Zendesk hears about the breach from an outsider

File this one away under 'better late than never.'  Zendesk, a popular customer support ticketing platform, has only recently discovered evidence of a data breach that dates back to November 2016.

To make matters worse, they admitted in a recent blog post that they only discovered the breach when they heard about it from an unnamed third party.

Nonetheless, when the company did discover the breach, they promptly notified their customers and began going through the motions we've come to expect to see when this type of event occurs.

What did they get?

In terms of scope and scale, the company reports that more than ten thousand user records were accessed. In addition,  the hackers (whomever they were) made off with email addresses, names, and phone numbers of both agents and end-users.

Passwords may also have been compromised, but if they were, the hackers got hashed and salted passwords. This makes it unlikely, but not impossible for them to decrypt and use them.  Finally, app configuration settings may have been compromised, which may have included integration keys used by those apps to authenticate against third-party services.

The company also notes that there has been no evidence of any passwords used inappropriately since the breach.

All in all, it's certainly not the worst breach in history. Zendesk's handling of the issue (once they were made aware of it) has been average to above average. However, given that the breach went undetected for three years and was only discovered when someone else told them about it, that doesn't say good things about the company's security and detection strategies. It certainly doesn't instill their users with confidence.

Our perspective

If you're a Zendesk user, out of an abundance of caution, it's a good idea to change your password at your next opportunity.  Better safe than sorry.

As Hill Street Blues' Sgt. Esterhaus always advised: "Hey, let's be careful out there!"

Meanwhile, check out this report

This free executive report may give you insights into how to build your business with safe IT environments: 10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business and 1 Easy Way to Find Them

The author

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPia Blogs. I am also available on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT SupportI am Denis Wilson, President and Principal Consultant for DWP Information Architects. I help professionals grow their business by building a foundation of rock-solid information solutions for smaller healthcare, insurance, financial, legal, and nonprofits firms in Ventura County and San Fernando Valley. And have created cost-effective IT solutions, for over 20 years, specializing in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. I am also a published author and speaker, working extensively with a variety of organizations, as well as providing small business technology education programs through business and professional associations. This just in: I will be speaking regularly at California Lutheran University's Center for Nonprofit Leadership starting in September.

Contact me if you would like me to speak at your association.