Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Releases Information Barriers v2 with New Features for Enhanced Architecture


In a recent article, we introduced the definitive guide to information barriers, a comprehensive guide designed to help you manage your organization’s communication policies more effectively. A few days ago Microsoft released Information Barriers v2. Here’s a look at the features included in this new version and other options for businesses looking to improve their compliance skills.

But before that, let’s go through a quick overview of Microsoft Information Barriers’ purpose and functions, and what are the missing capabilities in v1 that are targeted by IB v2. 

What is Microsoft Information Barriers

Microsoft Information Barriers is a platform designed to help companies meet compliance requirements by allowing for the implementation of policy-driven controls for internal communications. The goal of the policies allowed by the platform is to create separations (or “barriers”) between different groups or individuals within an organization, in order to prevent potentially risky interactions and communications from happening. 

Microsoft Information Barriers v2 is aimed at expanding the set of tools offered by the platform, allowing for more scalability and flexibility. However, there are still a few downsides to the platform that we will discuss further on. By the end of this article, we will talk about how companies can access a more comprehensive set of features to accomplish their compliance goals.

New Features in Information Barriers v2

Features added in this new version of Information Barriers mostly focus on enhancing the platform’s architectural capabilities. 

Let’s take a closer look at them:

Large-scale segment support

Segments are crucial tools of IB. By leveraging user attributes, they allow you to divide your organization into more manageable units. This helps ensure data security, making data accessible only to those who need it.

The previous version of IB only allowed for 250 segments within each organization. In v2, this number has significantly increased: you can create up to 5,000 segments. While a simple structure of segments based on departments may suffice for smaller organizations, this new feature allows for bigger scalability, which makes it crucial for those companies that are in the process of growing.

Multi-segment support

Until now, IB only allowed each user to be part of one segment. Now, in the multi-segment mode in Information Barriers v2, they can be assigned up to 10 segments.

This represents an important upgrade, especially when organizations become more complex and they need to support different operational scenarios. With this new feature, you can get more diverse communication rules between individuals and groups. 

Flexible user discoverability

With IB v2 administrators can enable or disable user discoverability restrictions. When the user discoverability restriction is turned off, users can discover each other in the people picker, no matter what their IB policies are. Administrators can disable user discoverability restrictions by using Security & Compliance PowerShell.   

These are the 3 new features of Microsoft Information Barriers v1. 

Mainly, the goal of this new version is to tackle some of the architectural downsides of Microsoft Information Barriers. Larger and more sophisticated segment support, as well as the flexibilization of user discoverability restrictions, are all features that are aimed at giving users more flexibility when managing their communications. 

Microsoft Information Barriers v2: Some Limitations To Take Into Account

In an ever-shifting, highly-competitive business landscape the increased scalability and flexibility provided by these new features will be welcomed by many companies. Unfortunately, Microsoft Information Barriers v2 still has a few downsides that need to be taken into account, especially for companies that need to deal with complicated compliance requirements and manage sensitive data.

Despite having focused on expanding segment-related capabilities, the policies that can be set up still only apply to internal users. In an era in which external collaborations are so crucial for most companies, this is not a minor issue. In IB v2, external team members are still allowed to add members of opposing segments to a meeting.  

Also, managing Microsoft Information Barriers requires ongoing attention and monitoring, which tends to add administrative burdens to IT departments. Analyzing and solving problems is a time-consuming, complicated task. Most of the process is done by Microsoft, which prevents organizations from taking control of it.

AGAT Information Barriers Solution: Granular Control to Manage Sensitive Data 

For many organizations, Microsoft Information Barriers may not be enough to meet their compliance goals and needs. A lot of companies, especially those in highly-regulated industries, need to be able to granularly block communications. Bearing this in mind, AGAT Information Barriers solution was designed to significantly improve companies’ capacity to manage sensitive data. 

AGAT Information Barriers solution distinguishes itself for its real-time proactive approach. This makes a lot of sense in a world in which digital working environments are extremely dynamic. Messages and information are constantly flowing in every direction, so inspecting communications in near-real time is key to preventing unwanted incidents from taking place. 

AGAT Information Barriers features are aimed at giving companies better tools for controlling and managing data in Microsoft Teams. 

Granular control 

Based on the context of each communication, dynamically block or mask all types of content: messages, files, images, calls, or shared screens. 

Compliance accuracy

Address specific and complex compliance issues without compromising performance. 


Significantly improve security and data governance capacities.

Anticipate threats

Identify potential threats in near-real time and address them before they can cause damage. 

