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Blog 3 min read

Open source data loss prevention for helpdesk ticketing systems

by Chris Martinez Published Jun 21, 2021

When your customers want help, ticketing systems provide the first line of communication between your company and your customers. Solving a problem or resolving an issue for your customers often requires collecting a lot of information and context throughout the support interaction. Especially today, these interactions can be captured through a myriad of channels including but not limited to messaging apps, SMS, social media, help centers, forums, bots, video conferencing, and more. 

Some of the most popular ticketing systems that power these services include providers like Zendesk, Salesforce, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Kustomer, and more. In this connected world, information is exchanged quickly and is relied upon by companies to deliver best-in-class customer support experiences, and it is imperative that companies are good stewards of their customers’ data.

Learn how cloud-native DLP can help protect customer information within support ticketing systems and helpdesk platforms.

Put customer trust first with data-centric security policies 

The trust a company builds with a customer is sacred and is very hard to repair once this trust is broken. In almost any interaction, some form of information is transacted, whether it be personally identifiable information (PII) like a credit card number, home address, email address, or even an account number and login credentials. Helpdesk ticketing systems are essential for organizing your customer interactions but are also treasure troves for information that are at risk of exposure. 

Companies want to get a handle on this part of their business and prevent sensitive data from sprawling out of control in their ticketing systems and safeguard their customers and internal employees. Once a customer gives your company their information, you are responsible for securely handling all of your customer’s information – even if you cannot control what information your customers voluntarily give you or send through your communication channels.

Customer data plays a crucial role in support platforms

A few things help put the importance of data protection in support ticketing and helpdesk systems into context, according to research gathered in a Finances Online report:

  • The helpdesk software market share is projected to reach $11 billion by 2023. This piece of the customer success machine will only get bigger from here, so it pays to implement strong security policies within your systems now.
  • 79% of customers also say that personalized customer support (CS) is more important than personalized marketing. Personalized support relies on your CS staff having access to sensitive information that will quickly and easily identify the customer — think the combination of names, email addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, and other pieces of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII). If customers trust you with their data in a support transaction, you must take responsibility for protecting that information from being exposed or leaked.
  • Consumers rank their top three aspects of interacting with helpdesk systems as most important: businesses taking note of their identification (66%), previous conversations (56%), and purchase history (55%). This ties into the previous point about how private information powers personalized support experiences. Data plays a crucial role as a resource to drive better support outcomes. To ensure truly excellent service every time, you must also protect that data to preserve customer trust in your company.

Protect sensitive information in service tickets with cloud-native DLP

Your options to prevent data sprawl in helpdesk ticketing systems are limited. If these systems are left unattended, sensitive information can quickly proliferate from your ticketing systems and beyond into third party applications that are either integrated or connected in the workflow. If you do not solve this problem, sensitive information can be created and spread at a rapid rate. 

Your best defense is to prevent your customers from sending you non-pertinent sensitive data or to train your service agents to not input this information into your systems. However, this is difficult because you cannot physically prevent human-made errors. Luckily, the Nightfall Developer Platform provides a solution to scan and audit your helpdesk tickets for existing sensitive information with 150+ detectors including many for customer PII to accurately find violations with machine learning. 

Check out the repository of tutorials here to learn how you can scan Zendesk tickets and redact sensitive information with the Nightfall Developer Platform. You can access our free Zendesk Scanner to scan your entire Zendesk support instance for sensitive data.

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