Skip to Content

A Data Breach Costs Over $4 Million — Here’s How To Protect Your Company

Hand with a black glove, coming out of a laptop screen and holding a key over the keyboard / how to secure data
Deciding how to secure data can help save your business money by investing in prevention, instead of a costly fix. [nadia_bormotova / Getty Images]

Security is like insurance – it can be costly if you don’t have it, especially as threats become more complex (and more expensive to recover from).

With twenty years in the SaaS space, I know that security is never “done.” The average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, with 83% of organizations having multiple breaches. Determining how to secure your data is an ongoing conversation, but one that can help your company build and maintain trust with your customers.

So how do you best protect employees, and your organization as a whole? You work together to build a trustworthy experience, focusing on data security in every step of the process.

3 steps to secure your data

Learn how you can build trust with your customer data and provide a great customer experience. It’s all in our latest Salesforce on Salesforce episode, featuring our VP of Product Management, Security — Marla Hay.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked with our security and product teams to put trust at the center of everything they build. Here’s how you can start this process within your own company and improve your data security.

Invest in these must-have security tools

Every time you connect to new technologies, there’s a risk. And with 976 apps as the average in enterprise environments, that’s a lot of risk. With so many apps in use, deciding how to secure data can help save your business money by investing in prevention, instead of a costly fix after the fact.

I recommend that you make sure you have the right tools in your workflow to protect that valuable data.

Three must-have tools are your foundation to increase security throughout your company: 

  1. Identity and access management
  2. Data encryption
  3. Multifactor authentication

These three tools are like the primary colors of security – they act as a strong basis for all other implementations. 

When you control who has access to which data and affirm that person’s identity, your company has a much higher chance of guaranteeing security integrity. Then, more nuanced cases such as masking sensitive data in sandbox environments or safely monitoring events add that extra layer of protection.

Start internal conversations about how to secure data

Once employees understand the important role they play in keeping company records safe, they are more inclined to rise to the level of ownership expected from them. This responsibility becomes increasingly important in a low-code and no-code world, where citizen developers come from every department to engage in digital app building

To make security a priority, it’s important to have a far reach with your conversations.

Practically, this may look like: 

  • Having conversations about zero trust security with new employees right out of the gate, including what the consequences could be for the individual or the company at large if data is compromised
  • Getting extremely granular on who’s granted autonomy, so users never have to ask: “Should I have access to this?” because it is (or is not) automatically baked into their permissions 
  • Cordon off mission-critical information to protect accidental damage done to company data
  • Initiating simulation “stress tests” to ensure systems are impenetrable
  • Make regular security trainings and refreshers part of your culture

Be proactive with hearing customer feedback from the source

Your security responsibility also rests in your ability to communicate well with customers. Innovation happens when you have a continual river of feedback with your customers, to know what’s working — and what’s not. 

On the security team at Salesforce, we love being over-planners. We’ve developed certain checks and balances that help make sure our products are not just functioning for customers on a security standpoint, but also are well-received by the user. 

We’ve found that customer feedback is key to developing products that are both secure and intuitive. To monitor how our security features fit customer needs, we work with: 

  • Customer advisory groups
  • Trailblazer meet-ups 
  • Feature-enhancement boards

Developing a successful data protection strategy means being willing to have candid conversations at every step of the process. As customers keep holding businesses to higher standards, you need to make sure their experience is at the heart of your data security plans. Listening to this feedback can make your product safer and more successful.

Data security keeps evolving for the best results

Here at Salesforce, trust is our number one value – and it has been since the earliest days of our company. When developing your company’s plans for how to secure data, trust has to be the guiding principle.

There’s a lot we’ve learned over the years. That’s why we created our Salesforce on Salesforce series, to give you a peek behind closed doors. From marketing to service to sales operations and more, we share the tricks of the trade that have helped us become the world’s fastest-growing enterprise software company.

With evolving innovation, it’s hard to determine at times who should have the “keys to the kingdom” when it comes to sensitive information. This is why we must go back to what’s best for the customer — leading with what benefits them most. 

A new level of trust

Discover how improving your technology can enhance trust, transparency, compliance, and governance across all of your business-critical apps.

Marla Hay VP of Product Management, Security

Marla Hay is a forward-thinking product leader at Salesforce with more than twenty years of experience in enterprise SaaS products across companies diverse in their size and growth stage.

More by Marla

Get the latest articles in your inbox.