Microsoft Teams Security and Governance
Prevent Collaboration Security and Governance Fiascos
IT is not prepared for the massive governance and security risks brought on by the explosive adoption of collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These platforms enable users to add guests, share files, and change security settings often without proper governance policies. IT efforts to lock controls give rise to Shadow IT activity or hamper user productivity. This inline guide will walk you through top governance challenges, native security weaknesses, and how to monitor and manage major Microsoft Teams collaboration security and governance.
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Microsoft Teams collaboration security and governance (CSG) are not a simple matter of setting strict DLP or CASB security solutions to protect your data. Collaboration governance covers a broad set of security-related areas: access and usage policies, user and channel management, and flexible automated enforcement. These workstreams flow across all stages of the collaboration experience, making lifecycle management critical to companies. When well-executed, CSG balances security measures with user productivity through consistent policy management and automation across platforms.
As an InfoSec or IT Professional, you’re continuously evaluating and assessing security risks. A large part of this focuses on end-users and their potentially questionable decisions. The goals of end-users are simple: they’re trying to get stuff done. Unfortunately, security risks are an afterthought with end-users at best, whether in Sharepoint, OneDrive, or Teams. In this blog, we outline the security threats present in most businesses.
Watch How to Proactively Manage Microsoft Teams Security and Governance
The Hidden Risk of Collaboration. Risk can originate from several platform starting points including files, chat streams, comments, and meeting transcripts. But the truth is that current and former employees are a massive high-risk area that are often overlooked.
24% of employees are unaware of their company security guidelines. Further, millennials are twice as likely to install apps not approved by IT. The result? 43% of data breaches (half of which are accidental) stem from employees.
Let end users run free, and it’s only a matter of time before something is shared with the wrong person. Download The Ultimate Guide to Collaboration Security and Governance eBook. This covers planning and operationalizing policies, evaluating the digital workplace, multi-platform preparedness, and other best practices.
A common misconception is that Microsoft, Slack, or Zoom already do the heavy lifting to help IT manage security. Although these platforms come with basic governance tools, they don’t provide the full functionality required by enterprise IT admins — for example: enforceability, detailed monitoring & reporting, and adaptive configuration.
Here is what sets PowerSuite apart from the native admin experience:
When using the native Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 default security tools, enterprises become stuck in an endless loop of reactive governance activities. As companies grow, IT needs to scale. Unfortunately, this process results in stalled adoption, budget overruns, security bottlenecks, and chaotic change management processes.
Robust third-party tools like PowerSuite streamline governance monitoring and automate issue identification. This enables organizations to visualize how people, locations and data merge into mini-ecosystems internally and externally. In addition, they help stakeholders responsible for Microsoft Teams governance create a fully compliant lifecycle management framework.
PowerSuite's Industry-Leading Governance Tools
Advanced guest access analytics go beyond out-of-the-box to identify riskier guests, such as those entering your environment from public domains. Track who is accessing Microsoft Teams and for how long.
PowerSuite introduces the ability to drill down and sort/filter teams and users by comprehensive variables (e.g. owner, membership, domain, creation date, etc.).
Analyze multiple risk factors to quantify and benchmark collaboration security with a score based on metrics like classification of a team (confidential, etc.), guest profiles, and data sensitivity of shared content. Easily identify high-risk teams, departments, or users.
Enable more granular policy control with less manual configuration, and choose where to enforce policy compliance with intelligent recommendations. PowerSuite provides multiple policy implementation options including reporting-only, end-user notifications, and IT-approved automation.
Choose from time or activity-based team expiration at the team, custom scope, or tenant level to take control of team sprawl.
PowerSuite examines the portfolio of policies and highlights policy compliance with charts breaking down common violation types.
Easily determine (before a new policy has been switched on) how the policy will change the environment with “what-if” modeling.
Streamline & Scale your Microsoft Teams Collaboration
With our Collaboration Security & Governance RightTrack consulting, our experts will help you to identify your organization’s top risks, as well as set up your collaboration policies. Consider a Teams Governance Design Workshop to create and architect your initial governance framework for Teams and Microsoft 365.
