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Office 365 Modern Authentication

ACNS will enable the modern authentication option in Exchange Online and Skype for Business on 5/30/2017. Modern authentication was previously set as the default by Microsoft for SharePoint Online. The most recent versions of Office have built-in support of modern authentication while older clients will continue to authenticate with Office 365 using existing protocols - i.e. enabling modern authentication offers backwards compatibility and is expected to be mostly transparent to users. Enabling modern authentication for Exchange Online and Skype Online in beneficial in that it introduces Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL)-based logins to Office apps and likewise allows for the future implementation of features such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), SAML-based third-party Identity Providers with Office client applications, and smart card and certificate-based authentication.

Clients with Built In Support for Modern Authentication:

Note: Clients not listed will continue to authenticate with Office 365 services using existing authentication protocols.

User Impact

No action is required on the part of end users or IT support as the result of modern authentication being enabled in Office 365. However, after the option is enabled, users who had previously opted to have their credentials stored by their Outlook or Office client may be prompted to re-authenticate, and users may notice a slight change in the appearance of the login form presented. For reference, the screenshots below show the traditional (i.e. pre-modern authentication) login prompt vs what the new login prompt will look like. Just as before, users should enter their username in the format of along with their eID password, when prompted.

Pre-Modern Authentication Login Prompt:

Old authentication window

Login Prompt example with Modern Authentication Enabled (appearance is similar in both Windows and Mac version of Office):

Exchange modern authentication dialog