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Document Sharing with Microsoft 365

Document Sharing with Microsoft 365

If your computer runs on Windows, then you are familiar with the Office family of applications, including Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, and Excel. According to a survey featured in TechRepublic, 83 percent of businesses used MS Office in 2017¹. The same survey also notes that Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365 (now MS 365) platform was gaining traction and continues to do so today¹. In fact, Statista notes that Microsoft 365 has an approximately 46 percent share in the global office suite technology market, and a 40 percent share of the United States market². MS 365 is quickly becoming a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes worldwide, from Byram to Budapest and Bangkok. 

One key benefit of Microsoft 365 is its ability to let users share documents with a variety of internal and external users. In this article, we will explain more about document sharing with Microsoft 365, as well as best practices.  

As outlined by IT security provider Varonis, Microsoft 365 includes two distinct but interconnected file-sharing systems, SharePoint Online and OneDrive³. They work together to provide users with all the file-sharing functionality they need³. More specifically, SharePoint is a frontend user interface for OneDrive, which handles storage on the backend³. Now, let us take a closer look at the different file sharing types available with Microsoft 365. 

Internal file sharing entails sharing files within your network, exclusively to users in the same domain with regular, non-guest permissions³. Configuring internal sharing with MS 365 is easy: you can share files from your personal OneDrive or save them directly to your SharePoint team sites³. SharePoint automatically creates these team sites whenever you create a new group in the Microsoft 365 admin center³. If you wish to share documents with your team members, simply upload them to the Team Site so that everyone on the team can access them³. This demonstrates that MS 365 elevates file sharing to a new level. 

MS 365 is not just for internal purposes. It is also designed for external file sharing³. You can share documents with partners, vendors, customers, and others outside of your organization³. However, this entails “opening a window to your SharePoint server” or sending sensitive data to potentially malicious users on other networks, making it far riskier than internal file sharing³. 

If you plan to share your files with clients or other external partners, there are some basic steps to follow. According to Microsoft itself, you must first configure the sharing controls in Azure Active Directory, along with SharePoint, Teams, and MS 365 Groups, to allow the desired level of sharing for your organization⁴. Next, if you utilize shared channels to send and receive documents, you can allow direct access for each collaborating organization by altering the settings to your specifications in Azure Active Directory⁴.  

Of course, security should always be top of mind when you share documents with Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 provides all users with a variety of security and compliance features, so they can keep their data safe while sharing documents externally⁴. For instance, to keep unauthorized users from viewing sensitive content, create a data loss prevention (DLP) policy with the Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention platform on MS 365⁵. Microsoft 365 also offers the Safe Attachments feature so you can scan uploaded files automatically and quarantine potentially malicious ones⁵. You can also require multi-factor authentication, block users from downloading to unmanaged devices, and limit sharing outside your organization³. In these ways, Microsoft 365 helps you collaborate smoothly, safely, and efficiently on every team project. 

Navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today. 


¹TechRepublic – “83% of enterprises use Microsoft Office, but danger lurks in that large number” by Mark W. Kaelin.  Retrieved from

²Statista – “Number of Office 365 company users worldwide as of June 2022, by leading country” by Lionel Sujay Vailshery.  Retrieved from

³Varonis – “Microsoft Office 365 File Sharing Guide: OneDrive and SharePoint Tips” by Jeff Petters.  Retrieved from

⁴Microsoft – “Collaborating with people outside your organization”.  Retrieved from

⁵Microsoft – “Best practices for unauthenticated sharing.” Retrieved from  

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