From there, you can establish more detailed governance policies and refine your framework. The endgame is ensuring that your organization can appropriately balance collaboration transparency with data protection and privacy.
Find and prevent governance leaks without holding back your users with PowerSuite.
PowerSuite enables easy discovery and monitoring of security analytics, simplified and flexible policy creation, and manual or automated policy enforcement for Microsoft Teams.
Watch How to Create Proactive Policies for Microsoft Teams Security & Governance
PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services provides 24x7x365 security oversight of your collaboration implementations. This service is made up of 3 core focus areas:
Operations: Active policy creation, assignment, reporting/insights, and enforcement.
Policy Review & Change Management: Tracking current policies vs changes in business practices, and/or vs new Microsoft software updates.
White Glove Team Lifecycle Management: Hands-on Microsoft Teams security and sprawl protection.
Secure Collaboration with PowerSuite Security Analytics & Policy Management
A Governance Checklist for Microsoft Teams Security
The following governance checklist will help enterprise IT and InfoSec teams establish the critical security and governance controls needed to reduce the risks inherent in Microsoft 365, Teams, and other mainstream collaboration platforms.
By allowing any user to create identity objects in Azure Active Directory, Teams adds a new vector for information sprawl. To manage the lifecycle of directory objects and mitigate sprawl, IT should set up naming conventions for Teams. This consistent set of guidelines makes it easier for users to find teams, so they don’t create unnecessary new ones.
Lifecycle Management and Sprawl
Lifecycle management is an extension of identity management and should be used to address the most common governance issue – Teams sprawl. To deal with this issue, IT should create policies around regular access reviews and consider expiration based on last activity date.
Ownership and Membership
The key to ownership and membership policies is ensuring that at least one person is responsible for each team, and that they are being used appropriately, by approved parties. IT can implement governance tools that track membership and ownership levels within each team, and notify administrators when an action needs to be taken.
External Access and Guest Access
Using policies is critical to establish controls for who, how, and to what extent external partners and guests can access Teams. Organizations should also consider an attestation model in which guests are tracked against the person who approved/invited them.
Data Access Control
Data access control is a core element of protecting sensitive information and determining what technology is needed to ensure a secure border around enterprise data. Administrators must be able to define IT personnel’s access to sensitive user data.
Microsoft Teams security and governance solutions seem simple on the surface, however under the covers they are far from turnkey when it comes to scaling up, ensuring a seamless user experience, or enabling advanced functionality. A robust Microsoft Teams governance framework allows IT to ensure that the organization can identify clear criteria for effective governance.
How do you plan for the growth of your organization and its set of teams and data? How will your current size, as well as expected growth, impact Microsoft Teams governance controls?
Every organization uses Teams in a different way. This means Microsoft Teams governance policies (including the rigidity in how they are enforced) need to be able to change to meet unique needs, and to adapt as new business uses are introduced.
Is the framework easily manageable on the admin side? How much manual work is required to define policies, set up alerts, or enforce policies? Do the solutions incorporate AI elements to allow for proactive management?
Monitor, Measure, & Manage Microsoft Teams Security
De-Risk with the 3Ms
The traditional model of controlling user and application permissions is too cumbersome in the modern digital workplace. Old school IT governance approaches to Microsoft Teams security and governance create more pain and simply cause users to shift to shadow IT solutions as a work-around. In the new world, enterprises need to allow user behaviors, but manage exposure using a pairing of proactive monitoring and carefully executed policies.
Rather than jump to a fix, IT focuses first on discoverability using security analytics. The goal is to carefully observe the multi-platform collaboration environment to understand how users and guests are using Microsoft Teams.
IT compares the risk exposure profile with collaboration policies as defined by the corporate governance framework. This gives IT full visibility into whether corporate policies are being followed.
Both IT and end users can jump into action to either remediate or create an exception where governance standards aren’t being met. Flexible workflows (either manual or automated) can be initiated to fit the customized needs of the organization.
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