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July 12, 2023
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 min read

A Complete Guide to Slack Data loss prevention |Secure Slack

Discover the essential guide to Slack Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for 2023. Stay informed, protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with our Slack DLP guide

A Complete Guide to Slack Data loss prevention |Secure Slack
Calendar Icon White
July 12, 2023
Clock Icon
 min read

A Complete Guide to Slack Data loss prevention |Secure Slack

Discover the essential guide to Slack Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for 2023. Stay informed, protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with our Slack DLP guide


  • Data loss can have severe consequences, including regulatory violations and reputational damage.
  • Slack implements strong security measures, including encryption and two-factor authentication, to protect data.
  • Slack does not have a built-in DLP solution for HIPAA compliance, so third-party tools are necessary.
  • Slack Connect's DLP feature enhances cross-company collaboration by minimizing the risk of sharing sensitive information.
  • Strac is a powerful DLP solution that integrates with Slack to ensure compliance and secure data.

Data loss can be severe, ranging from regulatory compliance violations to reputational damage and financial loss.

The 2017 Uber data breach exemplifies the risks associated with insufficient DLP measures. Hackers accessed Uber's software repository on GitHub by stealing credentials from an engineer's Slack account, exposing personal data for 57 million users. By acknowledging and proactively addressing the problem, organizations can maintain regulatory compliance and avoid financial and reputational damage.

With over 750K organizations relying on Slack, implementing Slack Data Loss Prevention (DLP) measures to safeguard sensitive information becomes crucial. 

This blog highlights the importance of robust security measures and vigilance in safeguarding our online assets and preventing unauthorized access. We will delve into the details of Slack’s compliance with strict data security standards like CCPA, GDPR, PCI, and HIPAA to safeguard users' sensitive information.

How does Slack secure data?

Slack has implemented organizational and technological security measures to prevent unauthorized access to your data. It employs powerful end-to-end encryption algorithms to ensure the security of your critical data.

  • It uses two-factor authentication to add a layer of security, preventing unauthorized users from accessing your workspace.
  • Slack adheres to GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA SOC 2 Type II, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 27018, and other privacy and security regulations to meet compliance standards.
  • It offers extensive user access controls that allow administrators to modify permissions for users, channels, and files to restrict access to sensitive information.
  • Slack offers cross-platform security, ensuring your data is secure regardless of the platform you use with TLS-enabled security practices.
  • It gives full-fledged control over your data and allows you to define access restrictions so that only authorized members can view and update files.
  • It performs frequent security assessments on production hosts and addresses vulnerabilities that could potentially compromise the environment. It also conducts security checks on the Slack infrastructure to identify threats that violate the terms of service.

Does Slack have a built-in DLP?

No Slack relies on third-party apps for DLP functionality, so a dedicated solution is crucial for HIPAA compliance. If your organization needs to comply with HIPAA regulations, it's essential to have a DLP solution in place when using Slack. 

Slack Connect and DLP

With Slack Connect's Data Loss Prevention (DLP) feature, securing cross-company collaboration just got easier. You can now, 

  • minimize the risk of sharing sensitive and confidential information with external organizations,
  • monitor all channels and direct messages sent and received by your organization's users, ensuring that nothing breaches your established policies, and
  • control your data and collaborate with external partners confidently and seamlessly

But that’s not all, here are a few benefits of Slack Connect and DLP⬇️

benefits of slack connect dlp
Benefits of Slack Connect DLP

1. Admin privileges

The organization's primary owners and members with admin system roles can assign DLP admin system roles to other members. DLP admins can enhance security by creating custom rules using regular expression (regex) format to effectively flag messages or files for administrative action.

They have the flexibility to choose whether to hide tombstone messages or files until they can be reviewed. This feature leads to an efficient review process, ensuring that potential violations are not overlooked. DLP admins play a crucial role in maintaining compliance by reviewing rule violations and taking appropriate action on flagged messages and files.

2. Security alerts

Managing alerts for policy violations in your organization has never been easier. With the Slack DLP dashboard, you'll receive instant alerts whenever a member sends a message that violates a DLP rule. From the dashboard, you can efficiently handle these alerts by archiving them, deleting the corresponding message, or restoring it if it was initially hidden. 

