What to look for in a virus scanning solution in Salesforce

So your security analyst did an audit and discovered that Salesforce – your organization’s central hub – does not scan attachments for viruses. Any document upload is an opportunity to introduce malware, viruses, or unintended active content into your CRM.

Your projects are, as a result, stalled until a virus scanning solution for Salesforce is found. In other words, you cannot deploy them to customers and are at risk of missing your deadline and bonuses.

What now?

Sure, you can have the Salesforce administrator write triggers on attachments to detect viruses. However, writing a trigger is not easy. For one, Salesforce has multiple limits, and it’s impossible to create a reliable virus scanner directly in the CRM. Instead, the files must be sent to an external system to gauge their safety. Two: creating such an internal solution can be costly, and there is no guarantee it will work: address viruses lurking in uploads and static resources.

Still, the last thing you need is infected documents in your Salesforce. Much as they cannot impact the CRM’s functionality, they can infect users’ machines where the files are downloaded and consequently your enterprise network.

For example, your company could have visitors upload their proof of COVID-19 vaccination via a Salesforce community portal. In which case, some of your employees will download the files for review. If a file is infected, the virus will infect the reviewers’ machine and spread to other devices where the files are downloaded. The attacker could then access the affected devices and the stored information. And such exposure can incur devastating costs.

Indeed, cyber-attacks are costly.

For all the attention cyber breaches receive, rarely can you see the happenings behind the walls of organizations struggling to recover. (Well, unless you experience such an attack first hand.)

Cyber breaches may start as a mere technology issue – think of a single compromised document in Salesforce. But typically extend to hit at the core of the organization’s value and performance, proving costly.

In the IBM and Ponemon Institute’s 2020 report, it’s found that the average cost of cyber incidents in the USA in a span of nine months (August 2019 – April 2020) was $8,640,000. And the Cybersecurity Ventures projects the costs to increase by 15% year on year, reaching $10.5 trillion by 2025.

That means: if cybercrime was measured as a nation, it’d be the 3rd largest economy – right after the United States and China.

The said high cost can be attributed to contributory elements such as:

Regulatory fines

Cybersecurity is an essential compliance requirement, as mandated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR,) the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA,) and other regulatory authorities. (With any violations attracting hefty fines.)

Less severe GDPR violations, for instance, can result in fines of up to 2% of your company’s global annual revenue from the previous year or $11,899,550, whichever amount is higher. Serious GDPR infringements – like those violating the right to privacy – can result in fines up to 4% of your global annual revenue or $23,799,100, whichever amount is higher.

Reputational damage

While intangible, reputational damage can prove costly. Cyber incidents can impact your organization’s reputation through:

  • Negative word of mouth
  • Diminishing customer trust and loyalty
  • Brand-bashing campaigns
  • Loss of business
  • Preference for competitor services, etc.

For publicly traded companies: that can extend to plummeting shares and a rough walk to win customer trust and loyalty.

The 2017 Equifax incident tells it all. A week after the cyber-attack, the company lost $4B in stock market value. And in their attempt to make it right, Equifax offered thousands of clients free credit monitoring services for a year. They also waived the need for disputes to be settled via arbitration. All of which cost them a substantial amount.

Legal costs

Legal costs can add up if the company retains a lawyer when triaging a cybersecurity lawsuit. And if the company loses the case, it may be ordered to cover the fee and expenses of attorneys who litigated lawsuits against it. In the case of Home Depot, that was $15,300,000.

Operational downtime

Gartner estimates the average cost of IT downtime to be $5600 per minute. The figure can be higher depending on your business structure and IT reliance. It worsens if your organization is unequipped to recover quickly from the cyber incident – prolonging the cyberattack lifecycle.

Then there are the increased cybersecurity insurance premiums, lost intellectual property – the list is endless.

Seeing that cyber-threats keep evolving – as criminals learn, switch tactics, and invent new attack methods – it’s time for government organizations and fortune 500 companies to embrace prevention. And deploying a virus scanning solution is a great stride in that direction.

What to look for in a virus scanning solution (for Salesforce)

If your organization is using Salesforce Experience, the risk of users adding corrupted documents and other files to your database via file storage is high. It gets worse at the enterprise level as you have no control over how end-users interact with your platform. You cannot dictate what browsers they will use or what virus scanners they will install.

