Why Will Teams Win the Extranet? Best Practices for a Secure & Governed Extranet Part 2

Why Will Teams Win the Extranet? 

Best Practices for a Secure & Governed Extranet

19 August 2020 · 5 min read

Microsoft Teams has extensive capabilities to support a secure and governed extranet. Planning such an extranet requires several steps outlined in our previous blog post. Following these steps ensures your extranet supports the degree of external collaboration required by your organization with reduced risks around content and higher adoption.
While Office 365 and Microsoft Teams can serve as an extranet, managing it can be a challenge in its own. Security and permissions are spread out across different administration centers, increasing the risk of error in setting up proper controls and safeguards.
Overcoming these challenges is possible. Below are some of our best practices to ensure your Microsoft Teams extranet is secure and successful.

Consistent Channel and Folder Structure for Optimal Collaboration

Ensuring successful collaboration in an organizational extranet requires optimizing Microsoft Teams structure. An unstructured collaboration platform leads to users placing documents in the wrong location, increasing risk around content. These documents might contain personal or sensitive data, exposing the organization to a potential breach. It also becomes challenging to set up proper security permissions, respond to audits, legal holds, or file transfers.
It is essential for organizations to agree on a structure prior to deploying their extranet. Microsoft Teams is comprised of Teams and Channels. Best practices suggest organizing the platform around each project or matter. Such structure boosts user adoption and increases governance. Internal and external users can easily collaborate and locate content for projects they are working on. For more best practices on structuring Microsoft Teams, look through our whitepapers.
Setting up such a structure can take up resources, as administrators will have to provision each project manually in Microsoft Teams.

Organizations should aim to provision their projects, matters, engagements – whatever they may call them – automatically, with pre-set templates. As a result, they can properly govern the content and ensure optimal collaboration within the extranet.

Tracking Guest Users and External Collaborators to Projects or Matters

Microsoft Teams as an extranet does not operate in a vacuum. As organizations use an increasing number of content systems, integration becomes key to collaboration. One logical integration is Microsoft Teams and the Document Management System (DMS). Integrating these and enabling automatic provisioning allows organizations to properly track projects or associated matters, and assign custom metadata linked to a directory. As a result, each Team has consistent client and/or project (matter) IDs to aid in locating content and improving governance.
Once an organization can track Teams to a project, is also becomes possible to assign and track guest users and external collaborators within the extranet. Setting up access control, permissions, and limiting inappropriate access is easier.

Enforcing Information Barriers to Handle Sensitive Information

Following the secure enrollment of external collaborators and guest users within the extranet, IT administration need to ensure that other personal data within the organization is secured.
Office 365 has powerful tools to enforce Information Barriers, but working across departments, projects, and documents can add up to the complexity. IT administration will need resources to enforce such barriers through complex PowerShell scripting, adding to organizational costs of maintaining the extranet.
An efficient method to address this challenge is automating the process of applying ethical walls and information barriers on a need-to-know basis. As a result, organizations will save time and cost, while reducing the likelihood of human error and increasing governance.

Securely Terminating Access for Collaborators and Guest Users

Organizations should not only aim to securely enroll and grant permissions to guest users and external collaborators, but also terminate it. Termination needs to be carried out upon project/matter completion and across multiple projects (all Teams and Channels for which access was granted) and departments.
Manually deprovisioning access becomes a costly hassle which carries high risk to an organization’s governance. Automating this process on a need-to-know basis increases overall content security and efficiency of the extranet.

How Prosperoware CAM Helps

Prosperoware CAM is an enterprise process & governance platform for content systems in the cloud and on-premises. It enables organizations to improve processes in managing office documents and applying a comprehensive layer of governance over content. CAM’s capabilities ensure that users place documents in the right place, increasing adoption.
As a result, organizations can properly govern content, reducing risks related to privacy and cybersecurity. CAM integrates with a variety of content systems, including Microsoft Teams.
CAM tackles the challenges related to setting up an extranet on Microsoft Teams through:

    • Automatic provisioning of Teams and Channels with consistent templates
    • DMS integration with iManage & NetDocuments to keep track of your projects, clients, and users in a project/matter directory
    • Managing (provisioning & de-provisioning) internal and external users and groups across systems
    • Rich metadata capabilities to ensure identification of appropriate documents for transfer & external sharing
    • Granular guest access control without the need for PowerShell scripting
    • Automatic application of information barriers from iManage SPM and Intapp Walls, and more

See all that CAM can do for Microsoft Teams by watching a 3-minute only demo video here.

Want to see CAM & Microsoft Teams in action?

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