Microsoft adds multi-factor authentication to Office 365 business users

From a network administrator’s point of view, there’s almost nothing worse than a compromised corporate email account. An outsider who can successfully break into that account can wreak havoc with every device and service that’s connected to it, accessing whatever information that user has access to and using self-service password reset tools to gain access to other personal and corporate resources.

Microsoft is offering multifactor authentication free as an option to all users of its Office 365 suite, a hosted set of Microsoft Office tools and applications. The company also plans to add multifactor authentication for Office 2013 client applications, with native multifactor support for applications such as Outlook, Lync, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PowerShell, and OneDrive for Business, planned for release later this year, Paul Andrew, technical product manager on the Office 365 team, wrote in a blog post Monday. Microsoft also plans to integrate third-party multifactor authentication systems and smart cards such as the Common Access Card of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. federal Personal Identity Verification card. Multifactor authentication has been available for Office 365 administrative roles since June last year.

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