Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Office 265 Multi-Factor Authentication and Roadmap Announcement

There as a big announcement that was publically disclosed recently that Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) was added to the Office 365 service - Here is a detailed article about it - This is a really exciting announcement about for MFA, two-factor authentication, 2FA, etc.

However I like to make clear that Office 365 has always been able to support 2FA and this was achievable through configuration of federation with ADFS (or other STS servers). So it is possible to integrated RSA, smart cards, etc. but the policy for third-party 2FA is managed by the customer and enforced through ADFS (or other STS servers). The new Office 365 MFA offering discussed here will be immensely valuable to customers who do not have federated authentication and are using Cloud Based IDs. If you do not know much about Office 365 authentication, I recommend you start with the Service Description and read some of the linked articles -

Another important announcement discussed is that Office 2013 client applications “native multi-factor authentication for applications such as Outlook, Lync, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PowerShell, and OneDrive for Business, with a release date planned for later in 2014”. This will work with this new solution Office 365 MFA as well as third-party 2FA solutions that have been implemented on-premise (i.e. RSA, smart cards, etc.).

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