Microsoft Teams to Let IT Admins Block Users From Joining Externally Hosted Meetings

microsoft mesh avatars hero image

Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft Teams will soon allow IT admins to block certain users from participating in externally hosted meetings.
  • The new feature is geared towards preventing potential data exposure, addressing security concerns, and aligning with the organization’s compliance requirements.
  • The new admin policy is expected to be generally available for the Microsoft Teams desktop apps by March 2024.

Microsoft Teams is set to receive an update that will allow IT administrators to block select users from joining externally hosted meetings. This release should help to enhance security by preventing potential data exposure and ensuring compliance with organizational requirements.

As of today, Microsoft Teams allows users to join externally hosted meetings using either their work credentials or as anonymous participants. The accessibility of this feature is dependent on the external access policies set by administrators within the organization.

To provide more control over user access, Microsoft is planning to introduce a new policy called “People can join meetings hosted by.” It will enable IT admins to manage which meetings users can attend on the Microsoft Teams desktop clients.

“After this capability is launched, this configuration will provide an added layer of protection and regulate whether or not the users can join externally hosted meetings while using the Teams desktop app or web client,” the company explained on the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Microsoft Teams to add admin controls for managing externally hosted meetings next month

Microsoft notes that IT administrators will need to identify specific users or groups that would be allowed or prevented from joining external meetings. For example, IT administrators will be able to set up the new policy in two ways: either to include “People and guests in my organization, and trusted organizations,” or to restrict it to “People and guests in my organization only.” This configuration will prevent users from participating in Teams meetings hosted by untrusted organizations.

Microsoft expects to start rolling out the new policy to Teams desktop and web users next month. However, it’s important to note that the rollout will happen gradually, and the feature is expected to be generally available by March 2024.

Last month, Microsoft announced its plans to end support for the legacy chat messaging infrastructure in Microsoft Teams in March 2024. The company recommends users to keep their Teams client updated on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.