In the dynamic world of customer support, managing ticket attachments is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of data management. For Zendesk users, the task of handling attachments has gained urgency due to recent policy changes and growing security concerns. Let's delve into why the removal of attachments from Zendesk tickets is essential and explore the most effective ways to achieve this.
Why Consider Removing Attachments?
Freeing Up Zendesk Storage
Since November 2023, Zendesk has implemented stricter storage usage policies. Exceeding these limits incurs additional fees. Since ticket information is vital for team insight and reporting, and attachments often consume the bulk of storage space, removing these attachments is a strategic way to reduce storage usage without losing valuable ticket data.
Compliance with GDPR
GDPR emphasizes the importance of handling sensitive information securely. By deleting unused attachments that contain sensitive information, you ensure compliance and protect customer data.
The Okta security incident, where hackers accessed sensitive customer data through stored HAR files in the support case management system, serves as a stark reminder of the risks of storing attachments longer than necessary. These files, while useful for troubleshooting, can contain sensitive data that poses security risks if mishandled.
Solutions for Removing Attachments
Zendesk users have two primary methods to manage and remove attachments: using Zendesk's API or employing a specialized marketplace app.
Method 1: Utilizing Zendesk API
For those comfortable with technical solutions, the Zendesk API provides a robust way to manage attachments. This method involves:
Identifying Tickets with Attachments: Use the search endpoint to find tickets with attachments. Criteria such as has_attachment:true and status:closed can be employed to filter tickets.
Retrieving and Assessing Attachments: Access ticket comments via the ticket comments endpoint to review attachments.
Redacting Attachments: Employ the comment redaction endpoint to remove the attachments securely.
Method 2: Using a Marketplace App
A more user-friendly alternative is the Auto-Remove Attachments app available on the Zendesk marketplace. This app offers both manual bulk removal and automatic removal of attachments from tickets.
How to Use the App
1. Install the App: First, add the app to your Zendesk account from the marketplace listing.
2. Access and Setup: Once installed, navigate to the app via a new icon on the left-side menu in Zendesk. Users need to create a Swifteq account and authorize the app to interact with their Zendesk account through the API.
3. Configuration and Usage: The app offers three main functionalities:
Automated Removal for Active Tickets: Auto-remove attachments in tickets in your backlog or in tickets that are solved but not yet closed. Here, you create a new Automation or Trigger in your Zendesk Admin Center that tags the tickets you want to redact, based on your chosen criteria. Then, configure the app to remove attachments from tickets with that particular tag.
Auto-Redaction for Closed Tickets: Set up the auto-redaction for closed tickets so that the app automatically checks newly closed tickets for attachments and removes them after a specified retention period. For example, you can establish a retention period of 30 days, and any closed ticket that reaches this age will have its attachments removed. Note that this setup only removes attachments from tickets that exceed the retention period after the app has been enabled; it does not apply to all older tickets.
Bulk Redaction: Run bulk redaction tasks to manually remove attachments from a subset of tickets, for example, all tickets older than 12 months. This process is straightforward, involving just a few clicks to define the ticket's status and the period, as well as additional filters like ticket tags or attachment file types. Click 'Run Task', and the app will handle the removal of attachments for you in the background.
Efficiently managing Zendesk attachments is crucial for optimizing storage usage, ensuring GDPR compliance, and mitigating security risks. The November 2023 policy changes by Zendesk have made this even more significant. The Auto-Remove Attachments app offers a versatile and user-friendly solution to manage attachments, allowing for both automated and manual control over the process. By implementing these strategies, Zendesk users can maintain a more organized, secure, and cost-effective support environment.