Update your Microsoft Room Systems NOW or at least in the near future!
If you have been watching the latest updates to Microsoft O365, there is one announcement that you might have skipped and although not related directly to your Microsoft Teams Room system, this will have a significant impact to your room systems.
Microsoft intends to turn off basic authentication in Exchange online for ActiveSync, POP, IMAP and remote PowerShell and have announced they will be more precise in 2021.
This is one of the very important reasons why firmware 18.104.22.168 was released for the room systems as to support modern authentication.
What is basic authentication and why is it being deprecated?
Exchange online currently defaults to basic authentication which means the apps that access exchange online send a username and password across the network with every request. Its a relatively simple protocol, but might expose credentials if others are on the network looking for them in a nefarious manner. But the even larger reason for the switch over from basic authentication is an obstacle to organizations adopting multi-factor authentication tenant wide in Exchange online. Multi-factor authentication is the preferred method for many large organizations attempting to secure their data as this is beyond just a username and password that exposes millions of accounts world-wide these days.
After installing the update on the room systems and enabling the selection above, O365 admins will be able to configure the room systems to use Modern authentication to connect to Teams, Skype for Business and Exchange. This means that the authentication for the devices will now not be sending the credentials over the network, but will instead be using Oauth 2.0 tokens provided within Microsoft’s AAD (Azure Active Directory). But the even bigger benefit is that now your entire organization can move off basic authentication to the more modern approach.
So why do it now, can’t I just wait until October?
You don’t want to wait until Microsoft flips that switch and be forced to change all your room system units where you might find something within your organization’s structure might be preventing this. Better organizational management would be to test modern authentication now and make sure you are ready.