New Guest Access Update to Microsoft Teams: Are You Ready?

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Blog, Home Page, News

Guest Access within Microsoft Teams allows you to add external players outside of your organisation to particular teams and channels, with the ability to view, collaborate and share documentation inside and outside of the business.

Up until now, Guest Access within Microsoft Teams has always been turned off by default.

Team owners with specific permissions, along with IT admins, have always had to turn on guest access in order to add an external guest – and it would typically take a few hours for the changes to take effect.

Most other users attempting to add an external guest to a team would be presented with the message “Contact your administrator,” which means guest access is not turned and they would need to go through the necessary approval processes to add an external party to a Team.

Guest Access Microsoft Teams

Not anymore.

As of 08 February 2021, Microsoft is turning on Guest Access in Microsoft Teams by default.

This is applicable for all new customers as well as existing customers who are yet to configure the guest access setting. Which means any user can add an external contact to any team. At any time.

While this update will make it easier to work with parties outside your organisation, it can also present a massive security headache.

What You Can Do About It

If you have not configured Guest Access in Teams, this new functionality will be enabled automatically in your tenant. Furthermore, all new tenants will be enabled with Guest Access turned on.

ProvisionPoint 365 users, however, have nothing to worry about. Why? Because all administrators can easily control which Teams can have guest access enabled. End users can be empowered to request new Teams with simple choices regarding guest access, using business language which they understand. Pre-defined templates can also be configured with different guest access rules, for example, Teams used for projects may want the option to enable guest access. Conversely, we do recommend that guest access should definitely be disabled for internal Teams which contain confidential information

Screenshot of Team Privacy in ProvisionPoint 365

Many organisations choose to leverage other features in ProvisionPoint 365 to implement wider governance rules for Teams guest access. This can include requesting additional information from users to ascertain why they require guest access to be enabled, specific authorisation workflows, lifecycle policies and naming conventions to highlight a Team has been externally shared.

Screenshot of External Team in ProvisionPoint 365

Following this Microsoft update, if you want guest access to remain disabled for your organisation, you’ll need to confirm that the guest access setting is set to “Off” instead of “Service default.” Of course, if you already have guest access turned on, no action is required.

Microsoft explains the update in more detail here.

If you need any help with configuring Guest Access within ProvisionPoint 365 or Microsoft Teams, simply get in touch today and we’d be delighted to help.

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