Encrypting Custom Fields - Zoho Desk Knowledgebase

Encrypting Custom Help Desk Fields

Just as we lock our money and restrict access to our property in the physical world, we must secure our personal information that is held by businesses and government agencies. We need a virtual lock that prevents identity thieves from stealing our identity along with our data. Zoho Desk provides this virtual lock by way of field-level encryption that encrypts your custom fields using AES.

Let's consider the case where you collect customer's credit card details, backup phone numbers, personal identification numbers, etc. for providing your services. Such personal or sensitive information is stored in the help desk and transmitted to web servers. While you can use field-level security settings to restrict other Zoho Desk users from seeing these custom field data, storage encryption helps to ensure that information within the web server is not compromised. 

In this article, let's take a look at how you can encrypt your custom help desk fields along with some key points and limitations that you need to keep in mind before you begin.

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Users with the Support Administrator permission profile can access this feature.
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Points to Remember
Here are some key points to keep in mind before you start encrypting fields.
  1. Only Custom fields  (new and existing) can be encrypted.
  2. Fields are encrypted at the organization level including all departments.
  3. Custom field encryption is available only in Enterprise plan.
  4. A maximum of 10 fields can be encrypted per module in the Enterprise plan.
  5. Encryption only applies to the following field types: single line, integer, email, phone, percent, decimal, date, picklist, currency, and URL.
  6. Each module can have a maximum of 10 encrypted custom fields.
  7. APIs are supported for encrypted data.
  8. Encrypted fields can be used as inputs in custom functions.
  9. Encrypted fields can be used in all integrations, except Zoho Analytics.
  10. Encryption converts the data in a field to text. Therefore, to enable data encryption for a field, you will first need to remove its references from other components like custom list views, reports, and automation. Zoho Desk will display a prompt containing all such references.
  11. Encrypting or decrypting data requires time. When you encrypt or decrypt a custom field, a scheduler begins processing data in the background. How long it takes for the scheduler to complete is determined by the number of records in your database. Nevertheless, Zoho Desk will keep you informed of the progress via email notifications.

Here are some key limitations to keep in mind before you start encrypting fields.
  1. Encrypted fields cannot be used in Reports as a Column, Criteria, Columns to Total, and Grouping.
  2. Encrypted fields cannot be added as a condition in automation rules.
  3. Encrypted fields cannot be used in Advanced Filters, Search by Criteria, and Sort option.
  4. Predictive search is supported only when whole words match. For instance, if the encrypted data is "Casie Fletcher," the encrypted field record does not show in the results of a search until either "casie" or "fletcher" is keyed in.

Encrypting Custom Field
You can encrypt custom fields either while creating or editing them on a layout.

To encrypt a custom field:
  1. Click the Setup icon (  ) in the top bar.
  2. Click Layouts and Fields under Customization.
  3. In the Layouts page, select the desired module and the department from the drop-down menu.
  4. From the list of available layouts, click the layout in which you wish to encrypt or decrypt a field.

  5. In the module layout editor, go to the field you wish to encrypt, click the Settings icon (  ), and select Edit Properties.
  6. In the Edit Field panel, toggle on Encrypt field.

  7. Click Update and then save the layout.
You can toggle off the Encrypt field option at any time to decrypt the custom field.

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