Enhanced Security for Microsoft 365 Users with Outlook MFA

Outlook App

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Microsoft is Developing Authenticator Lite for Outlook App

Microsoft is working on enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) requests directly in the Outlook app for certain users, according to a new entry in the company’s roadmap. The feature, called Authenticator Lite, is designed to allow business and education users to access one-time passcodes without the need for an additional authenticator app. This important cybersecurity feature will be integrated into an app that many of its customers will already have installed on their devices, streamlining Microsoft’s approach to security.

Until now, Microsoft 365 account holders have had to make do with a separate app, SMS or phone call codes, or a physical key. Authenticator Lite (in Outlook) is a feature that allows users to complete multi-factor authentication (MFA) for their work or school account using the Outlook app on their iOS or Android device. However, the clear focus on smartphones and tablets risks neglecting PC users, who will still need to physically type out the time-sensitive code or use a third-party authenticator already available for computers.

It’s unclear whether Microsoft has plans to roll out the feature more widely to support more operating systems and hardware types. For now, it remains in development according to the roadmap, which also says that the preview and general availability are set for this month – March 2023.

While Microsoft already operates an Authenticator app on both mobile platforms, the company has been doing some tidying up recently as it sweeps up some of the mess left behind from the transition to Microsoft 365 (from Office 365). Its long-term intentions are unclear, however it’s reasonable to suspect that Microsoft may build authentication into its existing products, eliminating the need for a dedicated app.

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