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October 31, 2023
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 min read

How to Redact Zendesk Tickets?

Learn how to redact Zendesk tickets to protect sensitive data and maintain customer trust with our step-by-step Zendesk redaction guide.

 How to Redact Zendesk Tickets?
Calendar Icon White
October 31, 2023
Clock Icon
 min read

How to Redact Zendesk Tickets?

Learn how to redact Zendesk tickets to protect sensitive data and maintain customer trust with our step-by-step Zendesk redaction guide.


Data breaches in customer support can damage trust and lead to legal issues. Zendesk provides tools for ticket redaction to safeguard sensitive information.

  • Zendesk's Privacy Policy differentiates between the data they control and the data they process. The platform's redaction tool is user-friendly, permanent, and designed for ticket comments.
  • Limitations include irreversibility, permission restrictions, and lack of bulk redaction.
  • Strac offers enhanced data protection for Zendesk, with features like real-time scanning and tokenization.

In today's digital world, it only takes one data privacy breach to damage customer trust and potentially lead to legal issues. This is especially true in customer support interactions, where sensitive information can be unintentionally revealed.

Zendesk is a leading customer service platform that recognizes the importance of data privacy in our digital-first world. They offer specialized tools for Zendesk ticket redaction to help companies mitigate the risk of exposing sensitive information during customer support interactions. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to use these tools and ensure that every Zendesk ticket you handle meets the highest standards of data privacy protection.

Sensitive data redaction example

The Risks of Not Performing Zendesk Redaction

Risks of not redacting zendesk tickets

Data Breaches and Financial Repercussions

Unprotected tickets are easy targets for cybercriminals and can lead to data breaches. This exposes sensitive information and puts a system at risk of financial consequences. Apart from the immediate expenses of dealing with a breach, companies may also face penalties from regulatory agencies, such as fines up to 4% of their annual global turnover under GDPR regulations for serious violations. Additionally, businesses often experience a decrease in sales after a breach due to customers choosing more secure competitors.

Losing Customer trust

Customer loyalty is built on trust, and when a company fails to protect their data, it goes beyond just a technical error - it's a violation of that trust. This can have serious consequences for a brand's reputation, as seen with companies like Yahoo and Equifax who faced backlash and lost user trust after major data breaches. In today's digital landscape filled with social media, news of inadequate data protection can spread quickly and harmfully impact a brand's image in the long run.

Legal Consequences

To comply with data protection laws like the GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in California, it is important for companies to have strict measures in place for protecting personal data. This includes redacting sensitive information from platforms like Zendesk tickets. Failure to do so could result in fines, legal actions, and damage to a company's reputation. In extreme cases, repeated violations may even lead to business shutdowns or bans in certain regions.

Zendesk's Privacy Policy

As a service-first CRM company, Zendesk offers software that is dedicated to enhancing customer relationships. Their Privacy Notice explains how they collect, use, disclose, and store personal data. When obtaining data from their website or through business interactions, Zendesk acts as the Controller of this data - including information from website visitors and business-to-business contacts. However, when processing data on behalf of its Subscribers using its products and services, Zendesk acts as a Processor and does not have complete control over the data.

Zendesk's Data Security Features

Protecting user data is a top priority for Zendesk, and they work with only a select few third-party service providers to help process data for specific purposes. These providers assist with maintaining site features, monitoring databases, managing technical operations, facilitating data transmission, and offering secure storage services. 

While performing their services, these third parties may have access to or store personal data. However, Zendesk ensures that strict contracts are in place to regulate their access and usage of personal data in accordance with relevant data protection.

Ensuring data privacy and compliance is essential, which is why the ability to redact ticket comments in Zendesk's ticketing system is so valuable. This powerful feature ensures that sensitive information remains confidential, protecting it from unauthorized access. This tool helps companies maintain compliance and protect their customers' privacy in a world where data protection regulations are increasingly stringent.

Here's an Overview of the Inbuilt Redaction Tool

Purpose: The redaction tool is designed to permanently remove sensitive or personal information from ticket comments. This helps prevent the accidental inclusion of confidential data and ensures no traces are left in the system.

Ease of use: Zendesk's built-in redaction tool is designed to make the process user-friendly. Users can easily locate the specific ticket comment they need to redact in a few clicks and use the tool to remove any necessary information.

Permanence: The redaction tool's standout feature is its permanence, as it removes information from the visible ticket comment and permanently deletes it from Zendesk's databases. This guarantees that redacted data cannot be recovered, providing strong data protection.

The redaction feature in Zendesk allows users to easily remove sensitive information from ticket comments. This is particularly helpful in situations where personal or confidential data has been mistakenly included in a ticket and needs to be removed for privacy compliance or following company protocols. Here's a quick overview of the redaction process in Zendesk and how it works.

