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Preparing for Basic Authentication Deprecation in Exchange Online

Basic Authentication Deprecation in Exchange Online: What to Expect
Exchange Online is the Microsoft-hosted email and calendaring service. It’s a powerful tool for businesses, but like many other cloud-based services, it’s constantly evolving and being updated. One of the most recent changes to Exchange Online is the deprecation of basic authentication. In this article, we’ll take a look at what this deprecation means and how it will affect users.

What Is Basic Authentication?
Basic authentication is a type of authentication used in web-based applications. It typically involves entering a username and password to access the application, and is often used for web-based email clients. It’s also used for other applications, such as Office 365 and Outlook.

Why Is Microsoft Deprecating Basic Authentication?
Microsoft is deprecating basic authentication in Exchange Online in order to improve security. Basic authentication is considered less secure than other methods because it transmits user credentials in plain text. This means that anyone who intercepts the data can easily access the user’s account.

What Does This Mean for Exchange Online Users?
For most users, the deprecation of basic authentication won’t have any effect. However, there are a few scenarios where the change will have an impact.

IMAP/POP Clients
If you’re using a third-party IMAP/POP client (such as Thunderbird or Apple Mail), you’ll need to use the OAuth authentication method instead of basic authentication. OAuth is a more secure authentication method, and Microsoft will no longer support basic authentication for these clients.

Legacy Applications
If your organization is using legacy applications that rely on basic authentication, you’ll need to update them to use OAuth or another more secure authentication method.

Exchange Online PowerShell
If you’re using Exchange Online PowerShell, you’ll need to update your scripts to use the OAuth authentication method. This includes scripts that are used for administrative tasks, such as mailbox management and user provisioning.

How Can I Prepare for the Deprecation?
If you’re using any of the above scenarios, you’ll need to prepare for the deprecation of basic authentication in Exchange Online. Here are some steps you can take:

Review Your Applications
Take some time to review any applications or scripts that use basic authentication. Make sure they’re compatible with the OAuth authentication method, and update them if necessary.

Test Your Applications
Once you’ve updated your applications and scripts, test them thoroughly to make sure they’re working properly.

Train Your Users
If you have users who are using IMAP/POP clients or legacy applications, make sure they understand the change and how it will affect them.

Conclusion
The deprecation of basic authentication in Exchange Online is an important security measure for organizations. It will help protect user accounts, as well as any applications or scripts that rely on basic authentication. However, it’s important to review your applications and scripts and make sure they’re compatible with the OAuth authentication method. Additionally, it’s important to train your users on the changes, so they understand how it will affect them.
References:
Basic Authentication Deprecation in Exchange Online – What’s Next

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