Security Overview

Security in Mattermost software is continually reviewed by developers, IT administrators, and security researchers accountable for deploying the software in their organizations.

Multiple rounds of penetration testing and security analysis, in addition to internal reviews, have produced a long list of safeguards, processes, policies, and compliance features:

To expand on each:

Security Features

Mattermost offers a host of features to help keep your private cloud communications secure.

Private Cloud Deployment with Secure Mobile Apps

  • Mattermost can run entirely behind your firewall as a single Linux binary, as a Docker container, or on your Kubernetes cluster with MySQL or PostgreSQL as database. Remote access can be enabled through the use of VPN clients on PC and mobile devices so that Mattermost can be used outside your private network.

  • Mattermost mobile apps can be deployed to an internal Enterprise App Store by using source code available for Mattermost mobile apps and push notification service.

  • Optionally, the provided Mattermost Mobile Apps can be used when the Mattermost server is reachable through the internet on port 443. In this configuration, you have the option of using compiled iOS and Android applications in iTunes and Google Play provided by Mattermost, Inc. (Mattermost Enterprise and Mattermost Professional).

  • User sessions across web, PC, and mobile can be remotely revoked through account settings, or via the System Console by deactivating accounts.

  • Mattermost apps can be packaged into leading Enterprise Mobility Management solutions including AirWatch and Blackberry through AppDome.

Centralized Security and Administration

  • Manage users, teams, access control, and system settings in a web-based System Console user interface.

  • Centralized authentication through AD/LDAP and SAML (Mattermost Enterprise and Mattermost Professional).

  • Synchronize users and groups through the built-in AD/LDAP integration (Mattermost Enterprise).

Transmission Security

  • Mattermost supports TLS encryption using AES-256 with 2048-bit RSA on all data transmissions between Mattermost client applications and the Mattermost server across both LAN and internet.

  • Connections to Active Directory/LDAP can be optionally secured with TLS or stunnel (Mattermost Enterprise and Mattermost Professional).

  • Encryption-at-rest is available for messages via hardware and software disk encryption solutions applied to the Mattermost database, which resides on its own server within your infrastructure. To enable end user search and compliance reporting of message histories, Mattermost does not offer encryption within the database.

  • Encryption-at-rest is available for files stored via hardware and software disk encryption solutions applied to the server used for local storage or storage via MinIO.

  • Encryption-at-rest is available for files stored in Amazon’s proprietary S3 system using server-side encryption with Amazon S3-managed keys (Mattermost Enterprise) when users choose not to use open source options.

  • Option to exclude message contents from push notifications to comply with strict compliance policies, such as US HIPAA standards.

  • Ability to exclude or include the contents of messages in push notifications to avoid disclosure on locked mobile screens, and via relay servers from Apple and Google when sending notifications to iOS or Android mobile apps (relevant to compliance standards such as HIPAA).

Integrity and Audit Controls

  • By default, Mattermost stores a complete history of messages, including edits and deletes, along with all files uploaded. User interface actions for “deleting” messages and channels remove the data only from the user interface; the data is retained within your database. If your compliance guidelines require it, you can turn off users’ ability to edit and delete their messages after they are posted.

  • Use an antivirus plugin to scan for viruses before uploading a file to Mattermost. Supports ClamAV anti-virus software across browser, Desktop App, and Mobile Apps.

  • Custom data retention policies on messages and file uploads is available (Mattermost Enterprise). A daily data deletion job can be scheduled that deletes messages from the database and user interface, and file uploads from local file storage or Amazon S3, which exceed the specified retention period.

  • The output and archives of server logs can be saved to a directory of your choice. Mattermost server logs plus logs from your web proxy can provide an end-to-end history of system usage.

  • Ad hoc compliance reports of messaging by user, date range, and keyword, including edited and deleted messages are available (Mattermost Enterprise). To protect against unauthorized use, all ad hoc report requests are logged.

  • Daily compliance reports compatible with third-party compliance solutions such as Global Relay and Actiance are also available (Mattermost Enterprise).

Authentication Safeguards

  • To protect against brute force attacks, you can set rate limiting on APIs, varied by query frequency, memory store size, remote address, and headers.

  • Session length, session cache, and idle timeout can be configured according to your internal policies, automatically forcing a user to re-login after a specified period of time.

  • Remotely revoke user sessions across web, mobile devices, and native desktop apps. User sessions can also be revoked remotely by a System Admin in System Console > Users.

  • Session fixation, where an attacker can trick the user to authenticate with a known session cookie, does not affect Mattermost users as a new session cookie is set at each login.

  • Remotely reset user passwords via the System Console or via the command line.

  • Mattermost supports integrated authentication with Active Directory and LDAP (Mattermost Enterprise and Mattermost Professional) as well as SAML 2.0 SSO integration with providers including Active Directory Federation Services, Okta, among others (Mattermost Enterprise and Mattermost Professional).

