Remote working requirements can mean extra concerns about compliance and security. Luckily, these issues can often be tackled with solutions such as ShareGate Apricot.

ShareGate's Quinn Mason notes that the right automated governance tools can optimise productivity and collaboration in Teams.

Specifically, Mason has outlined how the group sensitivity feature in ShareGate Apricot stacks up against Microsoft's Information Protection unified labelling when it comes to managing Microsoft Teams across an Office 365 environment.

"Our engineers did a tonne of research into container-level data protection while developing our latest ShareGate Apricot release. And a large part of that process included looking at unified sensitivity labelling in the Microsoft 365 compliance centre to understand the capabilities and limitations of that feature," Mason writes in a blog for ShareGate.

"Essentially, what makes them different is the level at which you apply them (defining the scope) and the additional licensing requirements to enable labelling at the group and site level. The two scopes of sensitivity labelling are complementary; to really ensure your organisational data stays secure, it’s a good idea to use a combination of tactics."

Mason says that  built-in sensitivity labels from the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) framework are managed through a single portal, the Microsoft 365 compliance centre, which unifies labelling and protection policy management across AIP, Microsoft 365, and Windows.

You can use sensitivity labels from the MIP framework to enforce protection settings like encryption or watermarks on labelled content and protect Office 365 content across platforms and devices. They can be extended to protect content in third-party apps and services.

MIP sensitivity labels can be used protect containers across Teams, Microsoft 365 groups and Azure AD Premium P1 licensed SharePoint sites.

"Until recently, it was only possible to apply sensitivity labels to emails or documents. Last year, Microsoft introduced the ability to use sensitivity labeling to classify and protect containers," Mason says.

Microsoft Teams can also be secured using ShareGate Apricot’s Group sensitivity feature that lets you apply custom security settings automatically to your teams and Microsoft 365 groups according to their individual sensitivity level.

"You can now manage a Microsoft 365 group or team’s individual security settings directly in-app, giving you more granular control over each team’s security settings - and without the need for an Azure AD Premium license," says Mason.

ShareGate Apricot enables you to ensure external users have access to the right things in Teams, set the privacy status to public or private, and share externally with anyone or a subset of guests and people in your organisation. And there's a chatbot for Microsoft Teams to help out in situ; after all, there are 19 ways to create a Microsoft 365 group.

"If your organisation already has a tonne of existing teams, then micromanaging the security settings of each team can still be a lot of time-consuming work for IT - especially if you’re not in a position to know the sensitivity level of every single team," explains Mason.

"The 'bot will present them with the options you’ve pre-populated as well as each one’s description, making it easy for owners to make an educated decision."

Click here for the full explainer and a feature comparison table.

( Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash )