Security as a Shared Responsibility Between Provider and Customer
What is a Shared Responsibility Model?
According to cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, “The Shared Responsibility Model is a security and compliance framework that outlines the responsibilities of cloud service providers (CSPs) and customers for securing every aspect of the cloud environment, including hardware, infrastructure, endpoints, data, configurations, settings, operating system (OS), network controls and access rights.”
It is in fact a widely-used model by cloud providers where the provider is in charge of security related to the cloud itself and its underlying infrastructure, while its customers or end users are responsible for protecting data stored in the cloud environment. With the shared responsibility model, there is an implied ownership of security of the platform by the provider, but that leaves the platform flexible enough for customers to configure it to meet their individual needs.
Salesforce, along with other top cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, follows this model. While each company has a slightly different interpretation of which responsibilities are owned by which party, overall we all follow the same general model.
Shared Responsibility of Salesforce
Security, privacy, and compliance are critical to every business. To provide customers with the most secure solutions possible, Salesforce builds security into everything we do. This includes platform and infrastructure designed to meet the needs of our most security-conscious customers, empowering customers with tools and resources designed to support their security journey, transparency through third-party audit certifications available on trust.salesforce.com, and ensuring products are aligned with a common strategy under one security team across all clouds.
However, security does not start and end with Salesforce. As a trusted partner, we strongly encourage customers to follow security best practices and use available tools to strengthen the security of their Salesforce instance (e.g., multi-factor authentication, Health Check) – especially when it comes to following guidance around configuring the product securely.
Customers: Configuring with Security in Mind
As part of our Shared Responsibility Model, we are committed to helping customers secure their Salesforce instances, which includes encouraging them to carefully review their Guest User Access configurations and apply the Principle of Least Privilege. Guest user misconfigurations can lead to giving unauthenticated users access to more data than intended, which poses a potential security risk.
Our customers use Experience Cloud sites in unique ways, and desired settings for guest user permissions may vary. Salesforce continues to release robust tools and guidance for customers to address the risk of data exposure due to misconfigurations. These include:
- Following Guest User Access configuration best practices
- Running the Guest User Report to understand individual risk
- Building security review into release governance process
To learn more about Experience Cloud security, read the Experience Cloud Security for Architects blog post.
Salesforce strives to build strong products and infrastructure to securely house our customers' data, and we also assume the role of trusted security advisor by providing customers with the tools, programs, and resources to be successful from a security perspective. To make our customers as successful as possible, we've created these helpful resources to support them in following Guest User Access configuration best practices: