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For more details refer to Getting Started with Office 365 Client Access Policy.Office 365 email access is governed by two attributes: an authentication method and an access protocol.This document covers the security issues discussed above and provides illustrative guidance on how to configure Office 365 with Okta to bridge the gap created by lack of MFA for Office 365.This information is based on internal research performed by the Okta security team and does not constitute a replacement for Okta documentation addressing Office 365 configuration for Okta. Basic Authentication Basic Authentication, in the Office 365 suite, is a legacy authentication mechanism that relies solely on username and password.Table 1 summarizes the list of Office 365 access protocols and the authentication methods they support.Note that ‘Power Shell’ is not an actual protocol used by email clients but required to interact with Exchange.For example, Outlook clients can default to Basic Authentication when by modifying registry on Windows machines. Office 365 currently does not offer the capability to disable Basic Authentication.
Legacy Authentication Protocols Protocols like POP and IMAP, which do not support modern authentication methods are referred to as legacy authentication protocols. Modern Authentication Supported Protocols Protocols like, Exchange Active Sync, EWS, MAPI, and Power Shell, which support both basic and modern authentication methods are classified as modern authentication protocols, in the context of this document.Okta’s security team sees countless intrusion attempts across its customer base, including phishing, password spraying, Knock Knock, and brute-force attacks.They continuously monitor and rapidly respond to these attacks to protect customer tenants and the Okta service.Not all access protocols used by Office 365 mail clients support Modern Authentication.Protocols like POP and IMAP only support basic authentication and hence cannot enforce MFA in their authentication flow. Regardless of the access protocol, email clients supporting Basic Authentication can sign-in and access Office 365 with only username and password despite the fact that federation enforces MFA. Modern authentication protocols like Exchange Active Sync, EWS and MAPI can also be used with basic authentication.
Behind the scenes, Office 365 suite uses Azure AD for handling authentication i.e. Federation Later sections of this paper focus on changes required to enforce MFA on Office 365 using federated authentication with Okta as IDP.