In April, I reported on Microsoft launching Authenticator Lite for Outlook in preview, bringing multifactor authentication to the company's email client. After a short preview period, Microsoft says the feature is now moving to general availability. In a blog post, Microsoft explains how the feature can bring more security to Outlook users:
“According to research done by Microsoft, multifactor authentications completed via push notifications in the Microsoft Authenticator app are 71% less likely to be compromised than those completed via SMS codes. Therefore, we strongly recommend moving your users off phone transports for authentication and towards more secure methods such as push notifications. Authenticator Lite (in Outlook) expands the opportunity to convert users by bringing the enhanced security of push notifications to devices that have not yet downloaded the Microsoft Authenticator App.”
The tool is a simplified version of the Microsoft Authenticator app that can verify your identity when you sign in to your email account.
Authenticator Lite works by sending a notification to your phone when you try to access your Outlook account from a new device or location. You can then approve or deny the sign-in request by tapping on the notification. This way, you can prevent unauthorized access to your email account even if someone has your password.
How to Use Authenticator Lite in Outlook
Authenticator Lite is designed to be easy to use and does not require you to download the full Microsoft Authenticator app. However, if you want more advanced features, such as passwordless sign-in, multi-factor authentication, or account recovery, you can still use the full app instead.
To enable Authenticator Lite, you need to update your Outlook app to the latest version and go to Settings > Security > Sign-in options. You can then choose Authenticator Lite as your preferred sign-in method.
To use Authenticator Lite, users simply need to open the Outlook app and tap on the “Set up MFA” button. The app will then guide them through the process of creating a new Authenticator Lite account and linking it to their Outlook account. Once the account is linked, users will be able to use Authenticator Lite to generate one-time passwords (OTPs) for their Outlook accounts.