If you use Microsoft Office and Outlook, it may be time for preparations to begin! Microsoft announced that starting on October 1st, 2022, early versions of Office and Outlook will stop working! It’s been in the media since last year. We at Great Lakes have reminded our customers through several emails. Now is the time to understand what’s happening and be prepared by upgrading your system. Otherwise, these applications will stop working and you may find yourself stuck.

Why Is This Microsoft Upgrade Necessary?

When this change was first announced in September 2021, Microsoft stated they would be turning off Basic Authentication in their Microsoft Office and Outlook applications. They explained it as follows: 

“Basic Authentication is an outdated industry standard, and threats posed by it have only increased in the time since we originally announced we were making this change. The original announcement was titled ‘Improving Security – Together’ and that’s never been truer than it is now. We need to work together to improve security. We take our role in that statement seriously, and our end goal is turning off Basic Auth for all our customers. But every day Basic Auth remains enabled in your tenant, your data is at risk, and so your role is to get your clients and apps off Basic Auth, move them to stronger and better options, and then secure your tenant, before we do.” 

What Will Happen on October 1st?

We remind our customers all the time of the importance of upgrading software when they receive the reminders to do so. But for this particular instance, it’s vital! In Microsoft’s latest announcement in May 2022, they said the following: 

“As we communicated last year in blog posts and Message Center posts, we will start to turn off Basic Authentication in our worldwide multi-tenant service on October 1, 2022. To be clear, we will start on October 1; this is not the date we turn it off for everyone. We will randomly select tenants, send 7-day warning Message Center posts (and post Service Health Dashboard notices), then we will turn off Basic Auth in the tenant. We expect to complete this by the end of this year. You should therefore be ready by October 1. 

We’re turning off Basic Auth for the following protocols: MAPI, RPC, Offline Address Book (OAB), Exchange Web Services (EWS), POP, IMAP, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), and Remote PowerShell.” 

And in case you were wondering, Microsoft made it clear there would be NO exceptions made for this update. You must update your systems to Modern Authentication. 

What Should You Do to Prepare?

Once the update goes live, you will receive an “HTTP 401: error” when it’s been into effect, making it impossible to login to these systems. So to prepare, follow these two steps: 

  1. Answer this question: Are you currently using Basic Authentication? If the answer is no, you’re safe! No need to do anything. If the answer is yes, move on to question 2. But if you don’t know, either contact us and we can assist you, or follow these steps from Microsoft: “Azure AD sign-in events is the best place to look (filter by client app, then in the client app filter, check the boxes for the affected protocols under Legacy Authentication Clients).” 
  2. If you are still using Basic Authentication, update your system and turn on Modern Authentication

Many customers of ours get overwhelmed by major updates such as these—so not to worry! You’re not alone! Great Lakes Computer Corporation can help! Just contact us. We will review your systems and make the necessary updates to keep your business secure, but most importantly, running!