Working business applications into Microsoft Teams, part 2

Working business applications into Microsoft Teams, part 2

In May 2020, Microsoft Teams upped the ante for the unified communications platform landscape when it came out with beefed-up security features. These were critical features, considering some of its most popular competitors experienced a lot of backlash related to their susceptibility to cyberthreats.

With many Miami businesses shifting to work from home arrangements in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the demand for an easy-to-deploy and secure communication and collaboration platform has grown. Microsoft has managed to meet both requirements without sacrificing either flexibility or computing power.

Why data protection matters

Practically all organizations nowadays are under huge pressure to protect consumer and company data. The pressure is twofold — first is to meet industry regulations and standards, but more importantly, to ensure that the business’ stakeholders aren’t exposed to threats. And the threat horizon is no laughing matter — in the first six months of 2019 alone, there were over 3,900 recorded data breaches. This was equivalent to over 4.1 billion data records compromised in just 180 days. And those were just the publicly disclosed data breaches.

Needless to say, data protection is a huge factor for companies trying to map their respective IT systems. This has rightfully put business software and productivity apps under intense scrutiny, which has thankfully led the top software developer in the world to raise the bar.

Related article: How to strengthen cybersecurity for remote workers

Microsoft Teams’ security features

Microsoft Teams is built on the foundations of Microsoft 365 and Office 365’s hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud platform. It was also designed around secure transmission of data, so you can be assured that all business information is protected from threats.

  • Security roadmap
    Microsoft has issued a security roadmap for businesses deploying Teams to follow. This roadmap outlines security outcomes to maximize tools and features found in the 365 environment. The recommendations are staged across three phases (see below) in a logical order, so that users can plan for deployment and proper implementation, for maximum effect.

    • Phase 1: Within the first 30 days of use
      In this phase, it is recommended that rapid configuration of Teams be commenced. This involves activating basic admin protections, logging and analytics tools, basic identity protections, and tenant configuration. It is also during this phase when stakeholder information is prepared for the app’s use.

    • Phase 2: Within the first 90 days of use
      In phase 2, users are tasked to activate advanced protections such as admin accounts, data and user accounts, and visibility tools for compliance, threat response, and user needs. It is also at this time when default policies and implementations are adapted and implemented.

    • Phase 3: Beyond 90 days of use
      Beyond 90 days, users are tasked with adjusting and refining key policies and controls. It is also recommended that they extend protections to on-premises dependencies and integrate with other business and security processes.

  • Related article: Gain some peace of mind with Microsoft 365 Business’s security features

  • Compliance
    Compliance is also a key feature of Microsoft Teams; because the 365 environment is geared towards regulatory compliance, you can be assured that Teams carries the same level of robustness.

    The Microsoft 365 system has a compliance center where you can review your business’s Microsoft Compliance Score card. This card calculates a risk-based score that measures your business’s progress toward complete compliance. This way, you can see at a glance how your organization is moving along in terms of meeting data protection and regulatory standards.

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