How to safely use MS Teams guest access

If you’ve been using Microsoft Teams and keeping up to date with the news you will know that MS Teams has been growing rapidly recently. A big part of this success is Microsoft’s great attention to detail. It’s not just a chat collaboration and productivity application. Microsoft Teams offers high level security, support for very large events, and secure guest access to connect with people outside your organisation.

That latter feature been very useful if you have been trying to maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic by working from home.

With Microsoft Teams guest access you can add individual users from outside your organisation to Teams channels. If you have a new customer you can start a dedicated channel to stay in touch, provide ongoing support and utilise cross-sell and up-sell. In order to use the guest access in a safe way we provide you with some guidelines.

What to do when using MS Teams guest access

Use guest access if you want to give someone access to shared files and folders through MS Teams. But if you want to communicate with an external user without opening content on SharePoint, OneDrive or any of your Office 365 apps then use external access (federation).

You can use guest access if you want to block an individual user or keep the option open for the future. Remote access (federation) does not allow you to block users. It is important to keep this requirement in mind.

Configure your organisational settings on MS Teams for all guest users. Currently guest access follows organisational settings and cannot be configured on a per-user basis.

Make sure to inform your guest about access restrictions. The feature is for people outside of your organisation but within your personal or professional networks. Guest access can raise certain expectations so it is important to inform them about guest access restrictions such as they cannot create new teams, no file upload for 1-on-1 chat as examples.

Verify the sharing settings on SharePoint as this is your primary content platform. You can set this up for access by everyone, any guest, existing guests, or internal users only.

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How to safely use MS Teams guest access


What not to do using MS Teams guest access

Don’t use Microsoft Teams guest access if they are not intended for group chats. Remote access (federation) can help connect with individual users while retaining control over the group chat.

Also do not bother configuring guest access if you are using the default settings for Azure Active Directory, SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365 Groups. Default settings mean that guest access is already configured.

Make sure that the “Guests can invite” option is not set to yes. Microsoft Teams does not (yet) have a guest invite role, so this feature will not work.

Also do not forget to set the “Let group owners add people outside the organisation to groups” box to on. Enabling this setting is a requirement to activate guest access on Microsoft Teams.

Don’t try to add an endless number of guests. Microsoft Teams supports five guests per licensed user so check with your administrator before using guest access.

Tech-Wales Office 365 Consultancy

At Tech-Wales we are experts in integrating MS Office 365 into your organisation including MS Teams. Our Microsoft 365 consultancy services and business IT support can benefit your business and will save you time and money. Our experienced and client friendly staff will ensure that MS Office 365 will be smoothly integrated into your organisation and will develop additional features to make sure Office 365 is tailor made to your organisation. Feel free to contact us today to discuss your requirements.