Yet, as noted earlier: Salesforce lacks a native virus scanning solution. That, in turn, opens the possibility of uploading, storing, and spreading malicious files. Hence the need for a virus scanning solution designed for this software and tailored to meet your computing behavior.

Here are essential features and functionalities you should look for when selecting antivirus software. The idea is to avoid crashes, errors, and botched attempts to prevent cyberattacks – while your sensitive information is at stake.

#1: Threats identification and removal

The first clue to the ideal antivirus for your CRM lies in the protection it offers.

At a minimum, the solution should guard against common threats, such as:

  • Harmful uploads and downloads
  • Malware and viruses hidden in messages

That includes:

  • Malware: unwanted programs that may infect the user’s computer (upon downloading infected files from the CRM) and gather data or disrupt use. They include adware, spyware, viruses, and ransomware.
  • Scams: deceptive tactics that trick you into allowing malicious access to a user’s system, which could, in turn, give them access to the CRM, data stored on the computer, and other enterprise systems. Scams are typical in websites, messages, and bad apps. They include pharming, phishing, and spam.

Ideally, antimalware should scan any file uploaded to Salesforce and block its download until the file is scanned and found to be safe. (In case of a threat, the document should be quarantined.) The antivirus should also identify the DNA of the cyber threats or viruses to prevent zero-day attacks.

#2: Prevention and rapid infection removal

The virus scanning solution should be on a constant lookout for cybersecurity risks. All while deploying measures to remove them promptly.

Do not settle for a tool that only treats cyber incidents after they’ve occurred. Seek one with proactive protection. That means a service with threat prevention features such as Reactive file scanning to vet new files for any compromise before Salesforce users can open them.

The solution should also block or delete the infected files.

#3: Accurate and efficient scanning

Your antivirus tool must:

One: Find real threats reliably

When the software scans your Salesforce database and networks, it must accurately pinpoint what is malicious and what isn’t. That calls for an updated known-threat database and acceptable detection rates.

An acceptable detection rate is characterized by high success rates for

  • True positives: the program determines malicious files are malware
  • True negatives: the antivirus solution determines harmless documents are safe

While at it, look for a solution that’s tested and proven by multiple independent labs, such as AV-Comparatives, NSS Labs, and AV-TEST.

Two: Scan without slowing your computing activities

As mentioned earlier, the antivirus should prevent users from downloading malicious file attachments from Salesforce onto their local machines.

However, the solution should not interrupt the user’s computing activities to scan the files.

(If anything, the end-user shouldn’t know there’s a scanner in place.)

#4: Additional bells and whistles

Prioritize core functionality over additional features.

That is, the ability to block users from accessing files uploaded to Salesforce until they are found to be safe, the capability to reliably detect threats, etc.

However, don’t shy away from solutions with add-ons or advanced features that are sure to enhance your computing experience.

When it comes to budget, prioritize value over price. After all, an antivirus solution is like your mortgage insurance: the cheaper it is, the lesser the protection.

Overall, go for a solution that’s specifically designed for the Salesforce platform – a virus scanning service like EzProtect.

How can EzProtect help?

EZProtect™ Anti-Virus Scanner is a virus scanning program devised by certified Salesforce architects to reduce the security risk for government entities and large organizations.

The service scans chatter files, attachments, documents, and static resources for harmful viruses and malware. Through careful design: EzProtect makes the identification and mitigation of malware, Trojan horses, viruses, and other malicious threats easy and painless.

With this service, you can:

  • Allow or deny access to specific files
  • Scan PDF files containing JavaScript
  • Scan documents, attachments, static resources, and content versions
  • Skip scanning different file objects as per your preference

Better still, EzProtect can rescan files already present in the Salesforce system to detect and remove any cyber threats that may have found their way since the upload.

Learn more about EzProtect here.


Cyberwarfare is a constantly evolving threat that’s bound to gain more traction with time.

As a government entity or enterprise-level business: it’s time to get ready for war. Embrace proactive approaches to cybersecurity by finding a reliable antivirus for your business systems. Here’s an excel spreadsheet listing several requirements you can use to build your request for our virus scanning solution proposal.

By Published On: March 19, 2021Categories: Cybersecurity, Salesforce, Virus scanning0 Comments

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