Gartner Research

Understanding and Managing Document Sharing in Office 365

Published: 23 August 2019

ID: G00386483

Analyst(s): Mike Cox


Changing group membership, using sharing links and editing permissions can all affect internal and external users’ access to documents in Office 365. This assessment helps application technical professionals know when to use each option and recommends configuration best practices to secure content.

Table Of Contents


  • What to Know and Do About Document Sharing in Office 365
  • Features Assessed in This Assessment
  • Understanding the Complexity of Sharing Documents
    • Permissions in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business
    • Using the Share Button
    • Editing Office 365 Group Membership or Microsoft Teams Team Membership
    • Recommendations for Sharing Documents
  • How to Manage Document Sharing
    • Controlling Sharing Using Azure AD External Collaboration Settings
    • Controlling Sharing for Individual Services
    • Controlling Sharing on Selected Sites
    • Recommendations for Managing Document Sharing
  • How to Report on Document Sharing
    • SharePoint Online Admin Center
    • Microsoft 365 Admin Center
    • Azure AD Monitoring
    • Searching the Audit Log
    • Access Reviews
    • Alert Policies
    • Data Loss Prevention Reports
    • Third-Party Tools
    • Cloud Access Security Brokers
    • Recommendations for Reporting on Document Sharing
  • How to Manage Guest Users
    • Office 365 Groups
    • What You Need to Know About Guest Users
    • Recommendations for Managing Guest Users
  • How to Add Advanced Controls
    • Multifactor Authentication
    • Conditional Access
    • Block or Restrict Access From Unmanaged Devices
    • SharePoint Online Information Rights Management
    • Data Loss Prevention
    • Sensitivity Labels
    • Recommendations for Adding Advanced Controls
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


The Details

  • Guide to SharePoint Permissions
    • Understanding Permissions Inheritance
    • Breaking Permissions Inheritance
    • Administering Site Collections
    • Limitations and Behavior
    • Best Practices
  • Other Office 365 Services and External Sharing

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