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Challenges with federation of Skype for Business on premise with Skype for Business Online

Skype for Business online is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite. It is a Cloud-based Skype for Business service hosted by Microsoft. Like Skype for Business on premise solutions, Skype for Business online allows a federation between Skype for Business environments. A federation is a trusted relationship between Skype for Business environments, allowing communication between the Skype for Business clients from one domain to another.

There is a key difference between the federation configuration of two on premise Skype for Business environments and the federation configuration of a Skype for business on-premise environment with a Skype for Business Online environment. When defining a federation between on-premise environments, you need to specify the exact domain you want to partner, but in an on-premise to Skype for Business online you partner with all Skype for Business domains.

The fact that a federation between Skype for Business on premise with Skype for Business Online opens a federation with over 85 million users and your domain, can be cause for alarm. This is since the outcome of such a federation includes that users from all of Skype for Business online domain can communicate with internal users and see sensitive data about internal users. Such sensitive data includes presence information, phone numbers, work titles, etc.

SkypeShield Ethical Wall Module mitigates this concern by allowing you to define the domain specific policy that protects the privacy of internal users. You can configure that only specific Skype for Business Online that are already in the internal users contact list can send Instant Messages. You can define that only chosen domains from the Skype for Business Online cloud can see the Contact Card information of your Marketing Staff. Thus, eliminating the security and privacy issues caused by federating with Skype for Business Online.

-Article written by Shai Eistein

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