3. Seamless data management

Ensure seamless data management within your organization with advanced retention settings in Slack. Rest assured that messages and files sent by your members will be subject to your organization's retention policies. 

Any content received from individuals outside of your company will be handled based on their respective organization's retention settings. In addition, Slack’s message editing and deletion settings are tailored specifically for your organization. Only members of your team can edit or delete messages sent by them, ensuring complete control over communication within your workspace.

4. Powerful encryption

Starting September 2020, Enterprise Key Management (EKM) is now available for Slack Connect. This update ensures that messages and files sent by members of your organization are encrypted using your own keys. And here's the best part - if you're already an EKM customer, this encryption will also be applied retroactively to previous communications. If other companies are also EKM customers, any messages or files they send you will be encrypted with their keys. With EKM, you can ensure the utmost security and protection for all your communications on Slack Connect.

5. Content regulation

Organizations can now leverage e-discovery and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to effectively review and regulate content across channels and DMs shared with individuals from other companies. 

The Discovery API allows all organizations to access and read content in channels and DMs shared with external parties. However, only messages and files sent by members of your own organization within a channel or DM can be edited or deleted using the Discovery API. While using user methods, the Discovery API will return the display names of members from external organizations. 

However, this information will not be displayed alongside the conversation history. Regardless of an organization's email display settings, email addresses of members from external organizations will be returned via Discovery API.

Essential functionalities for a DLP

When considering data loss prevention (DLP) functionalities for Slack, it is crucial to look for these essential features. 

Essential Functionalities of a DLP Solution

1. Content analysis

The DLP solution should be able to scan messages, files, and other content shared within channels and direct messages. It should be able to analyze the content for sensitive information like personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, intellectual property, or any other confidential information. By ensuring a robust content scanning feature in your DLP solution for Slack, you can proactively identify and prevent potential data breaches or leaks. This ultimately helps safeguard your organization's reputation and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements.

2. Flexibility

Organizations should be free to establish and tailor DLP rules to meet their unique requirements for data security. Administrators should be able to establish guidelines and scenarios that result in policy breaches using specific patterns or keywords. It should also monitor policy violations and take appropriate actions.

3. Real-time alerts

The DLP solution should provide real-time alerts and notifications to notify administrators promptly of policy violations. This lets them immediately address the violation, minimizing data loss or exposure risks. Additionally, the automated actions offered by the DLP solution ensure consistent policy enforcement. Based on the severity of policy violations, these automated actions may include warning the user, blocking the message from being sent, or quarantining the content for review.

4. Actionable insights

DLP solutions should provide visibility into policy breaches, data leakage events, and trends to enable robust reporting and auditing capabilities. These insights help companies assess their situation and make well-informed decisions to improve it.

5. Slack DLP Integration with other tools

It should integrate seamlessly with other tools to improve enterprise data security options. It should ensure total security using data loss prevention solutions, security information and event management (SIEM) systems, or other applicable safety measures.

6. Customization

It should provide the option to add custom detectors, rules, keywords, regexes, and pre-built detectors that cover a wide range of data types. It should be able to scan files and messages from various file categories, including xls/xlsx, doc/docx, CSV, plain text, ppt/pptx, PDF, HTML, and others.

Does Slack have DLP Support for Pro and Business+ Plan?

No. Slack does not offer native DLP support for Pro and Business+ Plan

Does Slack have DLP Support for Enterprise Grid Plan?

Yes. Slack has DLP support for Enterprise Grid Plan. Please see below the limitations of Slack DLP.

What are the Slack Enterprise DLP Limitations?

Even for Enterprises, Slack's native DLP is not enough. It does not do the following:

  1. Slack Enterprise DLP will not redact sensitive Slack messages: Not everyone needs to see customer PII or sensitive information in files; however, it is perfectly valid for users to see messages without the sensitive information
  2. Slack Enterprise DLP will not redact sensitive files/attachments: Slack DLP does not do any kind of redaction or masking within Slack Enterprise DLP
  3. Slack Enterprise DLP will not prevent file sharing for  users: All DLPs today are all-or-none, i.e., either they will block configured sensitive files OR they will allow them. The blanket block or allow does not work in the practical world. For example: it is OK to share sensitive files between certain team members (e.g., customer success) and the end-user (e.g., customer); however, not all team members have the permission to send.
  4. Slack Enterprise DLP is all regex based and will not scan/detect unstructured documents like pdf, jpg, png, image, docx, screenshot, etc.

