How to stay compliant with Microsoft Teams
How to stay compliant on Microsoft Teams
A big part of scaling up any UC platform is strengthening your compliance measures
When businesses make the switch to remote and hybrid work, one key concern always comes up: compliance—particularly security compliance.
While remote workers should be able to access data, communications, and files without difficulty, all that sensitive information also needs to be kept secure. In industries such as healthcare or finance, where there are strict regulations around data security, this is even more important. Businesses need to be extra careful about how data is managed, stored, and shared.
So, if you use a communications and collaboration platform for conferencing, messaging, and file sharing, how can you ensure a high level of security? In the case of Microsoft Teams, the ecosystem includes a variety of tools to maintain high levels of security compliance, regardless of industry.
With that in mind, here are five simple steps you can take to maintain compliance on Microsoft Teams:
Information Barriers and Communication Compliance:
The first place you should check is Microsoft’s Purview Compliance Center. This tool is located in the Microsoft Teams ecosystem and is specifically designed to help business leaders with their compliance strategies.
Admins can use the Communication Compliance solution in the center to add specific policies, designed to monitor Teams communication for sensitive information. They can even be configured to watch for offensive language or other keywords you want to avoid.
Additionally, admins can set up Information Barriers that keep certain people or groups from communicating, to proactively make sure nothing leaks. These can be added to group conversations and one-on-one chats, or implemented at a team level, and users can set policies for features like eDiscovery for greater control over who can see what information.
Setting up Communication Compliance helps business leaders monitor their communications to stay a step ahead of potential risks, creating a solid start for security compliance.
Retention Policies, Data Loss Prevention, and Legal Hold
Microsoft Teams also includes several features for setting retention policies, managing data, and holding data for managing litigations. Each of these is a useful tool for ensuring security and compliance with all relevant regulations, and any organization looking to ensure data security should put them to use.
Companies can set their own retention policies through Zettabytes within Microsoft Teams to retain important information, whether it’s for regulatory, legal, or business purposes. They can also determine how long information is saved, and remove content whenever it’s necessary. This facility can only be done with the E5 license.
Microsoft Teams also offers Data Loss Prevention within the Purview Compliance Center. Organizations can use it to minimize the risk of data leaks by protecting sensitive information and documents through policies designed to make sure no one shares data with the wrong groups.
Additionally, companies can use legal hold options within Teams, which is particularly helpful for managing litigation processes. Admins can place specific user mailboxes or teams on a legal hold, using customizable data retention policies.
When a hold is set, Microsoft Teams makes sure that messages are maintained and available during eDiscovery searches, even if the user deleted or edited the originals. Users can find Microsoft’s retention policies and instructions for implementing holds in the Microsoft Purview Compliance Center, so it’s easy for admins to find and use.
Sensitivity Labels and Customer Keys
Another useful tool for protecting and managing sensitive data is the ability to add sensitivity labels and customer keys.
Sensitivity labels help companies protect and regulate access to sensitive content, giving them labels for privacy, guest access controls, and access management.
Customer keys, meanwhile, add a layer of encryption to content. Customer keys encrypt specific pieces of information, such as Teams chat messages, meeting recordings, or call recordings, so they can only be decrypted and accessed by those with permission.
Both of these features are helpful tools for keeping sensitive content marked and secured to keep them away from any unauthorized viewers.
Content Search and eDiscovery
On a similar note, Microsoft Teams makes it easy to keep track of critical information with content search and eDiscovery tools.
eDiscovery is used for identifying, accessing, and managing information such as messages, files, meetings, and call summaries, whether it’s needed for litigation, auditing, or reviews. Information is electronically stored and can be managed from the Microsoft Purview environment.
This function includes content search capabilities and filters for Teams-only content, which helps sort through large amounts of data. All that data can then be exported for ease of access without compromising security.
Last but not least, Microsoft Teams includes a comprehensive audit log, which can be used in the Microsoft Purview Compliance Center. With the audit log, business leaders can set alerts, get audit reports, and export information should they need it. Additionally, Team leaders can set up alerts for log data in the compliance portal, filter it, and export it for analysis.
It’s a comprehensive auditing tool, allowing users to search data from each Microsoft environment, including Teams, Outlook, and other web-based applications. Admins, team leaders, and managers can make use of the tool to make sure their teams and employees are all handling sensitive data carefully and staying compliant with company guidelines.
All of these tools are excellent ways of maintaining security compliance on Microsoft Teams, especially as remote and hybrid work grows. When used along with the built-in privacy and security solutions in the Microsoft ecosystem, they can help businesses meet security regulations across industries. However, perhaps the most important key to security compliance is diligence and training—employees need to know what security regulations are in place, how they can follow them, and what to watch out for.
