blog Ethical Wall File Sharing/Blocking Microsoft Teams

Mastering Information Barriers: Advanced Sharing Limitations in SharePoint 

Mastering Information Barriers

Ensuring secure collaboration while safeguarding sensitive information is paramount. Microsoft offers Information Barriers to control document access, prevent unauthorized sharing, and maintain data integrity. While straightforward scenarios are well supported, some cases allow users to communicate via SharePoint documents even when set to be blocked. 
In this blog, we will explain one scenario that is not covered by Information Barriers  

Let’s delve into a scenario where Bob and Alice lack permission for a document, but Jim has access and shares it, highlighting the effectiveness of Information Barriers. 

Understanding Information Barriers 

Information Barriers in SharePoint allow organizations to control communication and collaboration between different groups of users. By defining policies, admins can restrict access to specific content based on user attributes such as department, role, or team membership. This ensures compliance and prevents conflicts of interest by enforcing segregation of duties. 

While Microsoft Information Barriers offer some controls for access management in SharePoint, it’s essential to acknowledge their limitations. One notable gap is the potential for accidental access granted between restricted users and sensitive documents. This is due to MS Teams Information barriers policy setting being too broad, only having limited sharing control such as sharing with anyone, sharing with the company, shared with a group but it does not provide granular control. 

The Scenario:

A user can share a file with members of separate groups that are blocked from communicating with each other 

The Players: 

Jim: A senior manager with access to sensitive financial reports. 

Bob and Alice: one is an investor, and the other is a researcher, and they are set not to be able to communicate with each other. 

The Incident: 

Jim needs input from both Bob and Alice on a project that involves data from the financial reports. He decides to collaborate with them by sharing the relevant document on SharePoint. Giving them access to a document that they otherwise should not have. 

He shares the file with Bob and then shares the same file with Alice. As a result, Bob and Alice have a file shared that enables them to communicate and share info on it. 

The Solution 

AGAT’s Ethical Wall /Information Barrier Enforcement validates all the users that have access to file on any permission changes event. This is done in real-time blocking the communication between Bob and Alice as explained above  Despite the attempt to share, the restricted user will be unable to access the document due to their restricted permissions. 

AGAT Information Barriers ensure that sensitive or restricted information remains protected, mitigating the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. 


AGAT’s Ethical Wall/ Information Barriers in SharePoint provide advanced sharing options that enable organizations to maintain data integrity and confidentiality. By effectively segregating users and controlling access to sensitive content, businesses can foster secure collaboration while mitigating the risk of unauthorized disclosure. Implement Information Barriers in your SharePoint environment to bolster your data protection strategies and safeguard critical information. 

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Enhance Your Microsoft Teams Security: SphereShield’s Advanced Phishing Protection Module


In a revealing blog post from June 2023, shed light on the alarming vulnerabilities within Microsoft Teams, illustrating how the platform could be a hotbed for sophisticated phishing attacks. This has raised significant concerns among its vast user base, emphasizing the need for robust protection mechanisms. 

Understanding the gravity of these threats, Agat Software has meticulously developed the SphereShield Phishing Protection module, a cutting-edge addition to their SphereShield for Microsoft Teams proxy solution. This module is tailored to fortify your communication channels against the multifaceted attack vectors prevalent in Teams, thereby significantly minimizing your attack surface. Here’s how SphereShield stands guard: 

1. Cross-Tenant File Protection: SphereShield vigilantly blocks files sent from other tenants, ensuring that only trusted sources can share files within your network. 

2. File Exfiltration/Spoofing: It’s not just about blocking harmful files. SphereShield takes it a step further by displaying the full filename with its real extension to recipients, empowering them to assess the safety of the files sent. Additionally, files can be dispatched for antivirus inspection, providing another layer of security. 

3. Message Manipulation: Teams allows users to edit messages post-delivery without alerting recipients, a feature ripe for exploitation. SphereShield counters this by clearly marking any edited messages, maintaining transparency and trust. 

4. Quote Manipulation: Attackers can manipulate quotes to falsely attribute words to trusted individuals. SphereShield ensures the integrity of quoted text, preserving the authenticity of conversations. 

5. Spoof URLs: With SphereShield, URLs that mask their true destination are a thing of the past. The module prevents the use of misleading URLs, ensuring that every link is what it appears to be. 

