Salesforce forms are a simple and efficient way to gather information from your website visitors. But if these forms don’t have the correct level of security, they won’t simply leave people worried over their data privacy. They can create significant security risks for your company as well.
Whether you’re collecting personally identifiable information (PII) or sensitive medical data (PHI), secure Salesforce forms are necessary to meet data security, privacy, and compliance standards set by your company or industry. Luckily, you have several ways to make sure your Salesforce forms are secure, including data minimization, secure file scanning, field validation, and data encryption.
We’ll cover each of these options in more detail so you can improve the security of your forms confidently.
The Importance of Security for Salesforce Forms
Keeping your Salesforce forms secure is an important part of the data collection process. Without the proper level of security, attackers can compromise forms and steal sensitive personal data directly from your server. Common security threats can include:
- SQL injection: Inputting raw SQL code into a form to access and corrupt a database.
- Form action hijacking: Compromising a form and getting it to perform a different action.
- Noncompliance: Failure to follow privacy regulations when collecting sensitive data.
- Spam: Infiltrating forms with fake contact information or malicious links.
4 Security Best Practices for Salesforce Forms
While security threats are concerning and can be serious, you can keep your web forms secure and protect personal data by following security practices for your Salesforce forms.
1. Data Minimization
Before you begin building a web form, it’s important to know why you need to collect specific data. Under data privacy regulations such as GDPR, a form should only collect information that is essential and relevant to its intended purpose.
For example, a contact form may only need to collect an individual’s name, email, and message. A registration form or application form may need to collect more personally identifiable information. A donation form will need to collect payment details, along with contact data.
Understanding the purpose of each web form can help you determine what type of data you need to collect and why. It will also help you decide how long you need to keep this data, so you don’t continue to store it unnecessarily.
2. Secure File Scan
If you need to collect file uploads through your Salesforce forms, this can create security risks by introducing malware. An antivirus scan can help prevent potential threats and protect your organization’s infrastructure.
Using a feature such as FormAssembly’s Secure File Scan can help safeguard the data you collect. It marks incoming files as safe or suspicious, providing an additional layer of protection for your Salesforce forms.
If you’re concerned about data security, you can also require individuals to complete a verification step before they upload any files. Following a two-form verification process can ensure this additional layer of security.
3. Field Validation
Another simple way to prevent spam or malicious code from entering your system via Salesforce forms is through field validation. This creates parameters for the data type entered into each form field.
For example, field or input validation can make sure a phone number or email address can only be submitted when entered in a certain format. This will ensure that an attacker cannot enter random or harmful data into your form fields.
When building your form, make sure each field only allows for a certain data type related to each field’s purpose. Phone number fields should only accept numbers and symbols like parentheses or dashes. Email fields should only allow data in a format that includes the “at” symbol.
This extra step has double benefits. It will help prevent unwanted spam or code injections. It can also better ensure you are collecting accurately formatted and usable data.
4. Data Encryption
Encrypting data means that you are taking the original information and turning it into ciphertext, or unintelligible information. Data encryption is a security best practice for protecting sensitive data you don’t want anyone to see while it’s being transferred or stored.
You want to be sure that confidential data such as passwords, financial or medical records, and personally identifiable information, should be encrypted in transit and at rest. Any data you send through a web form to a database or storage center should be encrypted.
At any point, the data can be decrypted so it can be used. But in all other cases, you should always use data encryption to protect sensitive information.
How to Secure the Data You Collect
Depending on the data collection tool you use, ensuring data security in your Salesforce forms may be a challenge. Not every software will have the level of security, privacy, and compliance required by your organization.
The software you choose to build web forms can have a direct impact on how securely you can collect and manage data. Whether you already use a form builder or you plan to select a new platform, don’t neglect to audit the security practices of this company.
A data collection platform is your partner in gathering and managing sensitive data. Ideally, this platform should offer advanced security and privacy features and help enforce any compliance requirements you may have.
This will make it easier for you to implement all the Salesforce form security best practices listed above. And it will also ensure the proper safeguards are in place to keep the data you collect secure.
For example, unlike a form-building tool, the FormAssembly Data Collection Platform combines powerful functionality and robust compliance standards with unparalleled ease of use, allowing you to:
- Streamline and automate data collection processes
- Enhance productivity and collaboration
- Secure and protect data with confidence
Protect Your Data with FormAssembly
Interested in learning more about how the FormAssembly Data Collection Platform can partner with your organization to collect, connect, and protect your data? Watch our webinar to see what it’s like to move beyond forms and experience what a data collection platform can bring to your business.