A Guide to Lockdown of Salesforce Links

Collaboration and cooperation are key advantages that Salesforce provides to its users. However, the ease of sharing comes with a downside: the risk of publicly accessible links. Leaked documents can have serious repercussions, such as competitors obtaining sensitive corporate information. This blog serves as a guide to securing Salesforce links.

Hananel Livneh, Head of Product Marketing

Collaboration and cooperation are among the key benefits Salesforce offers its customers. The application’s sharing tools are typical of any cloud-based environment. However, ease of sharing is a two-sided coin, and there is a potential risk associated with publicly accessible links. Leaked documents can result in severe consequences, such as competitors gaining access to sensitive corporate information. It is essential to implement proper processes to mitigate these risks.

Salesforce has two primary methods for sharing files and documents. The file owner can either make the resource available to specific users or make it accessible to “anyone with a link.”

Sharing files with specific users can be time-consuming and cumbersome. As the file is passed to different stakeholders, the owner needs to add each user individually. This process requires coordination with external vendors to determine who needs access. Each user’s email address must be added individually, and if someone is missed, the owner needs to revisit the sharing settings to include them.

On the other hand, sharing a file with anyone who has the link is more convenient. The document owner can simply copy the link and share it with vendors without worrying about managing access. However, this approach increases the risk of leaks since there is no control over what happens to the file once the link is shared. Users can access files containing sales quotes, RFPs, personal details, financial plans, and more from any account, exponentially increasing the chances of unauthorized access. 

Numerous incidents have happened in multiple types of collaborative SaaS apps which serve as cautionary examples. In one case, thousands of students and staff members in the NYC public school system had sensitive information exposed due to a data leak. Similarly, a school accidentally disclosed sensitive details related to the school system’s COVID-19 policies.

Best Practices to Prevent Data Leaks

To prevent data leakage and loss, organizations should follow best practices:

Disabling Public Link Sharing in Salesforce

Salesforce settings can be configured to prevent public link sharing. Follow these steps to disable Public Links sharing in Salesforce:

  1. Log in to your Salesforce account with appropriate administrative privileges.
  2. Navigate to the Setup menu by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. In the Setup menu, search for “Content Deliveries and Public Links” in the Quick Find box and select “Content Deliveries and Public Links” from the search results (under “Feature Settings“ and “Salesforce Files”).
  1. Scroll down to the “Enable” section.
  2. By default, the option may be set to “Public Links can be enabled for users.” To disable link sharing, uncheck the “Public Links can be enabled for users” or, for a stricter configuration, uncheck “Content Deliveries feature can be enabled for users.” 
  3.  Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page to apply the new sharing settings.

By disabling Public Links sharing in Salesforce users are unable to share files and documents through open public links or with external users. However, they still have the ability to share links via content deliveries, which allows additional security measures such as setting a password or an expiration date for the link.

Disabling Existing Public Links 

Disabling Public Links and Content Deliveries is an important step in securing all new documents. One could disable all links by fully disabling the option as shown above, but if the option is re-enabled all previously created links be reactivated. This poses a huge threat to security teams and app owners who may think that by disabling the option to create a Public Link, previously created Links would be completely revoked (as is the behavior in other SaaS apps). This threat is magnified in organizations that have shared links for years and now have hundreds of thousands of links that must be located and locked down.  

Follow these steps to fully disable previously created public links in Files:

  1. Log in to your Salesforce account with appropriate administrative privileges
  2. Click on Files
  3. For each file, click on the arrow and then select “Public Link”
  1. Click on “Delete public link” or set a guardrail such as an Expiration date and Password 
  1. Repeat for each file while making sure to visit each and every one of the Libraries

This manual remediation process is tedious and time-consuming. Salesforce users have no visibility into the shared status of files, and its user interface doesn’t include the ability to delete old links. Users need API-based visibility and remediation guidance that scales to secure these publicly shared links.  

Using SSPM to Prevent Over-Sharing

An alternative approach to safeguard against over-sharing links is to utilize an SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) solution like Adaptive Shield. SSPM solutions help identify publicly shared resources, highlight links without expiration dates, or identify items that are set to allow guest sharing. Once the security team is aware of documents and files with these vulnerabilities, they can take necessary steps to remediate and secure the links at scale using remediation guidance from Adaptive Shield.

About the writer

Hananel Livneh, Head of Product Marketing

Hananel Livneh is Head of Product Marketing at Adaptive Shield. He joined Adaptive Shield from Vdoo, an embedded cybersecurity company, where he was a Senior Product Analyst. Hananel completed an MBA with honors from the OUI, and has a BA from Hebrew University in Economics, Political science and Philosophy (PPE). Oh, and he loves mountain climbing.