading use case for monitoring exports. But that’s not all: Once you are monitoring for security purposes, there is even more you can glean in terms of usage and adoption.
Here are four essential insights that you can derive from monitoring Salesforce reports and exports – insights that can help you protect your data, increase peace of mind, and help you identify additional opportunities for training, stronger security controls, and more.
4 Insights From Monitoring Salesforce Data Exports
- Which team members might be stealing data? By monitoring Salesforce data exports, you can be proactive and quickly spot team members who may be stealing data for personal or financial gain. It’s essential to stop the unauthorized copying, transfer, or retrieval of data before more damage occurs.
- Whose credentials have been compromised? It’s important to keep an eye on user activity — if someone steps outside the realm of their “normal” Salesforce activity, it could mean another person or bot is logging in under their information. In fact, hacked passwords cause 81 percent of data breaches. Proactively monitoring for exports means you can move quickly to deactivate and/or re-credential compromised users.
- Who are your top performers — and who needs extra support? By looking at who is exporting what data, you can connect your top performers with their Salesforce activity and draw insights that can boost the entire team’s performance. You can also provide support and training to individual users whose activity indicates potential gaps in knowledge. This goes for technical knowledge of how to use Salesforce, as well — large exports may not always indicate an employee is stealing data, but rather that a user doesn’t know how to properly run reports or filter for relevant criteria. If you don’t identify those instances and take action, the user could continue to fail to find the information they need, and their usage can slip – potentially devastating your Salesforce ROI. Knowing who needs additional training and assistance, on the other hand, can mitigate that threat and increase usage, thereby increasing ROI.
- Which reports are users finding the most value from? By looking at the reports that have already been run, as well as report volume and top report runners, you can draw conclusions about the reports that are most useful to users and optimize your instance accordingly. Monitoring for personal or unsaved reports can also show you whether there are usage gaps – team members with a high volume of unsaved reports may benefit from training on how to run and save reports for a more streamlined workflow.
Salesforce is an essential tool for so many growing businesses. The platform’s ability to support easy-to-run exports and reports is a key part of that. Monitoring the extraction of sensitive data, however, is a security must — and can also deliver valuable insights with regards to usage, adoption, and ROI that can drive success business-wide.