Disabling Exchange Online Basic Authentication in 2021

[German]In view of the corona crisis, Microsoft has postponed his announced plans, to retire the basic authentication of Exchange Online in autumn 2020. This authentication will now be switched off in the second half of 2021 at the earliest.


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Some Background

Basic Authentication is a procedure that allows users to authenticate themselves to a web server (here Exchange Online) via a web browser. This authorization is then stored for further accesses (until the configured authentication process is completed). For security reasons, this procedure is rarely used anymore, as it is susceptible to spoofing attacks.

Microsoft had therefore plannedto disable basic authentication for the Exchange Online connection logs as of October 13, 2020. I have no idea how many Exchange Online customers still use Basic Authentication.

For Outlook 2010 users, for example, this would mean that they would no longer be able to connect to Exchange Online. The effect is limited, however, since Office 2010 will reach the end of support in October 2020 anyway. I had reported about this and other changes some time ago in the blog post Microsoft Office 365 Login/Authentication.

Microsoft changes its plans

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, no stone is left unturned in IT and deadlines are being pushed back. Susan Bradley at askwoody points to a new Techcommunity article from Microsoft that appeared a few days ago.

In response to the COVID 19 crisis and in the knowledge that the priorities for many Microsoft customers have changed, the company is putting the deactivation of basic authentication in Exchange Online on hold for the time being. The step to disable Basic Authentication in Exchange Online will be delayed until the second half of 2021. Microsoft intends to provide a more precise date once the impact of the current COVID 19 crisis situation can be better assessed.


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