Organizations leveraging Microsoft Teams exposed to potential risk

A survey conducted by Exec Survey and iGov Survey, reveals how over 200 unique organizations in the U.K. enabled seamless business continuity amid rapid societal change, where they face security challenges today, and what policies and procedures they are prioritising in the next six months.

organizations using Microsoft Teams

  • Despite a quick pivot to digital, most companies did not have a roll out plan: Since the speed of deployment was crucial to workplace productivity, 75% of organizations deployed Microsoft Teams without proper governance or security in place, leaving them vulnerable to internal and external threats.
  • IT teams express confidence in their collaboration security: 95% of companies believe they are compliant with internal and external regulations. Similarly, only 7% lacked confidence that their digital collaboration deployment was secure from data leaks and unauthorised access.
  • However, only about a quarter are currently doing routine governance, compliance, and security tasks: Annually, just 28% check the settings and membership of Microsoft Teams, to identify potential risks. Only 25% remove guest users, in addition to 22% who can determine who has access to specific data for audits, and the mere 13% who can restore individual files deleted for a year or longer.

“While the speed at which many organizations pivoted to the cloud this year was nothing short of amazing, that may have come with major security trade-offs,” said John Peluso, CPO at AvePoint, and Microsoft Regional Director.

“But I am optimistic because, as our survey revealed, many businesses now have an opportunity to reduce risk in the near and long-term with proper governance solutions in place.”

Only 3% of organizations do not leverage Teams today

Consistent with the over 145 million daily active Teams users Microsoft recently announced, only 3% of companies do not leverage Teams today. Further, regular Office 365 usage jumped from 48% pre-pandemic to now 76%.

  • Increased Microsoft Teams usage is creating more demand for collaboration security, but blockers remain: Despite widespread adoption of new digital communications tools, 43% of companies believe making them compliant is challenging. In fact, 37% want to invest in Teams governance and management in the future to reduce the burden on IT and more confidently ensure they are compliant with regional and industry specific guidelines like records – which only 23% of companies capture across Teams.
  • IT teams experienced heightened demand: 48% of organizations’ IT teams need hours or days to create digital workspaces like Microsoft Teams or SharePoint once requested by employees, which can lead to low adoption and shadow IT. As a result of increased responsibilities, the biggest challenge for 56% of organizations is the surging burden on IT when it comes to managing and servicing new collaboration tools.

“Our digital collaboration survey found that it is near impossible for employees to always comply with relevant policies, and for IT to monitor said activity, especially with the increased responsibilities they’ve taken on over the past year and a half,” said John Hodges, SVP Product Strategy, AvePoint.

“That’s why there is a growing need for governance automation for any company leveraging tools like Microsoft Teams.”

“As more companies adopt cloud-based tools for digital collaboration, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the data created, and who has access to it,” said Nigel Kilpatrick, Country Manager, UK, Ireland and South Africa, AvePoint. “Even as companies return to hybrid work environments, scaling management, governance and compliance remains vital.”

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