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Yesterday, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 users had trouble logging into their accounts. The problem for this is a multi-factor authentication issue which prevented users to sign into their services. The outage started at 04:39 UTC, yesterday, with Azure Active Directory users struggling to gain access to their accounts when multi-factor authentification (MFA) was enabled. The issue continued for almost seven hours.

A notice confirming the outage was put up on Office 365’s service health page stating, “Affected users may be unable to sign in”. The impact of this outage is specific to any user who is located in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) or Asia Pacific (APAC) regions.

According to Azure’s status page, “Engineers have explored mitigating a back-end service via deploying a code hotfix, and this is currently being validated in a staging environment to verify before potential roll-out to production. Engineers are also continuing to explore additional workstreams to expedite mitigation.”

Azure engineers said that they are also developing an alternative code update to resolve the connectivity issue between MFA and the cache provider.

Pete Banham, cyber resilience expert at Mimecast, reported to CBR in an email statement, “With less than a month between disruptions, incidents like today’s Azure multi-factor authentication issue pose serious productivity risks for those sticking to a software-as-a-service monoculture.”

He further added, “No organization should trust a single cloud supplier without an independent cyber resilience and continuity plan to keep connected and productive during unplanned, and planned, email outages. Every minute of an email outage could costs businesses hundreds and thousands of pounds.”

According to Office 365 status page, “We’ve observed continued success with recent MFA requests and are taking additional actions in the environment in an effort to prevent new instances of this problem. Our investigation into the root cause of this problem is ongoing and maintained as our highest priority.”

To know more about this news in detail, head over to Techcrunch.

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