How secure is your Microsoft Teams? – Steve Nesbitt – Ep129

Over the last few weeks the use of collaboration tools has grown exponentially as they have become critical to enterprises of all types to enable their staff to continue to work together and to keep business moving in these most challenging of times. Many of them have moved from business tools to household names, now everyone knows what a Zoom meeting is and of course, we are all familiar with the phrase “living in Microsoft Teams”.

These tools have had to be delivered, out of necessity, rapidly across enterprises big and small, but one of the problems with rapid deployment is often the project norms that would be used to roll out a new service have had to be circumvented to meet business demands. For some of these platforms that is not such a huge problem, they are standalone and while tools that allow wide-scale collaboration and sharing inherently introduce risk they tend to put at risk the data that is moved to them. Teams is different, it is much more widely integrated across an enterprise impacting multiple parts of Microsoft’s 365 infrastructure.

While Teams itself is an excellent collaboration tool, easy for users to work with and to work together on, its backend complexity can be a challenge, especially as much of that complexity is hidden from not only users but administrators too which leads to increased risks that can impact your sensitive data assets.

That problem has inspired this week’s show, my guest is Steven Nesbitt of Varonis, Steve has been with them for about a year, but before that had worked for Microsoft with a particular focus on SharePoint. Recently I recorded a video with Steve (you can find that here) highlighting some of the challenges and risks that deploying Teams can present and I thought it would be great to get that information shared on the podcast too, so here it is!

We cover.

  • What is teams and why does it exist?
  • Teams simplicity is part of the problem!
  • The Teams security conundrum.
  • What creating a Team really does?
  • Teams “sprawl”.
  • How do you keep an eye on Teams usage?
  • Native tools and their limitations.
  • What Varonis can add to Teams to secure your “sensitive data”.
  • Teams is not “full of holes” but you need to know where the risk lies.
  • Teams can both enable “transformation” and limit it – just putting it in the cloud is not enough!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve spoken with many organisations who have rolled out Teams and have all been unaware of some of the challenges it poses, I’m hoping this podcast and Steve’s eagerness to help to educate those using Teams will help all of us mitigate the risks that it presents so we can use this extremely powerful product without putting our data assets at risk.

To find out more from Steve you can follow him on LinkedIn and you can find out more about how Varonis can help on their website.

If you’d like to contact me, either with an idea for a show or would like to appear as a guest you can contact me on twitter @techstringy or email the show at

Until next time, thanks for listening.

If you’d like to watch Steve’s video demo of Teams and how Varonis can help secure it, here it is.

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