All in all, with its real-time time monitoring capabilities and its comprehensive features, AGAT Information Barriers solution allows you to limit the risk of data breaches and insider threats much more effectively.  

Check out this video to see the solution in action:

Information Barriers for MS Teams (Ethical Wall) – Granular Block File Sharing, Messages, & more


The launching of Microsoft Information Barriers v2 is good news for companies that are looking for more scalability and flexibility in their communication management. Despite its virtues, this new version of Microsoft’s Information Barriers solution still presents a few downsides in terms of meeting more sophisticated compliance requirements and managing sensitive data.

If you want to ensure effective management of your communication policies, AGAT Software is your best ally. In our digital era, regulations and compliance are getting more complex by the day.

Do not hesitate to give your compliance capabilities a boost. Contact us and our team will show you a short demo of AGAT Information Barriers solution.  

Ethical Wall

Breaking Down the Benefits of Information Barriers Across Multiple Sectors

Table of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Ethical Walls: What Are They?
  3. Ethical Walls Are Not Only for the Financial Industry
  4. Financial and Services Trading
  5. Healthcare
  6. Education
  7. Law Firms
  8. Other Industries
  9. Choosing an Ethical Wall or Information Barrier Provider, Our Recommendation:
  1. Conclusion


Information Barriers (Ethical Walls) are a term that denotes the capability to specifically restrict communications for regulatory or other business purposes.

While many in the compliance and GRC areas are very familiar with this, a lot of people do not fully understand its potential benefits and how many industries can gain from implementing ethical walls or information barriers inside their organization.

Ethical Walls: What Are They?

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As mentioned in the introduction, Ethical Walls serve the purpose of establishing limits in the internal or external communications of the company. The big question is, what does it solve? 

First, let’s take a look at the things that Ethical Walls (Information Barriers) should do:

  1. Limiting file sharing inside organizations.
  2. Limiting external communications with third parties, customers, outside employees, etc.
  3. Act in real-time to block communications not allowed by the company, e.g.: from small-ranked employees to the CEO.
  4. Provide a comprehensive log of blocked communications.

As they can be seen from the capabilities, the goal of any Ethical Wall (or Information Barrier) policy is to set clear partial or total barriers in communication to achieve compliance with regulations, avoid conflicts of interest and prevent breaches from either internal or external parties. You can also check this other reference blog to know more about Ethical Walls:

Ethical Walls Are Not Only for the Financial Industry


Searching for Ethical Walls will usually throw results related to the financial world. Of course, this is where it originated, but let’s try to think about this fact.

Great products like duct tape, the microwave, modern jets, and the GPS were first invented with military purposes in mind. Eventually, these found a great reception for normal civilian use, and we could not imagine our lives without them.

The same goes here, although Ethical Walls and Information Barriers did originate as a tool to comply with financial regulations, their usage goes above and beyond. We would like you to explore many scenarios where Ethical Walls are being used and the potential benefits for other industries. Let’s explore!

You can also read this other blog to learn how to take maximum advantage of Ethical Walls: 

Financial and Services Trading

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FINRA, MiFID II, and EMIR regulate the banking industry, investment funds, credit card businesses, insurance agencies, and auditors. When there is a potential conflict of interest, such as when investors speak with academics who have access to proprietary material or when a financial institution prohibits its employees with non-public information from communicating with external users, the conversation must be prevented.

Here are a few examples of how Ethical Walls deliver for the financial industry:

1. A company wants to block file sharing with external third parties for Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive.

2. A company wants to restrict communication between C-Level Executives and the rest of the company, only allowing those executives to send messages and files but not the other way around.

3. A company wants to allow only one department to communicate externally while blocking all other departments from doing so.

4. A company that does not allow employees to meet with external parties.


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In the healthcare industry, regulations like HIPAA are very strict regarding keeping confidentiality between doctors and patients.

Due to this, a series of technical steps are required. After solving how to deal with PII and PHI, providers need to make sure things like:

  1. Limiting information sharing between doctors.
  2. Limit file sharing between doctors and other personnel.
  3. Limit which external communications doctors can have access to.
  4. Limit the possibility of sharing screen or video depending on the meeting context.
  5. Limit access to sensitive cloud-stored PHI and PII for non-relevant personnel.



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Communication restrictions are frequently necessary for educational settings to prevent conduct violations and other unpleasant outcomes. 

Just as in the real world, educational institutions that decide to provide virtual classes and classrooms, as well as chat communication spaces, need to make sure that the same rules would apply and avoid becoming a ruleless chaotic space.

