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By | May 21, 2017

Can You Remove the PIN from Skype for Business Dial-In Conferencing?

Hmmm. Removing the PIN entirely? Id never considered this before. Was it even possible?
Time to find out!

First: How to Control PINs in Skype for Business

You enter a PIN when joining a Skype Meeting via Dial-In Conferencing.  Its your authentication letting you in the door.

Like most Skype for Business functions, PINs are controlled by policies. You can modify the global PIN policy through the Skype4B Control Panel, like this:

  • On a computer thats a member of your domain, open the Skype for Business Server Control Panel.
  • In the left navigation bar, click Conferencing, and then click PIN Policy.
  • On the PIN Policy page, click the Global policy.
  • Click Edit, and then click Show details.
  • Here you can edit several PIN characteristics:
    • Minimum PIN Length (default is 5 digits)
    • Maximum Logon Attempts (a check box, automatically determined by default). If you select the check box, you can enter a maximum number.
    • Should PINs expire? A check box for enabling of disabling PIN expiration lets you decide. You can also select the number of days after which PINs expire.
    • PIN History should users reuse their PINs?
    • A check box for allowing Common Patterns of digits. If you dont select this, youre preventing common patterns like 12345 or 44444. IF you do select this, users can use common patterns for PINs.
  • When youre done modifying, click Commit.

Or you can use one of the following PowerShell cmdlets.

Get-CsPinPolicy: Returns information about the client PIN.
Grant-CsPinPolicy: Assigns a client PIN policy to a user or group.
New-CsPinPolicy: Creates a new PIN policy.
Remove-CsPinPolicy: Removes an indicated PIN policy.
Set-CsPinPolicy: Modifies an existing PIN policy.

Next: Any Help from Skype Technical Support?

All of this material youll find referenced in the Skype for Business section of Microsoft TechNet. Naturally, thats where I went to look first.

TechNet is a maze sometimes. This search was no different. But I did find several useful resources which detailed working with PINs:

I saw a couple potential loopholes in PIN policy you could exploit, to make PIN use simpler. For instance, setting the global PIN policy to a small number of digits, and not setting user- or site-level policies. Or enter the same PIN for everyone and distribute it.

PINs as a Point of Security Disable It? Not Likely.

owever, trying to cripple PIN policy undermines a point of security. A PIN is there to protect something whether thats your ATM card or your weekly Skype Meeting. As such, I dont recommend trying to avoid PIN use.

Besides, I found nothing in these TechNet docs which indicated you could turn PINs off. Subsequent Google searches yielded nothing helpful.

What about an add-on? Ive reviewed a few Lync/Skype for Business add-ons here in the past. Maybe an add-on exists which could modify PIN use on conferencing.

Alas, several frustrated searches later, I was forced to concede. I pored through Office 365 documentation, support threads, and blog posts. Nothing.

So far as I can tell, it is not possible to completely disable PINs from use during dial-in conferencing.

Now, again, thats not a bad thing. It provides extra security for everything from voicemail access to Skype Meetings. And it is faster than typing in an email & password on your phone!

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