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May 6, 2021

Data Leaks You Can Plug Into Microsoft Teams

Now more than ever people need to collaborate, and Teams makes it very easy to collaborate securely. On the whole, Microsoft 365 offers more security options than any other collaboration platform on the market to avoid Teams data leaks. Between being able to share links directly from every Microsoft 365 application and being able to drop files right into private chats and channels in Microsoft Teams, the distribution of data has never been easier.

While we’re in no way asking you to stop sharing in general because that goes against Microsoft 365’s collaborative nature, after all. All we suggest is that it’s important to know exactly who has access, what they have access to and how they got that access to avoid Teams data leaks.


Common Microsoft Teams Data Leaks

Here are three commonly faced collaboration risks to look out for when working in Microsoft Teams.


1. Anonymous & Organization-Wide Sharing Links

While your first thought as someone who's crucially security-minded might be to turn off link sharing permissions altogether, that would interfere with your organization’s ability to collaborate efficiently. Being able to share information is key to the Microsoft 365 platform. Relevantly, on February 8th, 2021, Microsoft enabled external sharing by default for organizations that have not yet configured the settings within their tenant.


2. Sensitive Data 

There are lots of amazing tools to help you find various types of sensitive information within Microsoft 365 and generate Data Loss Protection (DLP) reports. However, those reports don’t get into the details of who has access to sensitive files or who has already accessed those files. Also, as the sensitivity levels are defined by how much sensitive content is in each individual biome, you have to do some extra research to find out where your exposure and risk exist.

Microsoft does provide the basis of what you need for this research with the aforementioned tools, and you can easily manage them through the Security and Compliance Center and set the appropriate retention labels. However, there are two major things we've always heard from clients with E3 subscriptions:

  • Setting those retention labels is something of an all-or-nothing action as the rules you can create are all tenant-wide.
  • It’s difficult to manage this as a process because you have to cross-reference your policies and labels and keep track of how they’re affecting your environment and users. There isn’t a ton of context around that without generating more reports.


3. Unmanaged External Users

The most common question we’ve get from clients about Microsoft Teams data leaks security is “How can we make it so that external users and external sharing are enabled only where I want it to be?” To answer this, these few other questions need to be answered first:

  • Who can share access to external users?
  • What can be shared externally?
  • Which external users can be shared with?
  • How can externally shareable links be used?


How to Secure Teams and Reduce the Risk of Data Leakage

Here are a few ways you can keep every sneaky thing out of your Teams client.


Manage Groups and Memberships

This involves decisions about who has authority to what and how they can join the groups they are permitted to join. For instance: When new people join the company, they can be added to specific groups containing data they require based on a characteristic in Azure Active Directory.


Manage the Life Cycle of Various Groups Against Teams Data Leaks

Make sure you have answers to all these questions: How will a group be generated and by whom? What will be the life cycle of the group? Is an expiration rule required? When does the group begin and finish? Can any of these incidents be automated? Do you want automatic archiving for the group?


Check Guest Users on a Regular Basis

The number of external users that can be initiated depends on the Azure Active Directory license. Their number is limited. It is advised that you examine regularly to control how many guest accounts have been generated, deactivate older ones, and possibly detect anomalies.


Multi-factor Access Control 

This is one of the most productive ways to lessen the effect of ID theft. Essentially, the MFA guarantees that only usual consumers will be eligible to log in. Moreover, did you realize that you can receive a warning in case of an ambiguous connection thanks to Azure Sentinel?


Secure Your Resources

Microsoft Azure Information (AIP), enables you to label sensitive data and monitor its sharing through access and data exchange policies to approved persons, based on the category of your document and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that evaluates and fences links and attachments to negative content.


Avoid downloads on uncontrolled devices

Any document allotted in a Teams discussion does not certainly need to be uploaded by outer parties since the solution already gives editing immediately from its interface. You restrict the number of desynchronized copies on the device and thus the threat of data loss.


If you are looking for Microsoft Teams Consulting afresh or migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams or any other 3rd party platform – book a meeting with us and one of our Microsoft Certified Consultants would love to help you out. We can help you set up the ultimate collaboration platform at your organization hassle-free.

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2021)

Last Updated 2 months ago

About the Author

Rijah is a professional Marketing Executive & content specialist. You may know her from her greatest hits like, "No, I can't just make it go viral." or "No, you can't have everybody as your audience." and "Yes, you're absolutely going to need a copywriter!"

Rijah N. Fawad

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