Encrypting Standard Fields in Zoho Desk

Encrypting Standard Fields in Zoho Desk

This feature is released in a phased manner and will be available only to those who request for it. To request early access, click the registration link and provide your details. We will enable the feature for your Desk account. 

Businesses are increasingly tech-driven, employing a wide range of applications and tools to automate and manage various processes. Whether you're looking to automate customer engagement, lead generation, product management, or customer support, you can easily find an application that drives the journey from start to finish. 


However, at times when vast amounts of data, including customer details and business revenue information, are stored in various systems, it is crucial to establish guidelines for data access. Encrypting sensitive information is essential for maintaining confidentiality and preventing unauthorized data access, especially when technology is used for managing support systems.  


Zoho Desk allows businesses to encrypt standard fields, such as customer names, email addresses, and phone numbers, to protect sensitive information from unauthorized individuals who may try to gain access. Take advantage of this virtual lock by enabling field-level encryption for standard fields using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).


Let's consider a scenario where an authorized bank is collecting customers' bank account details, such as account names, addresses, and phone numbers, to offer their services. Some of the data will be stored in Zoho Desk for customer support purposes. To minimize the likelihood of data breaches and prevent unauthorized access, the bank may choose to encrypt the standard fields in Zoho Desk.


Note: Standard fields are the default system-defined fields in each module. These fields cannot be deleted or modified. To learn more about standard fields, refer to this help doc.   
Permission Required
Users with the Support Administrator profile can encrypt standard fields in Zoho Desk.
Check Feature Availability and Limits


Benefits of encrypting standard fields


  1. Enhanced security: By encrypting sensitive information, users can significantly minimize the risk of identity theft.
  2. Compliance with data protection regulations: Many data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, require organizations to take measures to safeguard personal data. Encrypting standard fields is one way to comply with these regulations.
  3. Control over data visibility: Encrypting standard fields helps businesses ensure that only authorized personnel with the appropriate permissions can view and access the data.

Points to remember

  1. Standard fields can be encrypted for all departments.
  2. Field-level encryption is only available in the Contacts module. A maximum of 20 standard fields can be encrypted. 
  3. The following field types can be encrypted: 
    1. Single line
    2. Integer
    3. Email
    4. Phone
    5. Percent
    6. Decimal
    7. Date
    8. Picklist
    9. Currency
    10. URL
  4. APIs are supported for encrypted data.
  5. Encrypted fields can be used as inputs in custom functions and integrations (except in Zoho Analytics)
  6. Encryption converts field data to text. Thus, to enable data encryption for a standard field, you first need to remove its references (presence of a standard field) from other locations, like custom list views, reports, and automation. A Zoho Desk prompt will display a list of all locations where the standard field appears
  7. Encrypting data requires the use of a scheduler in Zoho Desk. The duration of the process will depend on the total number of records stored in your database. However, you will receive regular email notifications from Zoho Desk, with updates on your background data processing progress. 




Here are some key limitations to keep in mind before you start encrypting standard fields:


  1. Predictive search is only supported when whole words match. To view search results in Lookup Fields and Global Search, users must enter complete information. Partial inputs will not yield any results. For example, if users want to retrieve search results for an email address, they must enter the full email address in the corresponding Lookup Field.
  2. Encrypted fields cannot be used in Reports as a Column, Criteria, Columns to Total, and Grouping.
  3. Encrypted fields cannot be added as a criteria for automation rules.
  4. Encrypted fields cannot be located by the Advanced Filters, Search by Criteria, and Sort options.
  5. At present, it is not possible to decrypt a standard field.

To encrypt a standard field

Standard fields can be encrypted when created, or when you're editing them on a layout.


  1. Click the Setup icon (  ) on the top bar.
  2. Under Customization, select Layouts and Fields 
  3. Select the Contacts module from the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose the desired layout to encrypt a field.

  5. From the Layout Editor, select the standard field to encrypt and click the Field Settings icon.

  6. Click Edit Properties.
    The Edit Field panel will be opened.

  7. Toggle Encrypt field.

  8. Click Update, and Save the layout.

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