Microsoft Teams has been among the leading video conferencing applications for nearly several years now. The program is used for more than just enhancing productivity and collaboration in today’s highly connected business environment. The Teams business application has evolved considerably over a short time, morphing into one the most effective and comprehensive solutions for managing an increasingly hybridized global workforce.
However, if you haven’t adopted Teams yet, or have just recently implemented the software as a centralized work hub, you might be wondering whether the Microsoft Teams application is safe enough to meet your organization’s cybersecurity requirements. Collaborative software that protects your digital infrastructure and sensitive data is crucial, particularly when confidential business information is at the core of every modern corporation.
Before transitioning to Microsoft Teams, most small business owners and company executives want to know that the tools they plan to use to communicate sensitive information are secure. So how safe is the Teams application? The software is engineered on a robust, enterprise-level cloud environment that gives businesses and their employees advanced control over their data. According to Microsoft, your information is neither scanned nor stored without user permission, and users maintain complete and enhanced control over their data retention policies.
What are the security protocols for Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams deploys what’s called an “Active Directory” that prompts all users to sign on using two-factor authentication while encrypting your business data when it is both static or in transit between multiple channels. When you share your files in Teams, they are stored within SharePoint before being backed through SharePoint encryption.
The application also allows users to capture and share notes before, during, and after a Microsoft Teams meeting with up to 100 users. These notes are retained in OneNote and backed therein. A team SharePoint site then holds the OneNote data. Users can likewise access the WikiTab for creating notes, the contents of which are also kept with a designated SharePoint site.
Acknowledging the need for enhanced internal security, Microsoft Teams offers a range of protections that prevent data breaches and unauthorized system access. Microsoft Defender, for instance, interfaces with Teams by scanning and analyzing shared data between two or more channels to determine if it poses a threat to your digital environment. Once Defender deems the content to be potentially harmful, after verifying, you can establish company policies mitigating the issue and removing the malicious content from your ecosystem.
Microsoft Defender grants you access to the “Safe Links” feature within Teams to ensure your staff doesn’t inadvertently click on harmful links shared by an internal user. Another Defender function known as “Safe Attachments” similarly scans files shared in Teams for potentially malicious content to help establish which can be safely opened by recipients. This function is activated in the Teams admin portal, where you set the parameters for handling dangerous attachments.
As an added feature, Microsoft 365’s “Secure Store,” which is accessed within the software’s security center, lets users monitor the device and application security through a centralized dashboard that makes recommendations for your administrators.
Conditional access policies and Microsoft Teams
Since the Teams application provides a well-streamlined interface with the other tools you use in Microsoft 365, like file sharing, calendars, and meetings, you can set conditional access for these applications in addition to Microsoft Teams itself. While the Azure Active Directory supports Teams independently on the cloud, you will still need separate access policies in place for SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype to prevent potential unauthorized access to restricted materials.
Teams provides businesses with several useful compliance features that not only assist with access management but also foster more secure employee usage. Within the compliance center, you’ll discover a range of tools that govern communication compliance. These features let you flag inappropriate content, use eDiscover to explore messages and files in private channels, and they include auditing functions that help you analyze log searches.
The Purview Communication Center in 365 lets you add users to your set policies and frameworks that look for sensitive information as it pertains to regulatory compliance. The feature also allows you to scan your business for potentially offensive content and prevent it from spreading.
Administrators can also prevent certain specific users from communicating with each other, and you can use eDiscover to filter employee searches and other lookups. This purview information barrier feature is new to Teams as of late 2021. For those seeking enhanced compliance, admins can attach sensitivity labels in Teams to control access to sensitive content during collaborative sessions.
Managing sensitive data in Microsoft Teams
The Teams application is highly committed to securing user data and maintaining strict compliance according to your industry’s business IT requirements. All information generated within Microsoft Teams stays within the organization’s specified geographic locations. Teams administrators can examine the regions presently housing your data for their tenant Microsoft 365’s Admin hub by selecting “Data location.”
According to Microsoft, Teams follows these compliance standards:
- ISO 27001
- ISO 27018
- SSAE18 SOC 1 and SOC 2
- EU Model Clauses (EUMC)
The company categorizes Microsoft 365 and Office 365 products into four distinct classifications that define specific compliance commitments that must necessarily be met for any given Microsoft 365 or Office 365 service, or any other related Microsoft service to be listed in their designated categories. In addition, Microsoft Teams supports Cloud Security Compliance, and the details concerning this are discoverable in 365’s Data Production Resource Center.
All approved partners working with Microsoft Teams to administer UCaaS and compliance recording functions are thoroughly vetted and tested to ensure they meet Teams standards. It’s always wise, however, to check the encryption and compliance policies supplied by third-party providers to confirm they meet your specific business requirements.
Consult with PCH Technologies for your Teams data protection resources
For more information on protecting your business from cyber threats and the details of Microsoft Teams’ Cloud Security Alliance, book your free discovery call with PCH Technologies online or dial us now at (856) 754-7500.