Microsoft plans to inject a dedicated multi-factor authentication (MFA) capability into Outlook for Android and iOS, with general availability expected to arrive this month.
Microsoft wants to make it easy for its Outlook users to perform MFA. With this, the Redmond company revealed in its latest Microsoft 365 roadmap entry that it will introduce the so-called “Authenticator Lite” in the application. According to the role description, it will cover work or school accounts used in the Microsoft 365 app, Azure Active Directory, and Outlook.
“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,” said the waybill entry read
Despite this, it is important to note that the company already offers the Microsoft authenticator that Android and iOS users can use for Outlook, other Microsoft products, and other third-party apps. And while the introduction of Authenticator Lite may sound redundant to those who already have Microsoft Authenticator, this will make Outlook a more complete application equipped with its own MFA feature. Furthermore, this could be one of the software giant’s initiatives to further boost Outlook’s security capabilities as more authorities scrutinize tech companies.
Last month, it may be recalled that the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Jen Easterly, shout Microsoft and Twitter due to the low rate of use of MFA among their customers. According to Easterly, only a quarter of Microsoft’s enterprise customers use it. Meanwhile, the official praised Apple for the high usage rate of the security feature due to his decision to make the feature default.
Microsoft is also determined to promote the use of MFA in its products, starting with Outlook. However, instead of going down the same path that Apple is taking by making MFA default, it seems that the software company wants to achieve this by making the security feature more convenient and accessible to encourage more users to adopt it. Once Authenticator Lite is fully implemented, we’ll see how effective this approach is for Microsoft and its products.