Microsoft Teams is receiving another set of improvements, this time including completely encrypted voice calls for desktop and mobile users. Beginning in July, Teams’ one-to-one voice over IP (VoIP) calls will be encrypted end-to-end, enhancing the privacy of ad hoc chats done through the app.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) for Microsoft Teams audio calls has been in development since March, when Microsoft unveiled several security changes to its remote working and meeting platform at its Ignite 2021 conference.
However the precise date of E2EE’s arrival was not verified until this week via the Microsoft 365 roadmap. Encrypted VoIP calls will be accessible on Teams starting in the middle of next month for desktop, mobile, iOS, and Android platforms, providing an extra alternative for customers conducting critical online chats.
At least initially, it appears as though web users will be denied encryption. The plan emphasizes that IT administrators will retain control over who can utilise E2EE within the enterprise. For software businesses operating in the virtual meeting and collaboration area, security has become a critical battleground. E2EE, in particular, has become a sought-after standard as more individuals use platforms such Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet to collaborate remotely.
While Microsoft Teams encrypts data in transit and at rest, video meetings are presently not covered by E2EE. E2EE encrypts messages on the sender’s device and decrypts them exclusively on the recipient’s device. Zoom, on the other hand, includes complete E2EE in both its free and paid subscriber plans for video meetings. This week, Microsoft announced more updates to the Teams platform, though they are less security-focused.
Microsoft is specifically updating its Spotlight feature. Spotlight, which was designed for group presentations, will soon allow presenters to showcase (‘spotlight’) up to seven individuals simultaneously during a Teams video chat, up from the current maximum of one. According to Microsoft’s 365 roadmap, the new and enhanced spotlight will begin rolling out to customers this month across Teams for desktop, mobile, and web.