Public preview of iOS and Android certificate-based authentication for Office 365 now live

Vu Anh Nguyen

Microsoft has recently published a post by Identity Division Director of Program Management, Alex Simons, on its TechNet blog to announce a new development in the company’s effort to improve cyber security beyond the password: certificate-based authentication for iOS and Android for Office 365.

The solution, which is going into public preview starting from today, will allow Office apps on Android and iOS to perform certificate-based authentication. These includes Office clients like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, OneDrive, Outlook, and also Skype for Business. In addition, mobile apps with Exchange ActiveSync support will also get certificate-based authentication to Exchange Online for all Azure AD (short for Active Directory) domains.

Certificate-based authentication carries many advantages over passwords, including reduced effort for end-user, ease of management, and native support by many enterprise apps and networks. With the recent influx of disastrous credential leaks from even large corporations, it’s clear password is becoming less and less reliable as a security measure; it’s great to see Microsoft pioneering alternatives like biometrics with Windows Hello, and now certificate. For a detailed guide on implementing this new solution, head to the original announcement. Stay tuned for more Azure and Microsoft news.