3aIT Blog

Padlock on a gateMany Microsoft 365 users will now be familiar with the process of "Multi Factor Authentication" to access their emails. A change is coming to the Outlook mobile app that should make this process easier to manage for some users.

Microsoft have been all but forcing 365 users to switch to MFA-enabled logins. Their research shows that this massively reduces the risk of an email account being compromised. Even if a malicious user knows the password for an account, they still can't get in unless they also have access to a code on your phone.

The most secure way to deal with this on the user side is to use an authenticator app. While it's possible to use SMS-based codes, there are scammers that can hijack these in some extreme cases. This isn't possible with an app.

It's currently necessary to use Microsoft's standalone authenticator app for this process. However, Microsoft is going to be introducing what it's calling "Authenticator Lite" to its Outlook app. In other words, for people that already use Outlook on their mobile devices, there will be no need for a separate authenticator app any more. Outlook will have inbuilt features to do this. This change is earmarked for this month, so may already be in place by the time you read this.

As a more general point here, Outlook app or not, Microsoft 365 or not, we strongly encourage all users to implement MFA on any and all services that provide it. Yes, we know it's a hassle to set up. However, we see many cases where days are lost when accounts are hacked, sometimes with large amounts of money too. It isn't an exaggeration to say that attackers are trying to get into your various online accounts right now. It really is advisable to make that more difficult for them in any way you can!