At Ignite we announced a major improvement to the way secure external sharing of files and folders works in both OneDrive and SharePoint in Office 365 and we wanted to share what this means for users and IT administrators alike. Based on your feedback, we have focused our updates on two key areas: ensuring intended recipients get access 100% of the time, and continual reverification of identity.
These updates will begin rolling out to First Release tenants on October 9, 2017.
Ensuring intended recipients get access 100% of the time: Identity verification
Office 365 makes it easy to share files and folders by creating a shareable link. Recipients can click the link and immediately access the file without having to go through any additional process. You can already create links that can be used by anyone, and links that are internally shareable within people in your organization.
Sometimes you need to share with additional security and require that people with the link prove that they are intended recipients. Office 365 also makes it easy to do this by allowing you to send links that work only for specific people
Now, when sending secure links to recipients outside of your organization, those recipients will be sent an email message with a time-limited, single-use verification code when they open the link. By entering the verification code, the user proves ownership of the email account to which the secure link was sent.
Secure links allow external recipients to access files and folders securely without requiring them to create or maintain a Microsoft account. Email-based verification codes are a simple and effective way to provide secure access, familiar to users who access secure internet sites that verify identity by sending a code by email or text message.
Continual reverification of identity
Now, IT administrators can specify how often external recipients must get a new code and re-verify their email address. This governance control protects your organization’s files and folders from situations where an external recipient’s employment status changes, or any other situation which can cause them to lose access to their email account.
To enable this setting, go to the sharing section in the SharePoint admin center.
IT professionals will recognize secure links provide access to external recipients using the same standard adopted by many financial institutions: email-based verification codes and reverification periods. This familiar approach is easier to manage and more secure than competing solutions that require an external recipient to create user accounts that may persist even after the user leaves their current employer and no longer owns that email, creating a very dangerous security hole.
These features start rolling out on October 9, 2017, to First Release customers and will roll out to all customers by the end of January 2018.
For additional information on the new external sharing experience in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, read the New Sharing Features in First Release help article.
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