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Helpdesk Security: How to protect access and data

Data theft and hacking are increasingly part of our digital everyday life. In order to secure information and protect our nerves, precautions and security measures must be taken when working with tools such as the helpdesk. We explain the essential basics and additional steps to ensure the security of your data within the company.

What this post is about

  • Helpdesk as an important interface for smooth operations
  • Implement email encryption
  • Strong protection with third-party authentication
  • Double security with two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Generate more understanding among employees

Everything in one place! The helpdesk facilitates collaboration between teams and manages the workflow in customer support. To ensure the secure handling of your projects and inquiries, it is essential to have sufficient protection against unauthorized access to your teamwork.

Technical methods such as password protection, restricted access rights, encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), and third-party authentication all help provide a comprehensive level of security.

However, to choose the right method, it is necessary to first understand the significance of a helpdesk like Zammad in your company.

1. Why is helpdesk security so important?

There are few tools as effective as the helpdesk for coordinating tasks, assignments, and workflows in one place. The communication interface offers numerous simplifications for seamless documentation and tracking of processes, ensuring smooth operations and collaboration between internal teams and in customer support. In this exchange, numerous company and customer data are involved.

Large amounts of data and sensitive information in exchange can be an attractive target for cybercriminals, posing a threat to both companies and their customers. To maintain an overview of who initiated which processes and when, the distribution of roles and access rights is crucial for securing your helpdesk. Of course, technical support is also essential! Read on to learn more about the various methods.

2. Unwanted readers: Email encryption with S/MIME

Whether it's in a private or professional account, forged senders or unauthorized eavesdroppers are not only annoying but also dangerous. However, helpdesk users can prevent unauthorized access to the tool with strong email encryption.

S/MIME is an established method for secure email communication and is commonly used in corporate environments. It enables the exchange of signed and encrypted messages, relying on two components:

  • Signing: This confirms and verifies the identity of a sender. The authenticity of messages is guaranteed, and the source is a certified sender.

  • Encryption and decryption: The sent and received messages can only be read by the intended recipients. Unauthorized individuals are unable to read the emails, thereby increasing the level of data privacy and security.

Email encryption with S/MIME is also supported by Zammad and can be activated by the respective administrator in the system. Instructions on how to do this can be found in the admin documentation.

PS: Another method for secure communication is called Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), which will soon be available in Zammad as well. More information on this will be provided in the coming weeks.

3. Safe partners: Third-Party Authentication

Another option to secure access and login to the helpdesk is the integration of third-party providers. By using the account of various platforms such as Facebook, Google, or Twitter, users can log in with their existing account, eliminating the need to remember a new password. Third-Party Authentication adds an additional layer of security, extending the combination of username and password (and enhancing usability). The option to log in to Zammad via third-party providers can be set in the security settings.

To fully leverage these benefits, it is important that the service provided by the third-party providers and their associated security measures are reliable. If there are any service disruptions or security vulnerabilities, it is not advisable to log in using compromised credentials.

4. Double the security: 2FA with Security Key and Authentication App

Significantly enhanced security, without relying on third-party providers, is offered by Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). With two encryption methods available to verify the user's identity, the benefits of double protection can be enjoyed.

In addition to the password, 2FA requires an individual security key or security code. It is advisable to store additional factors separate from the helpdesk, such as in authenticator apps on users' mobile phones. These apps generate a unique code that can be used for access verification. Install these apps on mobile devices and create a distinct connection to your helpdesk instance.

Good to know: With the next release, Zammad will also provide its users with a 2FA option. This will further enhance the existing security offering, including hardware or software security keys that can be enabled in your account settings.

5. Employee Awareness

Every security system is only as good as the employees who operate it. It is crucial to create an understanding of the consequences and impacts of cyber and social engineering attacks in order to promote controlled usage of security measures.

In workshops and seminars, the security concept can be illustrated through the following questions:

  • What are the consequences of a hack?
  • What potential consequences does the company face?
  • Who is affected by potential cyber or social engineering attacks, and how do they occur?
  • What measures need to be taken in case of an emergency?

By incorporating practical examples and taking everyday business processes as a model, colleagues can better understand the extent of the issue. Additionally, it is important to regularly provide the latest tools, updates, or developments.

By opting for our comprehensive packages, we can take care of securing and maintaining your helpdesk. We are pleased to offer you a 30-day free trial of Zammad, your smart helpdesk solution!

Furthermore, if you want to ensure the security of your own installation, Zammad can support you in raising awareness of security risks through engaging training materials for users, detailed guidelines, and comprehensive documentation. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us, so that your work at the helpdesk remains secure and focused.


Clear role assignments and technical safeguards: Those who include a well thought-out mix of security features in their daily work with the helpdesk create a digital security zone. In this context, it remains essential to keep up to date with current developments or increased threats from the internet on a regular basis and to take appropriate precautions.

  1. 1. Why is helpdesk security so important?
  2. 2. Unwanted readers: Email encryption with S/MIME
  3. 3. Safe partners: Third-Party Authentication
  4. 4. Double the security: 2FA with Security Key and Authentication App
  5. 5. Employee Awareness
  6. Summary
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