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Update on Basic Authentication and Exchange Online: April 2020

What is Exchange Online?
Exchange Online is Microsoft’s cloud-based email and collaboration platform. It is part of the Office 365 suite of services and is available to customers as a standalone service as well as part of an Office 365 subscription. Exchange Online provides users with access to their email, contacts, calendars, and tasks from any device with an internet connection.

What is Basic Authentication?
Basic Authentication is a method of authenticating users that has been around for a long time. It involves a user providing a username and password to access a service. Basic Authentication is still used in many services, including Exchange Online. It is not the most secure form of authentication, but it can be used as a last resort when other forms of authentication are not available.

Why is Basic Authentication Changing?
Microsoft is updating Basic Authentication in Exchange Online to improve security and reduce the risk of account compromise. As part of this update, Microsoft will be disabling Basic Authentication for Exchange Online in the near future. This means that users will no longer be able to use their username and password to access Exchange Online.

What are the Alternatives to Basic Authentication?
Microsoft recommends that users switch to using modern authentication protocols such as OAuth or OpenID Connect. OAuth and OpenID Connect are standards-based authentication protocols that are more secure than Basic Authentication. Microsoft has implemented support for these protocols in Exchange Online, and they are the recommended way to access Exchange Online going forward.

How to Migrate from Basic Authentication to Modern Authentication?
Migrating from Basic Authentication to modern authentication protocols can be a complex process. It involves making changes to the application or service that is accessing Exchange Online, as well as changes to the Exchange Online configuration. Microsoft provides detailed documentation to help customers migrate from Basic Authentication to modern authentication protocols.

Step 1: Update the Application or Service
The first step in the process is to update the application or service that is accessing Exchange Online. The application or service must be updated to use modern authentication protocols such as OAuth or OpenID Connect. Microsoft provides detailed documentation on how to update applications and services to use modern authentication protocols.

Step 2: Configure Exchange Online
The second step in the process is to configure Exchange Online to use modern authentication protocols. Microsoft provides detailed documentation on how to configure Exchange Online to use modern authentication protocols.

Step 3: Test and Validate the Configuration
The third step in the process is to test and validate the configuration. This involves testing the application or service to make sure it is working properly with Exchange Online. Microsoft provides detailed documentation on how to test and validate the configuration.

Conclusion
Microsoft is updating Basic Authentication in Exchange Online to improve security and reduce the risk of account compromise. As part of this update, Microsoft will be disabling Basic Authentication for Exchange Online in the near future. To ensure continued access to Exchange Online, users should migrate to modern authentication protocols such as OAuth or OpenID Connect. Microsoft provides detailed documentation to help customers migrate from Basic Authentication to modern authentication protocols.
References:
Basic Authentication and Exchange Online – April 2020 Update

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