Team messaging platforms have become especially popular with the growth of remote workforces. This is especially true during the changes brought about by the global pandemic, which have focused on social distancing.

For businesses in Sydney and throughout Australia, this has meant the need to implement cloud communication platforms fully. They keep employees in touch with their coworkers, customers, and their workloads.

Cloud solutions also help to ensure technology success and resilient business operations during unexpected times, like the one we’re in now.

With about 13 million daily users, Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular team collaboration platforms. It incorporates real-time chat, video and audio calls, live stream conferences, and file sharing.

But did you know Teams also provides important data security benefits?

This is especially important when you have staff spread out and working from different locations. Whether you have several offices or several employees telecommuting from home, trying to instill policies for data security and compliance is challenging.

What happens when:

  • Files are saved to the hard drives of personal computers?
  • Customer communication trails aren’t being captured in one place?
  • Sensitive information is accidentally shared with unauthorized users?
  • Several copies of the same confidential document are created?

We’ll go through how Teams can help with all of the above scenarios and provide benefits beyond just team communication.

Ways that You Can Improve Information Handling with Teams

Preventing data breaches and inadvertent “data leakage” requires content security policies. These include the ability to know where all your company files and communications are and secure who can access them based upon their level of sensitivity.

Here are the ways that you can deploy Microsoft Teams for document security.

#1 Know Where All Your Files & Communications Are

Microsoft Teams keeps all your company communications and files in one place.

Teams connects to both OneDrive and SharePoint in Microsoft 365. The free version of Teams also includes 10 GB of team file storage and 2 GB of personal file storage per person.

Why is this important? Because it gives you a place to keep all company files and communications, no matter where your employees are creating that content.

For example, when working on a sensitive Word document, employees can access and collaborate on the file within the Teams interface. There is one copy of the file that is stored in your company’s cloud storage through Teams, instead of multiple versions of the same sensitive content being saved on multiple employee computers.

This reduces the risk that the file will be compromised. It is also much more efficient and mitigates the time wasted going through file versions.

When you capture all company content in one place, you’re able to secure it. Teams enforces organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data both in transit and at rest.

Have employees save documents, emails, and all other communications within Teams. These can include:

  • Documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.)
  • Video/Audio calls
  • Emails (by forwarding to a Teams chat channel)

#2 Prevent Unauthorized File Sharing with Sensitivity Labels

Sensitivity labels have been in force for a while in Microsoft Office applications. They allow you to tag content based upon sensitivity and then apply security policies based on those tags.

This capability is currently in roll out with Microsoft Teams. Applying sensitivity labels to Microsoft Teams sites, allows you to automatically control the information shared within that team.

By assigning a sensitivity label to your team sites as they’re created in Teams, you can do the following:

  • Control who has access to that chat channel/team group
  • Designate whether or not that team can add guest users
  • Restrict who can access/share information within the chat channel
  • Control how team data can be accessed from unmanaged devices

#3 Improve Compliance Using Information Barriers

There are certain situations, especially in the financial, legal and HR sectors, where certain departments need to have communication restricted.

An example would be an innovation department and a sales department. You wouldn’t want an overexcited salesperson touting a new product benefit to a customer before it had been fully tested and fleshed out.

There are also areas where conflict of interest can arise. For instance, you may want to maintain the confidentiality of client information obtained by a firm’s lawyer from being accessed by another lawyer at the same firm representing a different client.

In these cases, using information barriers in Teams can provide a big benefit.

Information barriers allow you to control which groups or individuals can connect with each other within the Microsoft Teams interface.

You can restrict things like:

  • Ability to see each other in the platform
  • Ability to chat, message, and file share
  • Ability to screen-share during video meetings
  • Ability to share any data outside of a specific group

Get Help Customizing Teams for Efficiency and Security

By requiring your staff to communicate through Teams, then employing Information barriers and/or sensitivity labels, you can gain better control over your document and communication security.

NetCare can help your Sydney area business customize your Teams platform to fit your workflow and security and compliance needs.

Contact us today to learn more. Call (02) 9114 9920 or reach out online.