Microsoft Teams – You can now set policies to prevent users or groups to communicate with each other

If you work in an environment where some information must not be shared with other departments or group of users – such as financial institution where people working on a deal, communication about this deal should not be shared with other departments to avoid potential conflict of interest, Teams now allows you to set a barrier between these department/group of users.

This new capability, called Information Barriers, can be set using the Security & Compliance (SCC) PowerShell.

As this capacity is currently in preview, you must first register to https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=v4j5cvGGr0GRqy180BHbR1UzUQTEgHVPtD9W5uih2OlUMEwwUzhJSktIMUw2SDJJOE5FT1lTVzVTSS4u

Once approved you then will be able to set the required settings and policy.

Then once the policy is applied, defined set of users/groups will be unable to complete communication using Teams if they are violating the policy:

Action

User Experience if policy is violated

Adding Members to a team

The user will not show up in search

Start a new private chat

The chat is not created, and an error message appears

invited a user to join a meeting

The user will not join the meeting and an error message appears

Screen sharing is initiated

The screen share won’t be allowed, and an error message appears

Placing a phone call (VOIP)

The voice call is blocked

When a new information barrier is created, the evaluation service searches across Teams to find any pre-existing communications that may violates the policy:

  • Existing 1:1 chats will become read-only
  • Users will be removed from group chats
  • Team membership will be updated accordingly

During the preview, any customer can create such policy but once in general availability this will requires one these licenses:

  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Office 365 E5
  • Office 365 Advanced Compliance
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance

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