Hoe to redact zendesk tickets?
Steps to redact Zendesk tickets

To redact a comment containing sensitive information in Zendesk, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the specific ticket that contains the comment you want to redact.
  • Find the comment with the sensitive information.
  • Use the redaction tool to remove or replace the sensitive data.
  • This will permanently remove the original content from Zendesk, ensuring that it is no longer accessible.

Note - Redaction is an irreversible process, meaning it cannot be undone once a comment is redacted. Additionally, only authorized personnel, such as administrators or users with designated roles, should be able to redact comments to ensure proper security measures are maintained

Limitations of Zendesk Redaction

While Zendesk's inbuilt redaction tool offers a robust solution for data protection, like any tool, it may have its limitations:

  • Irreversible action: One major drawback of Zendesk is its irreversible redaction feature. Once data is redacted, there is no way to retrieve it. 
  • Permission restrictions: In certain systems, only designated individuals, like administrators or users with higher roles, have the ability to redact comments. This could impact larger teams that require multiple members to redact content.
  • Lack of bulk redaction: Zendesk does not offer bulk redaction capabilities. This means that if multiple tickets have confidential information, each must be redacted individually, which can be time-consuming.
  • No automated redaction: While the tool does assist in identifying and redacting sensitive information, it is not fully automated. Users must review and manually redact any sensitive data, which leaves room for potential human error.
  • Limited to ticket comments: The Zendesk redaction tool is ineffective for sensitive information appearing in other parts of the ticket or in other modules within Zendesk, except for ticket comments.

How Strac Helps in Zendesk Redaction?

Strac is a leading platform that provides Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for multiple SaaS, Cloud, and Generative AI platforms. Its main focus is detecting and removing Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), and other confidential data to ensure compliance with data protection regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, SOC 2, GDPR, and CCPA. Numerous companies have proven Strac's solutions reliable and can seamlessly integrate with everyday SaaS applications.

Benefits of Using Strac with Zendesk

Benefits of Strac with Zendesk
Benefits of Strac with Zendesk

Enhanced data protection: Strac masks any sensitive personal data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), from Zendesk tickets. This helps ensure that any confidential information accidentally included in a ticket is properly protected.

Compliance assurance: Strac helps businesses easily comply with strict regulatory and compliance standards, including GDPR and HIPAA. This ensures that sensitive information is handled securely and confidentially.

Source G2

High accuracy: Strac's advanced AI technology can accurately identify and protect sensitive data from various formats, including unstructured text and common document types such as PDFs, JPEGs, PNGs, DOCX, DOC, ZIP, and more.

No-code integration: Strac prioritizes easy integration, allowing businesses to incorporate our solutions into their Zendesk platform in 5 minutes. This boosts their data protection abilities without requiring complex coding processes.

Identify & redact: With Strac Zendesk integration, any sensitive personal data in Zendesk tickets will be automatically identified and redacted to prevent unauthorized access. This ensures that confidential information remains protected at all times.

Continuous scanning: Strac offers the ability to detect and redact sensitive data in real time, providing security for sensitive information.

Tokenization: Strac provides innovative tokenization solutions for businesses, enabling them to tokenize confidential data and documents. This eliminates the need to handle plain-text information directly, ensuring increased security and protection of sensitive information.

Sensitive data tokenization

➡️Read more about data tokenization here

The Zendesk Redactor app by Strac is the perfect solution for scenarios where sensitive information, such as card numbers, social security details, or driver's licenses, needs to be shared with customers. It redacts this information to protect their privacy and comply with regulations.

Before and after redacting sensitive information

This automatically secures any sensitive data it detects by moving it to a highly secure vault that is only accessible through multi-factor authentication. This results in the original comment within Zendesk being sanitized, with confidential text and attachments being redacted. 

In place of the original comment, a new one is created by the Strac app containing links to the secure vault. Support agents can only access these links with proper permissions, ensuring complete protection of sensitive information. For example, in the video below, the agent could open these links seamlessly for further access.

The Strac redaction allows administrators to customize its settings, such as setting link expiration times and choosing specific types of data to be redacted, including bank account numbers, driver's license information, medical records, passwords, and other confidential data. This ensures top-notch data security for businesses and helps alleviate concerns about potential security breaches or compliance issues.

Strac Zendesk Data Loss Prevention - Zendesk DLP

In today's data-driven world, businesses must prioritize protecting sensitive customer information. While Zendesk offers robust tools for customer interactions, Strac's Redactor app takes data protection to the next level. 

With advanced features like AI, tokenization, and secure vaults, Strac ensures that even minor mistakes won't compromise customer trust or lead to regulatory repercussions. For businesses looking to maintain the gold standard in data privacy on Zendesk, integrating with Strac is not just an option but a necessary step.

Founder, Strac. ex-Amazon Payments Infrastructure (Widget, API, Security) Builder for 11 years.

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