How to Implement the Best Microsoft Teams Security Practices?

Best Microsoft Teams Security Practices

2020 was the year of the cloud. As millions across the world resorted to working from home, cloud adoption rates amongst businesses of all sizes skyrocketed. Microsoft Teams was a major beneficiary of this new trend. It’s the fastest-growing collaboration tool in the market. However, with the increase in the use of Microsoft Teams, there has also been an increase in security threats. Is your organization implementing the best security practices while using Microsoft Teams? Read on to find out.

New Problems Need New Solutions

Every day, Microsoft Teams records 115 million active users. That means new ‘guest users’ are added to enterprise teams every few minutes. However, are the guests being added safe, reliable, and not compromised by hackers? Just like we don’t allow strangers to walk into our offices, we need to employ strict security standards while allowing guests to enter company teams on Microsoft Teams.

Sure, we should allow guests who need entry but only after confirming their identities. After they gain entry, team managers also need to ensure they don’t gain access to confidential information. Although Microsoft invests a lot to boost the security levels of their systems, the company’s security standards are nowhere near perfect. In December 2020, the company warned users about a huge vulnerability in the platform’s chatting system.

Companies that don’t invest in third-party security tools can easily have their internal networks hacked, private documents stolen, Office 365 documents lost, and other valuable business information compromised. Companies need to remember – Microsoft clearly states that it’s not responsible for how users secure their data on the platform. Only the users and the company are responsible.

Efficient Solutions

Companies with dedicated IT security teams can afford to delegate the task of ensuring security on Microsoft Teams to their in-house specialists. Even though these experts can reduce the risk of data theft or viruses entering through Microsoft Teams, they need automated assistance as well.

The best security solution comes in the form of 3rd party multi-cloud security tools. These multi-cloud security tools can help companies maintain Microsoft Teams security best practices. However, allowing any random application or security tool onto your Microsoft Teams platform can be risky.

To avoid the risks of misconfiguration, oversharing of data, or misuse of access, companies need to partner with multi-cloud security providers with track records of efficiencies when it comes to monitoring teams/guests on Microsoft teams. Ideally, your company’s multi-cloud security provider should have a long list of clients from different sectors like financial services, telecommunications, governmental agencies, etc.

Although there aren’t too many providers with such glittering track records, but the ones that are reputable can drastically improve a company’s security on Microsoft Teams by offering advanced data protection, adaptive policy controls, and regular cloud risk analyses.

Key Security Threats on Microsoft Teams

Addition of Unsafe Guest Users – Companies can mistakenly add unsafe guest users to their Microsoft Teams. These guest users can gain unauthorized access to sensitive business information.

Screensharing Errors – Imagine you’re peacefully using the screen sharing feature on Microsoft Teams only to find there’s a hacker in the team. Unintentional leaks of confidential data are very common with such screensharing errors.

Virus Exposure – When team members use ‘unmanaged’ devices, they can mistakenly upload files that contain viruses. IT managers either need to manually scan all the files that are being uploaded or install a third-party cloud security system that does the job for them. 

Data Loss – As stated before, the Teams Chat feature is highly vulnerable to data theft. Users can easily leak confidential data unless the company invests in third-party data loss prevention technologies.
These are only some risks of not investing in independent security measures while using Microsoft Teams. To ensure company data doesn’t go to untrusted destinations, managers and IT administrators need an automated security system. The in-built security apps provided by Microsoft have limited capacities and can’t protect companies from all types of security risks.

How Deploying Third-Party Cloud Security Systems Solves these Problems

By far, the biggest threat on Microsoft Teams comes from suspicious users entering teams as ‘Guests.’ Microsoft Teams has a ‘Guest access’ settings option that allows team administrators to adjust the level of access conceded to guest users. However, experienced hackers can easily sidestep these security firewalls.

That’s why the latest cloud security systems come with advanced user and entity behavior analytics features. The system constantly monitors all users, their devices, and application activities. It can instantly detect strange user behavior. For instance, if a Guest User suddenly starts downloading all the files shared on the platform, the cloud security system will immediately notify authorized team leaders.

Plus, these highly advanced cloud security systems also track geo-logins (location of the guest user when he/she is logging in) and IP addresses. This data is available for viewing only to authorized admins. Hence, admins can regularly track user behaviors such as – number logins, downloads, document edits, logouts, etc.

Since cloud adoption is still a relatively new experience for many companies, investing in such advanced cloud security systems can enable them to get used to working on cloud systems in the most secure manner.

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