Microsoft Teams update will let you get on with your day in peace

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is readying an update for Teams that should prevent bad-faith actors from abusing the collaboration platform.

As per a new entry in the company’s product roadmap, Microsoft Teams will soon allow administrators to disable chat access for unauthenticated users, thereby shielding against unwelcome disruptions.

“IT admins can now disable chat write access at the policy level for non-federated users and unauthenticated users who join Teams meetings through a link,” Microsoft explained.


In the early months of the pandemic, amid the transition to remote working and online learning, pranksters and cybercriminals adopted an unwelcome new technique: Zoom-bombing.

The idea was to invade a meeting (either via a code that had been exposed online or shared for legitimate reasons with the perpetrator) for the purposes of disrupting the session, eavesdropping on private conversations or simply scaring participants.

The problem became so widespread that Zoom-bombing was made a federal offense in the US, punishable by fines and even imprisonment.

Since then, the major video conferencing platforms have rolled out various mitigations to guard against these kinds of disruptions, from password protection to pre-meeting waiting rooms.

With the upcoming update for Teams, Microsoft is looking to close off a remaining chink in the armor, by allowing IT admins to prevent anonymous attendees from spamming the in-meeting chat log with irrelevant or inflammatory messages. The feature is still under development for now, but should roll out to all Microsoft Teams customers by the end of July.

The new security facility is one of a number of upgrades rolled out by Microsoft in recent months with the objective of improving the video meeting experience.

In May, for example, Microsoft announced a new meeting type built specifically to support parent-teacher conferences, which followed on from a similar update designed to help improve the delivery of virtual presentations.

Some doubt has been cast, however, over whether Microsoft will maintain its current cadence of releases by news the firm has suspended hiring across its Teams and Office divisions. 

"As Microsoft gets ready for the new fiscal year, it is making sure the right resources are aligned to the right opportunity,” the company explained in a rather cryptic statement. “Microsoft will continue to grow headcount in the year ahead and it will add additional focus to where those resources go."

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.