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Salesforce’s Pardot went down for 15 hours, exposing data in the cloud

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Salesforce’s Pardot went down for 15 hours, exposing data in the cloud


Last Friday’s Salesforce outage meant work came to a halt for thousands of marketing and sales users locked out of Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

The outage, reportedly caused by a faulty Pardot database script, was prompted by reports that users were able to see and edit all of their company’s data, regardless of their permission settings. Salesforce quickly responded by cutting off access to current and past Pardot customers as it worked to resolve the faulty script.

“As a result, customers who were not affected may have also experienced service disruption, including customers using Marketing Cloud integrations,” a Salesforce spokesperson said in a statement. Salesforce and Pardot have not responded to Marketing Land’s request to comment on the outage and remediation plan.

Why we should care

Productivity all but stopped for many organizations that rely on Salesforce for their sales and marketing efforts. If you couldn’t access any of your analytics, content, data, contacts, how would your team operate?

It’s yet another reminder that internal and external workflows and processes we rely on to conduct business throughout our organizations could all potentially be impacted by an outage. The impact of lost productivity may have been especially devastating to small organizations that were unable to access their instances and solely depend on Salesforce for their business operations.

Digital marketers strive for seamless integrations and unified marketing execution, but this outage should serve as a wake-up call to us. Digital marketers need to develop contingency plans for handling worst-case scenarios and platform outages that out of our control. If your organization doesn’t have a marketing-specific business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan, work with your internal stakeholders to identify risks and outline plan of action in case of an emergency.

More on the outage

  • Users were locked out for 15 hours before Admins regained access on Friday.
  • Salesforce users who want to monitor for updates related to this issue can do so on the Salesforce status page.
  • Salesforce has shared two workarounds for Admins to restore production profiles and permissions from a Sandbox Copy:
    • Option 1:
    • Under “Administration/Users”, check the Profiles and Permission Sets in Setup to determine if your Sandbox Copy contains a valid data backup.
    • If your non-admin profiles are configured such that all of the “Standard Object Permissions” (read, create, edit, delete) are unchecked, the Sandbox org was not impacted and is not a valid source for recovery.
    • Permission Sets and User Profiles can be deployed from Sandbox to Production orgs through the following links:
    • Change Set Documentation
    • Ant Migration Tool Documentation
    • Please note that your sandbox configuration could be outdated and not identical to your product org before the incident. Carefully review these setting before deploying them to production. Salesforce recommends testing with one profile before migrating all profiles.
    • Option 2:
    • If a Sandbox containing production profiles and permission sets does not exist and there is an organizational need for you to restore, Admins can manually modify Profile and Permission Set configurations to grant appropriate access to users:
    • Edit Profiles Documentation
    • Permission Set Documentation

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.


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