External Sharing in Microsoft Teams
Over the last few months many organisations across the world have turned to MS Teams and other online platforms to do their work. Now that things are slowly opening up and people are returning to their places of work, the need to collaborate (external sharing) and meet with people outside your organisation online still exists.
How can you make sure that happens?
Microsoft Teams has two levels of allowing people outside your organisation, in:
- External Access and
- Guest Access.
What’s the difference, you may ask?
External Access – is turned on by default and allows users from outside your organization to attend meetings, chat during meetings and call, if telephony is enabled.
Guest Access – is turned off by default but when turned on, gives external people access to any Team they have been invited to join. They can then access and collaborate on files, upload files, chat, phone and attend meetings.
Those are the main differences, but let’s dig a bit deeper…
By default, as mentioned, allows your organization to communicate with all external domains, however, this can be changed.
The option to allow or disallow domains is available within the Teams Admin centre. However, one must be cautious, if you list an allowed domain – ALL others are blocked!
The better route may be to disallow certain domains, thus leaving all others accessible.
Other points to note:
- External users have no access to your teams or team resources
- They cannot attach files in meetings
- Cannot access meeting notes or the chat discussion after the meetings are finished
- Cannot collaborate on files within your Teams, unless a file is on the shared screen in a meeting and they add comments/conversation in the chat window.
Guest access allows greater collaboration and sharing of information with people outside your organization, which can be essential to performing your work activities.
It is like allowing guests into your house—they can come in and visit, help out a bit, but they’re not allowed to start changing the infrastructure or go behind locked doors.
Giving people outside your organization access in this manner is safe (Guests have less rights and capabilities than inhouse users), controlled and easily removed if necessary.
Essentially it provides:
- An easy way to allow collaboration outside of your organisation in a controlled way
- The ability for anybody with a business or consumer email account, such as Outlook or Gmail to participate
- And a place for businesses to work together with full access to:
- Team chats
It is included in Office 365 Business Premium, Enterprise and Education subscriptions with a limit of 5 guests per licensed user.
And rest assured, all guest activity can be audited and can be managed securely within Azure AD.
Other points to note:
Following features are not available for guests by design
- OneDrive for Business
- Organisation people search
- Create meetings, access schedules
- Org chart
- Create/edit team
- Browse for team
- Invite non-organisation user
- Upload files to person in chat (can receive files)
- Inline translation.
Managing Guest Access
There are multiple ways to manage Guest access and it can be done from multiple places.
From the Active Directory you can:
- Turn Guest access on or off globally
- Grant or deny access to specific tenants.
For individual Teams, the owner can:
- Control features of guest access to that Team
From the SharePoint and OneDrive Admin Centres:
- The guess access to files can be controlled – allow access to Teams but not the files.
Guest Access settings in Teams Admin Centre:
Are you happy to let Guests in?
Now that you have learnt a bit more about External and Guest access, are you ready to let them into your Teams’ environment?
If you would like to learn more, or have some assistance making sure the right people access the right information whilst continuing to keep your environment safe, do leave a message below and we will be in contact with you as soon as possible.