Ethical walls can help establish policies like:

  1. A school wants to block students from one grade from talking to students in another grade.
  2. An educational institution requires a coach or a teacher to be present in every communication.
  3. An educational institution wants to limit students to be able to talk to their teacher and no other.
  4. A university wants to limit external communications on the UC platform.

Law Firms


Some law firms are really strict with lawyers on communicating to avoid conflicts of interest.

Here are four examples of how Ethical Walls can work in the law firm industry:

  1. Limiting communications between lawyers and their own defendants.
  2. Preventing other lawyers from communicating with people that aren’t their clients.
  3. Limit screen sharing or other functions during meetings.
  4. Prevent lawyers from communicating with external third parties.

Other Industries

We just mentioned some interesting use cases for Ethical Walls, but the truth is that many more industries and sectors can benefit from establishing Ethical Walls.

Governments, public agencies, pharmaceuticals, business intelligence, very large corporations, and many more can benefit from creating limits to communications in a world where mishandling conversations can be dangerous if not fatal for a business.

Choosing an Ethical Wall or Information Barrier Provider, Our Recommendation

When it comes to choosing an Ethical Wall or Information Barrier provider for unified communications such as Microsoft Teams, Webex, Slack, and the like, it’s important to understand which key features and desirable functions it should have.

Necessary Features for Ethical Walls

To begin, it needs to have the basics restricting either individuals or groups from communicating with other people or groups.

Second, it needs to cover both internal and external communications. It’s not enough to restrict an IT department from communicating with HR if they eventually could contact outsiders.

Third, it needs to work in real-time or near-real-time (2 or 3-second delay). Unallowed communications that can’t be viewed can wreak havoc on companies’ regulatory or internal compliance rules and render all efforts useless.

Fourth, it needs to be granular when selecting which communications to allow and which not to. Some companies will be ok letting people chat while restricting file sharing, and others will be ok sharing desktops but not allowing remote control in meetings.

Fifth, but not less important, it needs to be affordable. Companies are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in IT and security infrastructure before they can see any profit coming. Optimizing spending for software that is not related to bringing revenues is vital to keep business running.

Good to Have Features for Ethical Walls (Information Barriers)

After describing the necessary features for an Ethical Wall solution to be worth considering, let’s go to some nice-to-have features that can also be vital.

First, an Ethical Wall policy should be easy to set up. Easy-to-read UIs with clear visibility are sometimes crucial when trying to understand that all is being set correctly and there are no loopholes in communications.

Second, it should be able to function both on the cloud and on-premise. Some companies will have stricter security measures when allowing cloud apps to function and having on-premise software will make any cybersecurity team happy on any given day.

Third, it should be able to have a good logic setup and not allow for workarounds. If John is not allowed to contact the IT department, he shouldn’t be allowed to join their group chat or join them on a team call.

Take control of your external meetings always, read the full article here:

Our Recommendation

At AGAT, we have been working for the last decade perfectioning our Ethical Wall (Information Barrier) for MS Teams, Webex, and Slack (Google and Zoom coming soon). While some providers offer communications-restricting tools, nothing goes as comprehensive as our flagship and award-winning solution.

Costing a fraction of other famous providers, our Ethical wall delivers more efficiently and generously.

Some of its features are:

  1. Restrict communication participants and control or block specific an option such as chat or file sharing, between different users.
  2. Granular control is offered based on groups, domains, and users and applied dynamically based on the context of the communication.
  3. Specific policies can be applied to chat, teams, and meetings depending on participant type (Employee, external, or guest).
  4. Simple and intuitive UI that facilitates policy creation.
  5. A comprehensive log of all blocked or monitored actions for easy incident resolution.
  6. Works both as on-premise or on-cloud software.
  7. It’s featured at the Microsoft Teams Appsource and Webex Apphub as a partner solution.

You can see a short video showing how it works.



Ethical Walls or also known as Information Barriers, have to be taken seriously into account at the time to secure any entity or business as it can save money on regulatory fines, avoid conflicts of interest and even promote healthier communications by limiting the amount of information that is shared or which parties can be involved in a conversation.

With that being said, we invite you to try our Ethical Wall solution for yourself and see how much impact it can have.

Contact Us today to see how our Ethical Wall can help in security, compliance, and governance on your Unified Communications Platforms (MS Teams, Webex, Zoom, Slack & Skype for Business).

For more information about SphereShield’s Ethical Wall for Microsoft Teams, visit us!

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Announcing Webex Meetings New Capabilities

AGAT Software provides unique compliance and productivity solutions for Webex Meetings including Ethical Wall to control participants and activities during the meeting, eDiscovery to audit and store all meeting data, DLP to inspect meeting content by policy, and lastly, Virtual Asstsiatnt and Sentiment analysis to improve productivity and performance.

