Microsoft Teams is getting better phishing protection

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In order to better protect Microsoft Teams users from link-based phishing attacks, Microsoft has announced that Safe Links in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is now available in its video conferencing software.

Whether you're working from home or have already returned to the office, the future of work requires that users be protected from the latest threats no matter where they are so that they can work from anywhere.

Beginning today, organizations with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 can further protect Microsoft Teams users from malicious phishing attacks that are often carried out using weaponized URLs.

What helps set Safe Links apart from other security solutions is the fact that it scans URLs at the time of click to ensure users are protected with the latest intelligence from Microsoft Defender.

Time-of-click verification

As hybrid work is here to stay, employees using online collaboration tools need to ensure they're protected from the latest threats both at home and at the office.

Microsoft is committed to protecting all Office 365 users against threats to email and collaboration tools. However, this means going beyond email to protect OneDrive, SharePoint, Office, Microsoft Teams and other tools from the software giant. Defender for Office 365 provides comprehensive coverage against a wide variety of threats including malware and business email compromise (BEC) in addition to phishing.

Since its introduction back in 2015, Safe Links has remained a critical feature in Defender for Office 365. The security tool stands apart by providing time-of-click verification of URLs by scanning websites for potentially malicious content and evaluating them again when clicked on by a user. According to a new blog post from Microsoft, its detection systems discover close to 2m distinct URL-based payloads each month which are used by cybercriminals to conduct credential phishing campaigns.

The reason time-of-click verification is so important is because attackers often send out their phishing emails with benign links that are then altered to point to a malicious site once an email is able to bypass a user's antivirus and other security software. With time-of-click inspection though, Safe Links is able to check a link on delivery and recheck it once it has been clicked on. If the link is malicious, a user is prevented from accessing a site while if it's harmless, they are allowed to continue to the site.

Safe Links is now available in Microsoft Teams and organizations with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 can enable this new security feature by configuring a Safe Links policy in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.