Reducing Microsoft Teams security vulnerabilities should be on your priority list if your organization relies on this collaboration tool. In contrast to email and other established tools, Microsoft Teams is still relatively new. That means you need to evolve your IT security processes to manage security risk. There will be some growing pains as you adjust your security methods — that’s the bad news. The good news: These processes are easy to sustain once you have them in place.
1) Monitor Microsoft and Other Sources For Vulnerabilities
The vulnerability management landscape for Microsoft Teams is continually evolving. Since Microsoft regularly receives new updates for the product, each update raises security concerns. There are several techniques you can use to discover these vulnerabilities quickly.
● Monitor Microsoft’s Website and Publications Regularly
Microsoft has extensive websites dedicated to IT security and its various products. Make it a point to visit key reference pages such as “Security and compliance in Microsoft Teams” on the Microsoft website. Besides, you may find it helpful to visit Microsoft Security for news. Set a calendar reminder to check for Microsoft Teams issues and security problems once per month.
● Monitor Third-Party IT Security Resources
While Microsoft is an excellent resource, it should not be your only source of insight about Microsoft Teams’s security vulnerabilities. We also recommend that you subscribe to updates from industry resources such as Krebs on Security and Threatpost. These generalist sources are a helpful supplement since they cover a wide range of IT security issues.
Create a reminder to check these websites regularly or sign up for email updates so you never miss an update. Keep in mind that you will need to exercise professional judgment to determine whether or not a given security issue is relevant to your organization.
● Use IT Security Consultants
Over time, you get used to your organization’s way of doing things. As a result, you may develop IT security blind spots in how you manage Microsoft Teams security. That’s why leveraging support from IT security specialists who know Microsoft Teams deeply is beneficial. They will be able to tell you if there is room for improvement in your vulnerability management, settings and suggest other improvements.
2) Implement A Rapid Vulnerability Management Process
In the process above, you found several ways to discover security vulnerabilities. As the saying goes, knowing is half the battle! Now you need to follow up that knowledge by putting it into action. Assign responsibility for vulnerability management to at least two people in your organization (i.e., a primary person and one backup).
These individuals will have the authority, including administrative accounts, to assess new vulnerabilities and recommend new changes. For this group to operate effectively, they need easy access to IT leaders so changes can be approved quickly.
Tip: Balance the need for speed with quality in your assessment of Microsoft Teams security vulnerability management. Both factors are required to manage issues effectively.
3) Leverage Supporting IT Security Processes To Mitigate The Risk of Security Vulnerabilities
In IT security, you are never going to catch every single problem. There are just too many threats. Instead, it is best to take a risk-based approach by taking reasonable precautions. For instance, if you fail to address a Microsoft Teams security vulnerability for a week, what other processes do you have in place to mitigate that risk? There are several easy options available.
● Actively Manage Your Microsoft Teams User Accounts
Inactive user accounts represent a significant security risk in Microsoft Teams and other applications. By implementing a robust process to detect and reduce inactive user risk, the impact of a delayed fix for a Microsoft Teams security issue will be reduced.
● Train Employees To Improve Their Password Habits
Using weak passwords is going to make every IT security failure much, much worse. For example, if a consumer website is compromised and employees reuse the same passwords at work, your systems are more likely to be compromised. For more tips on this front, take a look at our article: Treating Password Reuse Disease In Three Steps.
● Reduce Reliance on Traditional Passwords With Multi-Factor Authentication
If a hacker only has to break a single password to gain access to your Microsoft Teams content, you have a serious security risk. To mitigate this risk, we recommend you use multi-factor authentication. In some cases, you might want to step up your protection even further and use biometric authentication. For example, it makes sense to require a higher level of authentication (e.g., double-factor authentication) for users who have the authority to approve new user accounts.
● Automate IT security Administrative Tasks
Before your company adopted Microsoft Teams security, you probably had a full agenda of IT security tasks. Therefore, taking on security responsibility for yet another application may feel frustrating or overwhelming. You need a way to lighten the load and maintain high IT security standards. Leveraging thoughtful automation is the best way to go.
Use Apollo, a specialized IT security chatbot, to take care of common IT security tasks like password resets. By shifting this task to Apollo, you will have much more time available to monitor for and address Microsoft Teams’s security settings problems and vulnerabilities.
What If You Need More Resources To Ensure Effective IT Security?
Using the processes and proactive monitoring methods outlined in this article will go a long way toward tightening your defenses. However, there is only so much you can optimize. If your IT security department is underfunded, your overextended team is unlikely to succeed. One way to solve this problem is to obtain better IT security management software tools. However, merely demanding additional budget for those tools is probably not going to work.Instead, you need to develop a detailed business case to obtain funding. While every company has its unique processes, the broad requirements for a business case for software are similar. To save time, reference our short business case guidance: Build Your Business Case for Multi-Factor Authentication in 5 Steps. You can use the exact steps to get support for multi-factor authentication or repurpose them to earn support for another objective.