With the right tools and training in place, you can work remotely without fear, staying compliant with your security standards every step of the way.
Ensuring Compliance on Microsoft Teams
As businesses transition to remote and hybrid work environments, maintaining compliance, especially in terms of security, becomes a key concern. This is particularly important in industries with strict data security regulations such as healthcare and finance. Microsoft Teams offers a variety of tools to help businesses maintain high levels of security compliance regardless of the industry.
A solicitor may find Teams more suitable than WhatsApp for several reasons:
If you are using WhatsApp for communicating with clients, Teams can be used and is allot safer. The value Add that it will bring to your business in massive.
Comprehensive Collaboration Platform: Teams offers a broader range of features beyond messaging, providing solicitors with a comprehensive collaboration platform. It includes file sharing, video conferencing, document collaboration, project management, and integration with Microsoft 365 tools like Word, Excel, and SharePoint. This makes it a more versatile solution for managing complex legal matters and working collaboratively with colleagues.
Professionalism and Privacy: Teams is designed for professional use, offering a more polished and business-oriented interface compared to WhatsApp. Using Teams for client communication can help maintain a level of professionalism expected in legal practice. Additionally, Teams prioritizes security and compliance, providing features like data encryption and multi-factor authentication, which are crucial for safeguarding sensitive client information.
Team Collaboration and Case Management: Teams facilitates effective team collaboration through features such as team channels, document storage, and task management. Solicitors working on cases involving multiple team members can benefit from the organizational structure provided by Teams, ensuring smooth communication, document sharing, and task coordination.
Integration with Legal Tools and Services: Teams allows for customization and integration with various third-party applications and services. Solicitors can integrate legal research tools, case management systems, and other relevant software into their Teams environment. This streamlines workflows and consolidates resources within a single platform, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
Accessible and Mobile-Friendly: While Teams is available on desktops, it also provides mobile apps, allowing solicitors to stay connected and collaborate on the go. This flexibility is essential for legal professionals who frequently need to communicate and access case-related information outside the office.
Support and Training: As a product from Microsoft, Teams benefits from the support and resources provided by the company. Solicitors can access training materials, online resources, and customer support channels to resolve any issues or gain a better understanding of the platform.
When comparing WhatsApp and Teams for a solicitor's use, here are some key points to consider:
Ease of Use: WhatsApp is a widely-used messaging app with a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy to communicate with clients, colleagues, and other parties involved in legal matters.
Mobile Accessibility: WhatsApp is primarily a mobile app, allowing solicitors to conveniently communicate on the go using their smartphones.
Instant Messaging and Voice Calls: WhatsApp offers text messaging and voice calling features, enabling quick and direct communication with clients and colleagues.
End-to-End Encryption: WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption for messages, offering a high level of security and privacy.
Multimedia Sharing: WhatsApp supports the sharing of documents, images, audio files, and videos, making it useful for exchanging legal documents and evidence.
Client Convenience: Many clients are already familiar with and actively use WhatsApp, making it a convenient channel for solicitors to communicate with clients who prefer this platform.
Comprehensive Collaboration Platform: Teams offers a broader range of features beyond messaging, including file sharing, video conferencing, document collaboration, and project management. This makes it a more comprehensive solution for solicitors handling complex cases or working with a team.
Integration with Microsoft 365: Teams seamlessly integrates with the Microsoft 365 suite, allowing solicitors to access and collaborate on legal documents using familiar tools like Word, Excel, and SharePoint.
Enhanced Security and Compliance: Teams prioritizes data security and compliance, providing features such as data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and adherence to industry-specific regulations.
Team Collaboration and Case Management: Teams offers robust team collaboration features, such as team channels, document storage, and task management, making it beneficial for solicitors working in collaborative environments or managing multiple cases simultaneously.
Customization and Extensibility: Teams can be customized with various third-party app integrations, allowing solicitors to tailor the platform to their specific needs, such as incorporating legal research tools or case management software.
Ultimately, the choice between WhatsApp and Teams for a solicitor depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the solicitor and their legal practice. WhatsApp may be suitable for simple and direct client communication, while Teams offers a more comprehensive collaboration and case management platform. Assessing the specific needs, security considerations, and integration requirements will help in making an informed decision. The reality is as a professional organisation ‘Security’ is the main concern and your data integrity is of paramount importance. Damage limitation has to be a key factor. At Zettabytes we recommend Teams across all platforms for data security.