Basic Authentication for Microsoft Office is Coming Sooner Than Later
Microsoft has once again put out information to organizations that use its Microsoft Office product that they will need to prepare themselves for shifts coming to the landscape for an e-mail soon. Basic authentication for Microsoft’s e-mail product is ending, and the company is doing everything within its power to give its customers as much heads-up as possible. It is expected that the end of basic authentication will be a gradual process, but a complete shutdown of the program is expected to take place by the end of the year.
No More Extensions
Some users have gotten very comfortable with the basic authentication that Microsoft Office uses. They haven’t made the changes they need to because the company has made some extensions on its planned closure of the basic authentication program a few times. However, they attempt to be very clear when telling people they will not honor additional extensions. They have to set a hard deadline, and Microsoft believes they have hit that point. October 1, 2022, is the deadline for at least the first few steps of the planned shutdown.
A New System Will Rise
Microsoft will not leave people completely high and dry regarding what they can do about the end of basic integration. Instead, they are releasing some utilities that may be used in place of basic integration. Here is what the company has stated about this, as reported by bestpractical.com:
For RT users with email integrated with Office 365, this may mean that the existing email integration will no longer work. We are happy to announce that we have released a new utility called App-wsgetmail that will help replace some of the previous integrations.
This means that users don’t necessarily have to give up all the functionality they have grown accustomed to. Microsoft will attempt to do everything within its power to prevent users from sacrificing too much just to use the products they put out. It is understood that basic human nature dictates that most people will prefer the systems they are already assumed to and will probably prefer not to change how they have done things in the past. Thus, a gradual adaptation to the new system is what is expected of them.
How Organizations Adapted to Office 365
Many organizations have already adapted their processes to ensure users can get their e-mails via Office 365. There are a few different types of approaches that they took to make this a reality.
Rules for Forwarding or Relaying E-mails
One of the workarounds that some organizations used was to forward or relay their incoming e-mails from the MS mail server to the RT server as best as possible. To do so, they would need to go through selected e-mail addresses individually to set a few rules to push the e-mails destined for the MS mail server to the RT server instead. This is effective, though cumbersome, way of doing things. It should allow users to receive all of their e-mails on the RT server, but it does require a lot of work upfront to get all of the e-mail addresses added to this new set of rules.
Fetchmail and Getmail
These two services are the other option that many companies opt for when attempting to figure out their e-mail workarounds. All that they do is act as an e-mail client by logging in and downloading all of the relevant e-mails that are out there. They do so automatically and behind the scenes. However, the main downside to these systems is that they run best on Basic Authentication, which is exactly what Microsoft Office is discontinuing. As you might see, this will not be helpful for much longer.
App-wsgetmail is a widget released by Best Practical to help create a solution to this problem. It allows users to use tokens to authenticate the new MS Office 365 services and validate who they are without a password requirement (this was one of the sticking points).
Other Services That Will be Impacted
There is a heavy focus on how the end of Basic Authentication will impact the e-mail flow that many companies rely on, but that is not the only area that will be impacted. It is also important to note that other equipment may also suffer. For example, the following pieces of equipment are also considered to be at risk:
- Security cameras
- Any device requiring an SMTP relay
Simply put, many business infrastructures currently rely on Basic Authentication as provided by Microsoft. When this goes away very soon, so too will the ability of business owners to enjoy the upside benefits of these products. It is a very serious situation that needs to be addressed by all companies as soon as possible to avoid the worst fallout from when Basic Authentication is no more.
How to Respond
Preparation is the key for major events like this. If you are prepared for all possibilities, then you won’t be taken by surprise, and you can make some real progress towards keeping your business up to date and safe on all fronts. This is a larger process change than most, which should be recognized. When you understand the full scope of what Basic Authentication has meant for Microsoft Office and its users, it becomes clearer just how important something like this is.
What we can tell you is this. You should contact us to let us work with you to explain your options and why they are more bountiful than you may initially realize. We have the latest information and updates just for you, and this can help you get the details you need so you can adapt and react to changes in the technology landscape over time.