What are the drawbacks of creating Your own DLP Solution for Slack?

The primary disadvantages of implementing the described measures include:

  1. Inadequate Visibility into Sensitive Files: From a security perspective, there's a blind spot regarding the quantity of sensitive files on Slack, including those shared internally and externally. This lack of insight is a significant risk as it prevents understanding the full scope of potentially exposed data.
  2. Obscured Visibility of File Downloads: Leaders in business and security have no clear way to track who downloads or shares files, posing a risk to information security.
  3. Dependence on Manual Monitoring: The task of regularly checking for suspicious activities heavily relies on the manual efforts of employees, requiring them to identify unusual patterns, which is not always reliable.
  4. Resource-Intensive Training: Educating employees on recognizing suspicious behaviors demands a considerable investment of time and resources, with ongoing training necessary to maintain awareness.
  5. Susceptibility to Errors: Despite training, the human capacity to accurately identify sensitive versus non-sensitive content at scale is limited and prone to errors, which can be costly if overlooked.
  6. Lack of Comprehensive Coverage: The landscape of security threats is ever-evolving, making it impossible to train individuals to recognize every possible type of attack, thus leaving gaps in security coverage.

How does Strac help you stay compliant with even the toughest benchmarks?

Maintaining data security compliance within Slack can be a daunting task. But with Strac, a powerful DLP (Data Loss Prevention) solution, you no longer have to do it alone. Strac provides comprehensive monitoring and visibility into your data and systems. 

By filtering data streams, it effectively restricts any suspicious or unidentified activity. It also enables you to log data for incident response and auditing purposes. Strac brings everything together to help prevent customer data from falling into the wrong hands. Compliance standards include GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, CCPA, and SOC 2.

Here are several ways to enhance your compliance requirements with Strac for Slack Connect filter policies:

  • Quickly identify and safeguard sensitive data that requires protection and promptly address policy violations based on your unique compliance requirements.
  • Establish an external sharing policy within your Slack Connect channels to configure individual rules. You can also utilize multiple policies simultaneously for maximum control within your Slack environment.
  • Gain visibility into your channels. Understand who is connected to your organization via Slack Connect channels. Without a comprehensive view of these channels, your attack surface could quickly escalate beyond manageable levels.

How does Strac DLP secure your Slack data?

Protecting sensitive customer information is crucial for Slack users. With Strac, an advanced DLP software integrated into the Slack app, you can ensure account security and prevent unauthorized file sharing.

Slack Data Redaction via Strac Redactor Slack Plugin
Slack Data Loss Prevention
  • One of the standout features of Strac is its redaction experience. It intelligently identifies and redacts/blocks sensitive customer data such as PII, PHI, or PCI within private channels, public channels, direct messages (DMs), and group direct messages, keeping important data confidential.
  • Strac provides audit reports giving you full visibility and control over your data.
  • Safeguarding sensitive information is crucial, so our catalog automatically detects and redacts potential risks. But that's not all – Strac, masks or removes sensitive messages and files while allowing authorized users to access them securely in the Strac UI Vault.
  • In addition to safeguarding your data, Strac also prevents unauthorized file sharing on channels or through Slack Connect when configured. This means you have full control over who can access and share files within your workspace.
  • The best part? Strac works seamlessly across all Slack channels and pricing plans, making it accessible for everyone. And with security and compliance officers receiving detailed audit reports on message access, you can rest assured that your data is safe. Check out how Strac can secure your Slack workspace.


When it comes to audits, meeting compliance requirements can be a challenging task. Many compliance regimes have open-ended requirements that need to be addressed. 

That's where implementing a SaaS Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution can make all the difference. Strac offers a quick and easy step toward ensuring your organization has the right compliance in place for audits. By automating daily tasks and streamlining data protection processes, our DLP solution helps you meet compliance requirements efficiently.

What’s more? Strac’s powerful features can help you enhance the security of your sensitive information, ensuring seamless collaboration among team members. From preventing accidental data leaks to identifying potential risks, Strac offers a robust solution that helps safeguard your organization's valuable data. 

Explore more on Slack security:

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

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