How risky is external sharing in Office 365?

A frequent question we hear from our customers at Propelle is “Should I be worried about external sharing in Office365; SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams?”

You are likely aware that your Microsoft tenant(s) has functionality to allow or restrict the sharing of your company information. You may even feel that the level of granularity it offers is off putting. It’s intimidating to think that if you don’t set SharePoint user permissions up correctly, you could be disclosing valuable company information, particularly with so many people accessing cloud based services on their mobile devices. This often leads to an organisational decision to restrict sharing information with people outside of your company, or even from between teams, entirely. So how risky is external sharing in Office 365?

One of the main reasons why external sharing in SharePoint is useful is collaboration across teams and even organisations (lets say your company is delivering a project for a government agency, or you’re working with a complementary technology provider to deliver on a contract). Restrictions often apply to large file attachments sent via email. 

If you can’t share, you can’t collaborate. At the same time, you probably don’t want this:


external sharing in Office 365

So, is Microsoft external sharing risky? It can be, without the right guidance

Why might this be a problem for you? Because human error is common. Information that would be damaging if released accidentally, or even maliciously, could be anything from salary discussions, to customer contract negotiations, or letting the cat out of the bag too early on a new product release. Some information is simply highly confidential. Which means there is definitely a good reason to think about how you’ll mitigate a possible breach. Because what you may not know is that the default setting in O365 and OneDrive allows sharing content with anyone.
So, do we think setting up external sharing is worthwhile? Yes – but you have to know how to go about it.
What are the considerations and the actions needed to confidently set up safe external sharing? We recommend taking the time to read our Complete Guide to External Sharing in Office 365We have put together a comprehensive explanation of what levels of sharing are available depending on your specific needs. And we’ve included instructions on how to put them in action:
  • At the organization level (Microsoft Office 365)

  • At the site level  (SharePoint & Teams)

  • At the user level (OneDrive)

external sharing in Office 365

Collaboration is key

Siloed work styles are a thing of the past. It’s a well discussed point that modern experiences make things faster, easier, more productive and more collaborative. And the way we do that is by proactively looking for opportunities to encourage our teams to share, where it makes sense. This arguably applies across all industries. 

So don’t miss the opportunity to empower your teams with the key to collaboration because the process seems daunting. As ever, we’re here to help.  We can give advice, hold your hand through planning, or you can throw it over to us to set up to your specifications.