How Secure is Microsoft Teams? #WFH
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, billions of people have found themselves currently working remotely, many for the first time in their lives. During this time there have been many questions concerning cybersecurity and whether data can remain secure while so many workers make the transition to work from home.
Moving to work from home doesn’t mean that your businesses security should be compromised or neglected in any way. There are practical steps that can be taken to safeguard your data and using the safest applications with well-thought-out security practices can make a difference.
While making the move to remote work, a lot of companies have adopted collaboration tools and are using new video conferencing applications. With a sharp rise in the use of these platforms, some of these tools have become more susceptible to security attacks, for example, Zoom has recently been the target of several security breaches. These recent attacks have had a lot of people wondering about their security and how protected their information is when using collaboration tools.
Microsoft Teams recently saw a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day. This dramatic increase may suggest that the platform is more vulnerable to attacks. However, unlike a few of its rival platforms, Teams has the Microsoft advantage. Being a part of the Microsoft package means that Teams has access to a multitude of cybersecurity features. From data protection to video conferencing security control, Teams users are covered. As a user, it’s important to know how your data is protected and how you can tailor it to suit your business.
With employees more likely to use their own computers when working from home, attacks are more likely and more serious. Encryption makes accessing data much more difficult for hackers.
Microsoft Teams uses industry-standard technologies such as TLS and SRTP to encrypt all data in transit between users’ devices and Microsoft datacenters. This includes messages, files, meetings, and other content.
Data Loss Prevention
With users needing to virtually share more information than they may have before there’s always a worry that something may accidentally be shared that shouldn’t have been. Sensitive information like this can be secured with Data Loss Prevention (DLP). If, for example, someone attempts to share sensitive information in a Teams chat or channel with guests (external users) a DLP policy would prevent this. Admins can configure their DLP policy to suit your business and mean that messages with sensitive information that are sent to external users are deleted.
Advanced Threat Protection
One of Microsoft’s defining security features is its Advanced Threat Protection. With collaboration tools like Teams, files and links are frequently shared around. Advanced Threat Protection identifies and blocks any malicious or harmful files and links in Team sites and document libraries.
Using just one form of authentication, like a password, can leave a user vulnerable to attacks. If your team members are using multiple devices to access their work, there’s a chance that an attacker could find a way in unnoticed. With Multi-factor Authentication, users are prompted during the sign-in process to provide an additional form of identification, such as to enter a code on their cellphone or to a fingerprint scan. This secondary form of authentication increases security as this additional factor isn't easy for an attacker to obtain or duplicate.
Enabling MFA only takes a few minutes, but users should be notified and prepared for the log-in changes.
Microsoft Teams is a great way to keep your collaboration and communication all in one place for your team, but what about when contacting others outside your organisation? Without face-to-face meetings, it can be hard to retain a good level of communication with a client.
Teams has a feature called Guest Access that lets you add individual users from outside your organization to your teams and channels in Microsoft Teams without compromising security. Guest Access grants external user’s access to existing teams and channels in Teams. The Guest Access works so securely because it allows the admins to control what organisational data they can and can’t see. For example, a client could be able to access the mock-ups and proposals for their project, but budgets and internal notes could be hidden.
Video Conferencing Security
Meeting access is another area that can cause security concerns. Allowing open access to meetings can cause concern and lead to some unwanted attendees. Teams has the option to control what users have access to your meetings. With meeting options, you can determine which outside users can directly attend meetings and which outside users wait in the lobby before being accepted into the meeting. This control is especially useful for meetings that discuss sensitive information, as you can allow access to other users once that information has been disclosed.
Teams allows for admins to designate roles within meetings. Meeting roles designate “presenters” and “attendees,” and subsequently control which meeting participants are allowed to present content in the meeting. While this feature is not an explicit security feature, roles do help control what is shared and accessible in the meeting, providing another line of defence for your organisation.
Educate Your Team
Using Microsoft Teams is a trusted way to tighten up your security measures for your Team while they work from home. However, it is just as important that your team members are informed of your organisation’s cybersecurity measures and ways that they can help.
It’s crucial that everybody on your team knows how to reduce the risk of successful hacking attacks and is not afraid to report security incidents as soon as they occur. Frequent reminders and discussions are ways that can help prompt employees to take security seriously.
At Walvis Technologies we have helped many businesses make the important move to Microsoft Teams. With our expertise, we make the switch as straightforward as possible and are there to support your company through any teething problems once it's installed. If you think Microsoft Teams might be the right tool for you while your team works from home then get in contact with us.
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