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New in ShareGate Apricot: Review guest access with the help of owners

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In this release, we’ve made it possible for you to easily remove guests from your tenant with the help of owners, so you can make sure that only the right people have access to the resources in your tenant.

collaboration and productivity tool, Microsoft Teams has surpassed the average chat-based platform by giving users the ability to share files and documents and collaborate on them in real-time. Users create teams and groups to work on internal and external projects, allowing them to collaborate with colleagues and guests (such as freelancers, agencies, and suppliers).

This means that there are guests within your environment with access to everything that’s shared within a specific team or group. But how do you know which teams have guests? And whether the guests in teams such as Chiara’s “Persona review” team should still be there?

Ideally, a team owner oversees all guests who have access to a team or group and ensures the guests have a legitimate reason for being. This helps address the risks posed by external users who may have access to things they shouldn’t. But, it isn’t realistic to expect that every owner instinctively updates their guests’ accesses on a recurrent basis. And it’s likely you won’t have the knowledge needed to confirm the validity of a guest’s presence.

Unfortunately, getting regular access to the necessary information directly from owners using Microsoft’s current tools is either too expensive or labor-intensive.

At ShareGate, we believe that it’s fundamental for IT admins and owners to have the right tools to make sure that people inside and outside your organization only have access to the things they should have access to. It shouldn’t have to come at an extra cost, whether it’s money or time, because it’s a crucial part of ensuring the overall security of the tenant and proper usage of Microsoft Teams.

That’s why, with our latest release, we aim to make it easier for IT admins to validate—directly with owners—that each guest within a team has a reason for being.

Watch ShareGate Apricot’s “Guest reviews” feature in action


Introducing guest reviews in ShareGate Apricot

As the latest addition to the external sharing review policy, ShareGate Apricot’s guest reviews feature gets you the most up-to-date information about the validity of each guest’s presence within teams and groups, directly from owners, via email or with the help of our Microsoft Teams chatbot (coming soon).

This ensures that no information or data remains accessible to people who should no longer have access to it. In turn, you’re better equipped to make the informed decisions needed to keep your tenant secure and organized.

Manage guest access with owners’ help

As part of ShareGate Apricot’s external sharing review policy, the guest review feature allows you to easily remove guests that should no longer be there. Since you might not necessarily know which guests to delete, and when, you can delegate this task to those who know best: team owners. You can ask them to review their guests’ access whenever necessary.

Whether you have 1000 teams or groups with external guests, or only 10, it’s equally important for you to ensure that only the necessary external contributors are given access to the organization’s internal resources.

Let’s say Chiara’s “Persona review” project involves working with Jay, a researcher from an external research company, who has access to her team. Unfortunately, Jay has left for greener pastures, but he’s still shown as a guest in Chiara’s team. You can’t be certain that the research company has revoked all of his accesses, including those to Chiara’s team. The best way to ensure that he can no longer access the team is for you to remove him from it.

Rather than having to do that manually yourself, ShareGate Apricot lets you automate the process. Using the guest review feature, you can ask Chiara to review guests in her team at the frequency you want. This means that if she hadn’t yet removed Jay from her team, she’d be reminded to do so.

The removal of guests is effective immediately once the review is complete, meaning you’ll have nothing else to do on your end! The whole process is super easy and user-friendly.

The complete external sharing review experience

As mentioned above, guest reviews are part of ShareGate Apricot’s overall external sharing review policy. This means that whenever an owner is asked to review their guests, they’ll also be asked to review their externally shared links if there are any.

This thorough review of external contributors and externally shared resources ensures that no sensitive data falls into the wrong hands. Collaborating with owners means you no longer have to second-guess or micromanage guest access and external shares.

How it works

From the Policies section under the Settings tab, simply toggle on “External sharing review”, and set a start date and a frequency of review.

Then, from the Manage tab, you can easily filter to see teams or groups with guests and shared links to review. Simply select the ones you want to ask owners to review and click on “Add to review”.

Guests Add To Review

Owners will receive an email to review both their guests and external links within the defined time period. After they’ve reviewed their guests, they’ll be asked to review their externally shared links, deleting those that are no longer relevant. And once that’s completed, their decisions will be automatically implemented – guests will be kicked out and link to files removed.

External Review Experience

For more information on how this policy works, check out our documentation.

You can also set a custom frequency of review depending on a team’s sensitivity tag. That’ll mean that owners of Highly confidential teams can be asked to review their guests and externally shared links more frequently than those of General teams.

With the latest revamped Dashboard tab, you can easily follow the progress and results of external sharing reviews. That way, you can check which owners haven’t yet completed their reviews, and follow up with them, if needed.

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Coming soon: Ask ShareGate’s chatbot to contact owners for external sharing reviews

We’ve received great feedback about our chatbot, you all seem to really like how easy and seamless of an experience it is for you and your users. It helps get things done, and we’re all for it!

That’s why we’ll soon be introducing this option for external sharing reviews as well. Asking owners to review their guests and externally shared links directly within Teams makes it easier for everyone.

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