6. Username Impersonation: SphereShield helps identify unverified users who may be impersonating internal accounts through Unicode symbols, emojis, and RTF formatting, thereby preventing deceptive impersonation attempts. 

7. Formatted Spoof Messages: Crafty attackers use HTML formatting elements to make phishing messages appear more legitimate. SphereShield stays ahead by blocking such deceitfully formatted communications. 

8. Punycode URLs: These URLs can cleverly mimic trusted addresses. SphereShield eliminates the threat by blocking the use of these deceptive URLs. 

For those seeking a deeper understanding of these vulnerabilities and how SphereShield addresses them, further insights can be gleaned from the detailed blog posts below:

In today’s digital age, where threats evolve as rapidly as technology, SphereShield’s Phishing Protection module is not just an option; it’s necessary for any organization using Microsoft Teams. By choosing SphereShield, you’re not just adopting a solution; you’re embracing peace of mind, knowing that your communications are safeguarded against the most cunning of cyber threats. Enhance your defense today, and make your Teams environment a fortress against phishing attacks with Agat Software’s SphereShield. 

blog DLP eDiscovery Ethical Wall Microsoft Teams

Securing the Digital Workspace: Navigating Compliance Challenges in 2024 


As we move full steam into the new year, the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity is presenting organizations with challenges that demand innovative solutions. In 2024, three pivotal trends—regulatory compliance, technology advancements, and emerging threats—demand the attention of businesses looking to fortify their digital defenses. In this article, we’ll focus on the first trend: regulatory compliance, with a specific lens on the changes and threats surrounding the use of online collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Webex. 

Stricter and More Global Compliance 

Regulatory compliance is transforming, becoming both more stringent and more global. Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are recognizing the imperative need for comprehensive cybersecurity measures, resulting in the enactment of stricter regulations to enforce them. 

Data Protection Regulations: A Global Web 

Data protection regulations like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California have paved the way for stringent data protection standards. In 2024, the trend suggests that more countries will follow suit, implementing their own data protection laws. For multinational organizations, this signifies a complex web of compliance requirements. 

Cross-Border Data Transfer Challenges 

Cross-border data transfer is set to become more critical in 2024. Recent regulations like the Schrems II ruling in Europe have heightened concerns about the legality of transferring data between jurisdictions. Companies will need to establish secure and compliant mechanisms for international data transfer. 

Supply Chain Security Mandates 

Governments, particularly in critical industries like healthcare and defense, are increasingly concerned about the security of supply chains. New regulations will demand that organizations ensure the cybersecurity of their suppliers and partners. 

Swift and Transparent Incident Reporting 

Regulations are evolving to demand faster and more transparent reporting of cybersecurity incidents. Organizations will be required to have robust incident response plans in place to comply with these evolving requirements. 

Microsoft Teams and Webex: Mitigating Risks with SphereShield 

In this changing landscape, tools like Microsoft Teams and Webex have become integral to remote collaboration. However, the increased regulatory scrutiny necessitates a comprehensive security and compliance solution. SphereShield emerges as a robust solution specifically designed to address the risks and challenges associated with Microsoft Teams. 

Real-Time DLP: Active Inspection for Comprehensive Protection 

SphereShield offers real-time (active) inspection of content—messages, files, and audio—before reaching the destination. It employs AGAT DLP engine or integrates seamlessly with leading DLP vendors, ensuring compliance with existing policies. Incident links to eDiscovery provide the ability to review conversation context efficiently. 

Ethical Wall/ Information Barriers for Controlled Communication 

To maintain control over user activities, SphereShield incorporates an Ethical Wall. It enables the blocking of communication between users and facilitates control over desktop sharing, file transfer, and more. Communication policies can be set based on various parameters, including groups, users, domains, conversation types, and scope (internal/external). 


SphereShield doesn’t stop at real-time protection; it offers extended eDiscovery capabilities. Data can be archived on the cloud or on-site, with a powerful search and export feature based on parameters such as user, time, channel, and text. Integration with existing on-site eDiscovery and archiving solutions is seamless. 

In the face of evolving compliance challenges, organizations must proactively seek solutions that not only protect their digital assets but also ensure adherence to the intricate web of regulations. As we navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape of 2024, SphereShield emerges as a critical tool for organizations relying on Microsoft Teams, providing a comprehensive suite of security and compliance features that align with the heightened regulatory demands of the digital age. 

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