Outlook for iOS and Android gives Office 365 users a more secure sign-in option

The changes add support for two-factor authentication, and don't require users give the app their password

The new Office 365 login option in Outlook for iOS

The new Office 365 login option in Outlook for iOS

Office 365 users have a new, more secure method of logging into Microsoft's Outlook apps for iOS and Android, thanks to an update the company announced Wednesday.

The update, which will be rolling out over the next few days, adds a new Office 365 sign-in tile to the app, which lets a user access the Exchange Online email associated with their Office 365 account. Logging in through that tile will allow users to authenticate through Office 365's identity provider directly, rather than storing their log-in credentials in the Outlook app. Once someone has logged in using that system, Office 365 will pass the app a token that it can use to access the email account going forward without access to a user's password.

Outlook for iOS and Android already uses that same OAuth-based system for other services that it integrates with, like Outlook.com, OneDrive, Dropbox and Gmail.

Using this login system, powered by Microsoft's Active Directory Authentication Library, provides users and IT administrators with a number of security benefits, including full support for multi-factor authentication when they sign in. The Outlook application will also never save a user's Office 365 password, because the login process is handled directly by the service's identity provider. Users and administrators can also revoke the token the app has been given in the event a device is lost or stolen, which will prevent unauthorized access to the data without requiring a password change.

Office 365 users who already use the app through its Exchange sign-in option will be prompted over the coming days to change to the new Office 365 method, so they can reap the added security benefits.

The security upgrade sets the stage for future updates that will provide enterprise IT administrators with greater control over how people can use data from their company email accounts. Later this year, Microsoft will roll out an update providing added security features like the ability to restrict users' ability to copy and paste text from their email.

All of this is based on Microsoft's acquisition of Acompli late last year. That company's email app is the foundation for Outlook for iOS and Android, and a key part of Microsoft's ongoing push to get its applications and services onto mobile devices running its competitors' operating systems. Earlier this month, Microsoft acquired 6Wunderkinder, the company behind to-do list app Wunderlist, to further its cross-platform ambitions.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsMicrosofte-mailsoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?