Microsoft is preparing a new security feature for its collaboration software Teams that better keep you informed about who you’re trying to contact.
The last addition (opens in new tab) to the Microsoft 365 product roadmap explains that Microsoft Teams users will soon be given “the option to confirm or leave the group chat” when they receive an invitation from outside their organization. The change should take effect sometime next month.
While the roadmap entry provides little detail, it highlights an unnecessary hole in the security armor, which could be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data.
Microsoft Teams chats
Microsoft Teams has enabled users to have group chats and conversations outside of your organization and with personal users for a whilebut it’s never been very good to let them know where an invite comes from.
This is a common problem. Those parts of busy organizations may not recognize a name just because of the size of their workplace, and assume that a stranger is, in fact, a colleague.
The biggest security measure Microsoft has taken to date to protect Teams users from this particular issue is to enable remote access capabilities. This means that the ability to be contacted by all Teams users, regardless of organization, is at the discretion of the leader of the user’s organization.
While the continued shift towards working remotely makes this an extremely useful feature, allowing organizations around the world to collaborate seamlessly online. The new update will be a relief to members of larger organizations, as well as any employee aware of their online safety.
Teams has seen a fair share of Security issues in the past year. While Microsoft has a reputation for quickly resolving these issues once they are announced, and has gone as far as Enable end-to-end encryption in one-on-one conversations, it might seem a little surprising that a simple heads-up feature took so long to implement.
Bugs in a piece of software are inevitable, but when they expose users’ files and informationit’s easy to see how Teams’ remote access features can be abused.
While the upcoming update still depends on some vigilance on the part of the user, it will undoubtedly protect many demanding users from cyber-attacks at work.