Blog>Business Management

Securing Sensitive Data in Trello

Evgeniya Ioffe - February 13th 2024 - 6 minutes read

In today’s fast-paced digital environment, Trello stands out as a versatile platform for team management and project tracking. However, the convenience of organizing and sharing vast amounts of information comes with its own set of risks, particularly when it comes to securing sensitive data. In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into the layers of Trello's security capabilities, from understanding the potential threats to implementing robust safeguards. Whether you're concerned about inadvertently making boards public or seeking advanced strategies to shield your data, we've covered all grounds. Join us as we navigate through best practices, cutting-edge security features, and effective breach response strategies, empowering you to fortify your Trello workspace against ever-evolving threats. Prepare to transform how you protect your most valuable data on one of today's most popular project management platforms.

Understanding the Risk Landscape in Trello

Trello, hailed for its flexibility and visual project management capabilities, has become a repository for a wide range of company project activities, from calendars to client information. However, this adaptability comes with its set of challenges, particularly concerning the security of sensitive data. Trello boards often contain business-critical data that are key for day-to-day operations, including passwords, access codes, personal identifying information (PII), and proprietary employer data. When such sensitive information is inadvertently shared on public boards, or when boards are mistakenly made public, it poses a significant risk of exposure, making the data available to anyone with internet access, including threat actors.

The platform's open nature and ease of use can sometimes be a double-edged sword. It's not uncommon for users, in the interest of simplicity and ease of access, to unknowingly make their boards public, thereby exposing any contained sensitive information to search engines and, consequently, to anyone on the internet. Furthermore, Trello's feature that allows for easy sharing and collaboration can lead to the accidental sharing of personal or proprietary employer data without the necessary safeguards. This lack of awareness and understanding about the platform's privacy settings and the value of the data shared can result in inadvertent data breaches.

The risk landscape in Trello is compounded by the platform's accessibility. This accessibility means that sensitive data, such as the organization's cybersecurity vulnerabilities, staff personal information including names, dates of birth, emails, ID numbers, bank details, salaries, bonuses, and even broken door locks in housing managed by a company, can easily be exposed. Users can use advanced search operators to find this publicly available information, further increasing the risk of identity theft and other forms of cybercrime. Given these risks, understanding the nature of data managed within Trello and the inherent risks of exposure is crucial for anyone using the platform to manage their projects and sensitive information.

Best Practices for Data Security on Trello

Securing sensitive data on Trello begins with a fundamental step: ensuring board privacy settings are correctly configured. Trello enables users to set boards as private, team-visible, or public. For company-sensitive data, it's imperative that boards are set to private, preventing unauthorized access. Additionally, when working with external contractors or consultants, ensure they are granted access only to necessary boards. This minimizes the risk of data exposure by limiting access strictly to those who require it. It is a simple, yet effective, first line of defense in safeguarding your organizational data on Trello.

Adopting strong, unique passwords for Trello accounts plays a crucial role in enhancing data security. In an era where password reuse across multiple platforms is common, it's essential to break the cycle by employing distinct passwords for different services. This practice significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access resulting from compromised credentials obtained from other sites. Furthermore, activating two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security. By requiring a second form of verification beyond just the password, 2FA effectively thwarts most attempts at unauthorized access, ensuring that even if passwords are compromised, your Trello data remains secure.

Finally, the importance of user education cannot be understated in preventing data leaks. Organizations should invest in ongoing training and awareness campaigns to highlight the potential risks of mishandling sensitive data and the best practices for data security on Trello. This includes training on setting up strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and understanding the importance of privacy settings. Empowering users with this knowledge fosters a culture of security awareness within the organization, significantly reducing the likelihood of accidental data exposure or leaks due to human error.

Advanced Security Features and Tools for Enhanced Protection

To empower organizations with superior control over their data security, Trello Enterprise offers advanced admin permissions, enabling administrators to finely tune access and visibility settings across the platform. This means that sensitive information can be compartmentalized and restricted to specific users or teams as required, effectively reducing the risk of unauthorized access. For example, by leveraging these admin permissions, an organization can restrict contractor access to only the necessary boards, ensuring that confidential information remains secure. Admins can also manage which third-party applications or "Power-Ups" are allowed to interact with their Trello data, adding another layer of security by preventing potentially unsecure integrations from accessing sensitive information.

Furthermore, Trello enhances data protection through robust encryption methods both at rest and in transit. This ensures that all data, be it text on a Trello card or files uploaded as attachments, is encrypted using industry-standard protocols, thereby safeguarding it against interception or unauthorized access during transmission and when stored on Trello’s servers. For teams that require secure sharing of documents and collaboration in real-time, Trello’s authenticated attachments feature means that only board members with the correct permissions can access the attached files, essentially keeping assets in the right hands.

Additionally, integrating third-party security tools with Trello Enterprise further amplifies an organization's ability to protect sensitive data. Tools that support Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) for single sign-on (SSO) and offer two-step verification (2SV) can be seamlessly integrated, providing a more secure authentication process and minimizing the risks associated with compromised credentials. This layered approach to security—combining Trello’s built-in features with external tools—enables organizations to create a fortified environment for managing sensitive data, ensuring that the necessary precautions are in place to protect against both internal and external threats. Through careful configuration and utilization of these advanced security features and tools, organizations can significantly enhance the protection of sensitive information within Trello.

Responding to a Data Breach on Trello

Upon discovering a data breach on Trello, immediate action is crucial to mitigate the impact and prevent further unauthorized access. The first step is to identify and isolate the affected boards by setting them to private or temporarily archiving them. This containment process helps to prevent additional data from being compromised while the breach is being assessed. Immediately changing account passwords and revoking third-party app permissions can also help secure the account against further intrusion. It’s essential to examine the breach’s scope by identifying the type of data exposed, the duration of the exposure, and the potential perpetrators. This assessment will guide the appropriate response measures and help in understanding the breach's impact.

Following the initial response, transparent communication with all impacted stakeholders is paramount. This includes notifying team members, clients, and if necessary, the appropriate regulatory authorities, depending on the nature of the exposed data. Being forthcoming about the breach's extent, the steps taken to address it, and how affected parties can protect themselves reestablishes trust and demonstrates a commitment to data security. Furthermore, offering support and guidance to those impacted, such as advising on changing passwords or monitoring for suspicious activity, can help mitigate the breach's effects on individual users.

In the aftermath of a data breach, adopting a posture of continuous improvement is essential for fortifying Trello’s data security posture. This involves conducting a thorough review of the incident to identify any security lapses or vulnerabilities that were exploited. Implementing stronger access controls, enhancing monitoring for unusual activity, and regularly updating security protocols can prevent future breaches. Engaging in regular security audits and fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness among users by emphasizing the importance of secure practices, such as prudent permission settings and the risks of oversharing, are long-term strategies that contribute to a more secure Trello environment.


In this comprehensive guide, the article explores the importance of securing sensitive data on Trello, a popular team management and project tracking platform. It highlights the risks of data exposure on Trello and provides best practices for data security, including setting board privacy settings correctly, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and providing user education. The article also discusses advanced security features and tools offered by Trello Enterprise, such as advanced admin permissions and encryption methods. Additionally, it outlines the steps to take in responding to a data breach on Trello, including containment, communication, and continuous improvement measures. Overall, the article empowers readers to fortify their Trello workspaces against potential threats, ensuring the protection of sensitive information.