UK public sector mandates use of Microsoft Teams amid Zoom security concerns

Public services across the UK are increasingly moving to Microsoft Teams to continue to get their work done safely and securely while complying with safeguarding regulations.

With the COVID-19 crisis meaning millions of people staying at home, public services professionals from institutions like schools, councils and health trusts have had to adapt to delivering services remotely.

Even the House of Lords is mandating the use of Microsoft Teams over Zoom, citicing security concerns.

While many initially chose to use a range of free platforms for online meetings, classes and video conferencing, most now specify the use of the secure Microsoft Teams software.

Growing concerns about poor security on platforms like Zoom has led to local authorities, schools, colleges and health boards reassessing its use and instead requiring Microsoft Teams to be used.

In the US, the FBI has issued warnings to the public that online classrooms and teleconferences held on insecure platforms can be “hijacked”, with the largest school district in the US, New York, insisting teachers no longer use Zoom and instead work through Microsoft Teams.

Here in the UK, the NSPCC has listed Zoom as ‘medium risk’ and advised that an adult should be present on calls at all times. Meanwhile, a teachers’ conference held on Zoom was interrupted by hackers sharing pornography which one teacher said “would have broken every safeguarding issue going”.

We’re seeing many primary and secondary schools creating Microsoft Teams channels for each class, which not only means being able to have video classrooms, but having dedicated spaces for asking questions, facilitating class discussions in chat, and sharing work through the Files – all backed by Microsoft’s enterprise-grade security.

CompanyNet supports the use of Microsoft Teams by UK public sector services. We currently work with a range of public sector organisations, including the Care Inspectorate, Scottish Water, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Scottish Housing Regulator.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your organisation get its work done with Microsoft Teams, get in touch today.

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