Securing external collaboration in Azure Active Directory and Microsoft 365

Secure collaboration with external partners ensures that the right external partners have appropriate access to internal resources for the right length of time. Through a holistic governance approach, you can reduce security risks, meet compliance goals, and ensure that you know who has access.

Ungoverned collaboration leads to a lack of clarity on ownership of access, and the possibility of sensitive resources being exposed. Moving to secure and governed collaboration can ensure that there are clear lines of ownership and accountability for external users’ access. This includes:

  • Managing the external organizations, and users within them, that have access to resources.

  • Ensuring that access is appropriate, reviewed, and time bound where appropriate.

  • Empowering business owners to manage collaboration within IT-created guard rails.

If you must meet compliance frameworks, governed collaboration enables you to attest to the appropriateness of access.

Microsoft offers comprehensive suites of tools for secure external access. Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) B2B Collaboration is at the center of any external collaboration plan. Azure AD B2B can integrate with other tools in Azure AD, and tools in Microsoft 365 services, to help secure and manage your external access.

This document set is designed to enable you to move from ad hoc or loosely governed external collaboration to a more secure state.

Next steps

See the following articles on securing external access to resources. We recommend you take the actions in the listed order.

  1. Determine your security posture for external access

  2. Discover your current state

  3. Create a governance plan

  4. Use groups for security

  5. Transition to Azure AD B2B

  6. Secure access with Entitlement Management

  7. Secure access with Conditional Access policies

  8. Secure access with Sensitivity labels

  9. Secure access to Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint