Microsoft offers multifactor authentication to all Office 365 users

Since June last year, users with administrative roles had the facility

Microsoft is offering multifactor authentication free as an option to all users of its Office 365 suite, a hosted set of Microsoft Office tools and applications.

The company also plans to add multifactor authentication for Office 2013 client applications, with native multifactor support for applications such as Outlook, Lync, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PowerShell, and OneDrive for Business, planned for release later this year, Paul Andrew, technical product manager on the Office 365 team, wrote in a blog post Monday.

Microsoft also plans to integrate third-party multifactor authentication systems and smart cards such as the Common Access Card of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. federal Personal Identity Verification card.

Multifactor authentication has been available for Office 365 administrative roles since June last year.

The multifactor authentication requires the user to enter other authentication factors besides the basic password. These could include mobile phones, biometric verification or a personal identification number. "The multifactor authentication increases the security of user logins for cloud services above and beyond just a password," Microsoft said. Office 365 administrators can enroll users for multifactor authentication through the Office 365 admin center.

The company said in September it was offering multifactor authentication on its Windows Azure cloud platform, whereby in addition to an user name and password, users can authenticate through an application on their mobile device, automated voice call, or a text message with a passcode.

The authentication for Office 365 ranges from acknowledging a phone call, entering a six-digit code sent by text message on the portal to confirmation through apps on smartphones, Microsoft said. "Only after this second authentication factor has been satisfied can a user sign in," it added.

Microsoft is also adding App Passwords for users so they can authenticate from Office desktop applications as these are not yet updated for multifactor authentication. Once the users have logged in with multifactor authentication, they will be able to create one or more App Passwords, which are 16-character randomly generated passwords, for use in Office client applications.

The company is offering multifactor authentication for Office 365 to midsize business, enterprise plans, academic plans, nonprofit plans, and standalone Office 365 plans, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Organizations on these subscriptions can use the service for free.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityMicrosoftsoftwareapplicationsAccess control and authenticationOffice suites

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

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?