Application security, Cloud Security

Majority of Microsoft Teams users send business-critical documents and data on the platform

The Microsoft Booth at the Cultivate Conference At The House Of Vans In Chicago On August 25, 2018. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Create & Cultivate)

Hornetsecurity on Thursday reported that 45% of Microsoft Teams users surveyed frequently send out confidential and critical information on the platform and 51% send business-critical documents and data via Teams.

The survey also found that 48% of all respondents sent messages on Teams they should not have. Of this group, 88% had been trained on how to use collaboration solutions. This highlighted the need for increased and improved training on how to use Teams and the risks of sending sensitive data.

Some 70% of respondents also exchange more direct messages with colleagues via user chats in Teams as opposed to group channel conversations, which Hornetsecurity researchers said pointed out the need for security pros to stop overlooking backup and security for user chats.

"The increasing use of chat services has changed the way many now conduct work,” said Daniel Hofmann, chief executive officer of Hornetsecurity. “With this change, the risk of data loss has unfortunately increased. Companies must have adequate safeguards in place to protect and secure business data. Otherwise, they run the risk of productivity, financial, and data loss.”

Mike Parkin, senior technical engineer at Vulcan Cyber, added that chat systems have been a convenient way to interact with colleagues for years and the latest generation of chat and sharing platforms (Teams, Slack) have made it even easier. However, Parkin said it’s also made it easier for data to wind up where it doesn’t belong.

“Whether it’s forgetting that there are outsiders in a group chat, or pasting a document into the wrong direct message window, these platforms are an easy place for a simple mistake to turn into a headline-generating event,” Parkin said. ”User education can help here, but organizations need to review their policies and implement what tools they can to minimize the risks.”

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