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Microsoft is going to war on traditional methods of authentication. We have seen how the company is targeting a passwordless future on Azure, but on Microsoft Exchange the company is also removing Basic Authentication.

In fact, the company says by October 2022, support for Basic Authentication will be disabled on Microsoft Exchange. According to the company, this “an outdates industry standard” and evolving cyberthreats can too easily bypass it.

If you are unfamiliar with the terms Basic Authentication, it is essentially the ability to login to an account with a username/email and a password. In other words, Microsoft is now pushing its passwordless movement to Exchange.

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For Exchange users currently already not using Basic Authentication, Microsoft will disable it before October 2022. So, it you want to use this feature until the last moment, you should enable it soon. Microsoft says it will start randomly turning off Basic Authentication early next year to prepare users for the change:

“IMPORTANT: Beginning early 2022, we will selectively pick tenants and disable Basic Auth for all affected protocols except SMTP AUTH for a period of 12-48 hours. After this time, Basic Auth for these protocols will be re-enabled, if the tenant admin has not already re-enabled them using our self-service tools.”

While this is fairly harsh and users will be chosen at random, Microsoft will inform customers in the Message Center if they are disabling Basic Authentication.

Passwordless Revolution

Microsoft closed 2020 with a promise that 2021 would be the year it moves to a passwordless future. The company said it would move away from passwords on Windows and Azure. Earlier this month, Microsoft stuck to its promise by adding a passwordless option to Outlook and OneDrive. While not mandatory at this point, it is a sign of the direction Microsoft is moving in.

Among the password-less decisions the company as made in recent years include password-free login for Azure AD through Microsoft Authenticator. Elsewhere, customers also get password-free Microsoft Account login with FIDO2 compatibility. Then there’s Windows Hello, which uses biometric tools to remove the need for a password.

Tip of the day: Did you know that a virtual drive on Windows 10 can help you with disk management for various reasons? A virtual drive is just simulated by the platform as a separate drive while the holding file might be stored anywhere on your system.

The data in the drive is available in files or folders, which are represented by software in the operating system as a drive. In our tutorial we show you different ways how to setup and use such virtual drives.

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