Microsoft Teams is without a doubt one of the top collaboration platforms out there. Their users love hosting meetings and its deep integrations with other Microsoft products for intuitive collaboration. One of the issues that usually comes around is that companies start using it without having a good notion of how MS Teams should be […]
AGAT Introduces Threat Protection for Collaboration
Security & compliance for Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Webex Teams
Security and compliance are still some of the biggest concerns that today’s companies face when it comes to implementing new tools into their technology stack. For businesses to be truly compliant, they need more than just a strategy for protecting their calls and cloud data, they also need a way to keep collaborative messages secure.
Leading provider of security and compliance solutions for the Unified Communications and Collaboration marketplace, AGAT Software, recently announced the arrival of its first-to-market solution for anti-virus, anti-phishing and threat protection for Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Cisco Webex Teams and soon, Slack. Developed from the SphereShield award-winning flagship product from AGAT, the solution offers real-time scanning of content before it reaches the device of an end-user. The AGAT solution handles everything from authentication and identity to data protection and content inspection.
I caught up with the CEO of AGAT Software, Yoav Crombie, to learn more about the security solution.
What Do Today’s Collaboration Tools Have Security-Wise?
I was keen to find out whether solutions like Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Cisco Webex Teams already have anything in place to protect today’s users. Crombie told me that the options are pretty limited. Skype for Business On Premises has nothing to offer these days, and customers can’t expect to see the arrival of anything new at a time when Microsoft is gradually phasing out Skype for Business completely.
On the other hand, Microsoft Teams has an offering called Advanced Threat Protection, which covers files on SharePoint and OneDrive, but doesn’t cover messages. Microsoft are working to cover this gap shortly but right now, this is missing. Moreover it is not clear if it will cover messages coming from Skype users to Teams. “This means that phishing – one of the most common attack vectors that we see in the market, isn’t covered. Another thing worth noting is that Advanced Threat Protection doesn’t have a great reputation for being a robust anti-phishing and anti-virus option.”
Until September 2019 Webex Teams did not offer to address such requirements, but Cisco have recently announced that they are now offering an integration with their CloudLock CASB product to address anti-virus threats.
Slack does not cover this threat and is expected to be supported by SphereShield by the end of the year.
How Does Your Software Work?
The security and compliance software for Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Cisco Webex Teams from AGAT aims to address the common security and compliance problems in the collaboration space. It’s very easy for dangerous files to appear in today’s collaborative tools.
“People in your team can accidentally send a file or a dangerous link without realising it. Many of these platforms now also offer guest access too, and an authenticated guest could send a file that’s potentially dangerous”
AGAT software has two modes of protection available for today’s users. The first option is the real-time mode, which is the most practical choice for threats. This server-side solution requires no client-side installation because AGAT Software acts as a proxy between the server and client. “The content reaches our solution either by using our tech or APIs, and then it’s sent through to an inspection point using our built-in engine, or a third-party engine.”
AGAT also supports a non-intrusive form of easy-to-deploy content scanning via APIs, but Yoav noted that taking this route could mean that businesses have to accept the fact that they could be acting too late.
SphereShield detects viruses, trojans, worms and all kinds of malware, spyware and adware, screen capture malware, botnets, ransomware, crypto-mining malware as they happen – therefore keeping your users and data safe from harm.
What Happens When a Threat is Detected?
I was interested to learn what happens in the AGAT Software environment when a threat is detected on a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, or Cisco Webex Teams. Yoav told me that it depends on the route you take with the tool. In a real-time case, the content won’t be downloaded, and the user will receive a message highlighting the issue that was identified. There’s also back-office capabilities where users can dive deeper into the nature of the problem.
“We can send notifications through IM and other alerts and offer a wide range of security auditing capabilities. What happens to the virus will depend on the anti-virus engine that you’re using. Our engine deletes the virus immediately”
AGAT Software offers a lot of freedom to companies when it comes to how they’d like to use the service. The company integrates with third-party vendors like McAfee, and Symantec, so users can continue to use their own third-party anti-virus solutions if they want to or leverage the AGAT service.
Yoav noted that AGAT Software is also offering a built-in anti-virus engine based on an open-source for quick and easy deployment
What’s Next for AGAT Software?
So far, the AGAT Software proposition for things like Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, Skype for Business and soon Slack, is an attractive offering for today’s brands. There’s no high cost of ownership to worry about, and businesses can access the product either in SaaS form or through the cloud. “Some users prefer to install the solution on-site, and some prefer as-a-service because they don’t have the resources to install it themselves.”
The flexible deployment options means that companies of any size or background will be able to access the solution that they need. In the future, AGAT Software is also thinking of adding more popular vendors into their list of partners such as support for Slack, to cover more of the UC market.