Continue reading to learn more about SphereShield for Webex Meetings.

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Ethical Wall

In situations where compliance, security, and institutional protocols demand tighter controls and options, Ethical Wall for Webex meetings is there to offer unique capabilities that suit requests from different institutions that are using Webex Meetings.

Controls include

  • Control participants in near-real-time during the meeting:
    • Control participants – avoid users with conflicts joining the same meeting
    • Control activities – block operations that are not allowed

Activities control are context-aware, by blocking operations only when specific groups or users are involved in the meeting which allows for full functionality when possible and aligns with compliance by blocking some features when needed.

  • Near-real-time recording control:

SphereShield for Webex performs near-real-time audio and video analysis on recorded Webex meetings. This will validate meeting attendees using configurable compliance policies.

  • Participant validation before the meeting *Coming soon*

The system verifies the list of invitees for every scheduled meeting, in case of policy violation users will be removed from the invite and the host will be notified.

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Ethical Wall policies

To learn more visit SphereShield for Webex Meetings webpage.


SphereShield’s eDiscvoery for Webex Meetings solutions audits all meeting data and maintains a user-friendly record of content that can be stored on-prem or as Saas separately from Webex.

Data included that can be searched by:

  • Dates
  • Attendees’ name and type (Internal/External)
  • Text – Audio, Video, Keywords, Labels, Names, etc.
  • Time-frame: by recording every user that has joined/left with the time

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eDiscovery portal

To learn more visit SphereShield for Webex Meetings webpage.

Data Loss Prevention 

A real-time DLP solution is crucial to effectively manage and protect your confidential information. This solution ensures that your sensitive data is intercepted and filtered before it reaches the recipient.

SphereShield for Webex Meetings:

  • Inspects meeting content by DLP policies for audio transcript and on-screen OCR from video and screen sharing after the meeting.
  • Inspects meeting chat/files by DLP policies after the meeting 

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DLP Auditing portal

To learn more visit SphereShield for Webex Meetings webpage.

AI Virtual Assistant – AGI

Webex Assistant, a smart, interactive virtual assistant for meetings makes meetings and webinars searchable and actionable. When Webex Assistant is enabled, the host and participants can click on it or use voice commands to record the entire conversation, including the highlights and action items. A live transcript with captions can also be displayed by the assistant.

The Webex Assistant has a variety of interesting and useful characteristics, including the ability to detect up to 100 languages (the maximum number of unique languages that can be used concurrently is 5), and Speaker recognition (who said what and when).

Note that, only paid Webex plans are eligible to get Webex Assistant.

In addition to the native meeting assistant in Webex, AGAT Software has developed a virtual meeting assistant called Agi to enlarge the scope of Webex Assistant and provide automated solutions to some of the most time-consuming tasks including

  • Integration with task management systems such as Asana,, Microsoft Planner, and Trello to automatically create tasks based on the detected task name, due date, and assignee from meeting transcript using the AI engine.
  • Generation of meeting summary based on AI module.
  • Detects and Schedules follow-up meetings automatically.
  • Highlights (Agenda, Notes, Decisions, and Summary) detection from the meeting transcript.
  • Set reminders automatically and post messages in Space/Group Chat when the time is due.
  • Publish items from transcripts/highlights/tasks as messages for further discussion.

To learn more about Agi, please visit our Virtual Assistant webpage.

Check out AGI – AI Virtual Assitant in the Cisco Webex AppHub!

AI Sentiment Analysis:

Sentiment analysis allows participants to analyze meetings and chat conversations both with internal and external users to gain communication insights and improve communication by identifying positive/negative sentiments (joyfulness, happiness, neutral, surprise, anger, disgust, or sadness).


  • Improve employee experience and boost productivity.
  • Spreading positive behavior to other parts of the company.
  • Manage the negative behavior of employees.
  • Improve the remote working experience.
  • Improve customer satisfaction.

Use cases: 

  • Customer Success / Support Managers

Sentiment analysis is an extremely useful tool in the customer service field as it helps with detecting places that need to be improved in any customer-facing situation & prioritizes focusing on top customer service issues.

  • HR Manager

Sentiment analysis helps in facilitating the work of the HR Managers. Based on employee feedback/satisfaction Sentiment Analysis allows HR Managers to promote proactive operations.

  • Employees

Identify intercommunication between employees – use employee reports and Personal Insights to view your relationship with other employees within the organization.

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Example of Sentiment Analysis reports

To learn more visit AGAT’s Sentiment Analysis solution webpage.


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