  • The ability to require multi-factor authentication is also available (Mattermost Enterprise and Mattermost Professional).

Access Control Policy

To prevent account enumeration, if a user logs in and enters incorrect login details a generic error is presented.

Security is a top concern for organizations who deploy Mattermost in a private network. While running under existing policies and auth protocols of the private network, we prioritize a better user experience (telling a user what went wrong on login) ahead of preventing users on the private network from enumerating accounts.

Mattermost is optimized to be deployed in a highly secure environment. However, admins are given a choice as to the deployment environment.

When Mattermost is deployed outside a firewall, Admins must be aware that their system is exposed to issues inherent in public cloud deployments. In this case, we generally follow the standards of leading online services. For example, Gmail offers APIs that not only confirm whether an email account exists, but also displays the user’s profile picture by default.

Mattermost undergoes extensive penetration testing, security reviews, and security updates. You can find further details and previous discussion in our GitHub thread. In addition, the following policies are provided:

Security Updates

Security updates address newly discovered attacks reported to Mattermost, Inc. by the security research community. Disclosures are made confidentially, under the Mattermost responsible disclosure policy, allowing for Mattermost, Inc. to provide security updates to the community prior to public disclosure.

For more information, please see:

Security Policies

For information on internal security policies, development guidelines, business continuity plans, and common security-related questions from enterprises, please see our Security Policies documentation.

Moreover, Mattermost performs a penetration test on the software no less than once per twelve (12) month period. Customers may request a copy of any penetration test results upon five (5) days’ written notice at any time, but no more than once per twelve (12) month period.

HIPAA compliance*

Deploying Mattermost as part of a HIPAA-compliant IT infrastructure requires a deployment team trained on HIPAA-compliance requirements and standards.

  • Mattermost offers HIPAA-relevant Technical Safeguards including:

  • HIPAA-compliant deployments commonly consider the following:

    • Omitting the contents of messages from mobile push and email notifications:

      • If your Push Notifications Contents option is set to Send full message snippet there is a chance Personal Health Information (PHI) contained in messages could be displayed on a user’s locked phone as a notification. To avoid this, set the option to Send generic description with user and channel names or Send generic description with only sender name.

      • Similarly, setting Email Notifications Contents to Send generic description with only sender name will only send the team name and name of the person who sent the message, with no information about channel name or message contents included in email notifications.

  • Beyond Technical Safeguards, HIPAA compliance deployments also require:

    • Administrative Safeguards

    • Physical Safeguards

    • Organizational requirements and other standards.

To learn more, please review HIPAA requirements from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

FINRA compliance*

Mattermost Enterprise features help users to meet the cybersecurity requirements of the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as part of a customer’s existing operational systems, including technology governance, system change management, risk assessments, technical controls, incident response, vendor management, data loss prevention, and staff training.

FINRA reviews a firm’s ability to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive customer information. This includes reviewing each firm’s compliance with SEC regulations, including:

Mattermost supports FINRA compliance as part of a customer’s integrated operations in the following ways:

  • Continuous archiving: Configuration as a non-rewriteable, non-erasable system of record for all messages and files entered into the system. Moreover, automated compliance exports and integration support for Smarsh/Actiance and Global Relay provide third-party eDiscovery options.

  • Secure deployment: Deployment within private, public, and on-premises networks with existing FINRA-compliant safeguards and infrastructure to protect customer information from cyber attack.

  • Support for intrusion detection: Ability to support multi-layered intrusion detection from authentication systems to application servers to database access, including configuration of proxy, application, and database logging to deeply audit system interactions.

  • Multi-layered disaster recovery: High Availability configuration, automated data back up, and enterprise information archiving integration to prevent data loss and recover from disaster.

*DISCLAIMER: MATTERMOST DOES NOT POSITION ITS PRODUCTS AS “GUARANTEED COMPLIANCE SOLUTIONS”. WE MAKE NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE USING MATTERMOST PRODUCTS. YOUR LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN ACHIEVING REGULATORY COMPLIANCE DEPENDS ON YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE APPLICABLE REGULATION, AND THE ACTIONS YOU TAKE TO COMPLY WITH THEIR REQUIREMENTS. SINCE THESE FACTORS DIFFER ACCORDING TO INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SUCCESS, NOR ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF YOUR ACTIONS. NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE ANY SPECIFIC COMPLIANCE RESULTS FROM THE USE OF MATTERMOST OR FROM ANY RECOMMENDATIONS CONTAINED ON OUR WEBSITES, AND AS SUCH, THIS SHOULD NOT BE A SUBSTITUTE TO CONSULTING WITH YOUR OWN LEGAL AND COMPLIANCE REPRESENTATIVES ON THESE MATTERS.