New: Custom Slack Messages for Checks
At Kolide, we encourage our customers to entrust their users with the responsibility of keeping their devices secure and compliant. If you can communicate honestly and concisely with people about issues on their devices, they will be motivated to fix them, and more importantly, learn something in the process.
We invest a lot of time writing a clear rationale and precise fix instructions for every Check we ship in the product to accomplish this. We try to put ourselves in the shoes of every type of user—from the most technical to someone who has never opened the terminal before— and write Slack messages that are accessible, clear, and actionable.
While we work hard at this, we can never be perfect. Kolide will always be at a disadvantage to admins who work with their users every day and deeply understand their needs. These admins can often improve these messages for their staff in a way that does not apply to every Kolide user.
To that end, It gives me great pleasure to announce that as of today, Kolide allows customers to fully customize the rationale and fix instructions for every Check on the platform. Let me show you how it works.
How to Get Started
To get started, click on the “(…)” actions dropdown next to any Check and click Configure. Find the section you’d like to change in the Check configuration sidebar and click Edit… within the Slack notification preview.
Supplementing an Official Kolide Message
In many cases, you may wish to only add a note, either just before or just after Kolide’s official messaging. To support this, Kolide allows you to supplement its existing messages. Supplementing is an excellent choice because it enables you to continue to benefit from any changes Kolide will make to the template but allows you to communicate additional information to your users.
Fully Customizing a Message
Sometimes supplementing is not enough, and you will want to completely change the content of a message to best suit your users. To that end, the Compose Custom Text option gives admins complete control over the message without any approval from Kolide.
In both cases (full customization and supplemental changes), Kolide will put your organization name under the header of the section modified so end-users know the instructions came right from your company.
Revision History, Markdown, and Liquid
Kolide will put a notice in the audit log for every change and keep a complete revision history. You can revert to a previous known good state if any undesired changes are introduced to the templates.
As for formatting, instead of asking you to learn a new formatting API, all of Kolide’s templates are written in standard markdown and automatically converted to Slack’s block format.
For advanced users who want to include conditionals or display data from the Device, Check, or Failure the message is about, Kolide allows you to use the liquid syntax. The documentation for the variables for each Check can be found right in the edit window.
In closing, we are very excited to bring this message customization functionality to Kolide. We cannot wait to continue to improve this experience as folks explore the feature and provide feedback.