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The Issue

Security Defaults: Microsoft introduced Security Defaults to improve the overall security of tenant environments by enforcing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and other security practices by default. This helps protect against common identity-related attacks, such as password spraying and replay attacks.

Basic Authentication: Basic Auth is an older authentication protocol that requires sending credentials (username and password) with each request, making it more susceptible to interception and attacks. Microsoft has deprecated Basic Auth in favour of Modern Authentication (OAuth 2.0), which provides more secure methods, including MFA.

basic authentication login screen
printer error

Impact on SMTP Auth for Devices and Applications

Many legacy devices and applications, such as scanners, multifunction printers, and certain software, still rely on SMTP Auth to send emails. With the changes brought by Security Defaults and the deprecation of Basic Auth, these devices and applications face new challenges:

  1. Modern Authentication Requirement: Modern Authentication, which uses OAuth tokens, is not supported by many older devices and applications. These systems were designed to use Basic Auth, which has now been disabled by default under Security Defaults.
  2. Conditional Access Policies: If an organisation has conditional access policies in place that block legacy authentication, it further complicates the ability to use SMTP Auth.
  3. SMTP Auth Disabled by Default: As part of enhancing security, SMTP Auth is disabled by default in new Microsoft 365 tenants. Administrators must explicitly enable SMTP Auth for the entire tenant or for individual users who need it.

How Purple, and Mandrill, Can Help

Mandrill is a paid Mailchimp add-on, and allows clients to send one-to-one transactional emails triggered by user actions, like requesting a password or placing an order. Mandrill works as a workaround for several reasons, primarily because it bypasses the need for Basic Authentication (Basic Auth) and leverages more secure and modern email-sending protocols.

We use this alternative method that allows the sending of secure, authenticated emails from the likes of printers and scanners that use authenticated SMTP, which Microsoft 365 no longer supports out of the box.

Using Mandrill has the advantage that there is no actual mailbox attached to the account, so there is less incentive to be hacked. The account uses a random and unique password that nobody has any need to use, which means it’s highly unlikely to be exposed through phishing or other scams.

The Purple team will then go on to ensure that the Mandrill sending system is configured and correctly authorised to send legitimate emails from your company’s domain name, using DNS, to ensure good deliverability.

mandrill logo

Does our Scan-to-Email service sound right for you?

If you are interested in our Scan-to-Email service for your business, contact one of our experienced IT support team today to discuss how we can help you.

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Date Name Comments
Jun 12th Simon D Great service - got the programme working A+
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Jun 6th Niamh O Thanks for the speedy response/ help
Jun 2nd Bill S I was totally locked out and out of my depth with office 365 and outlook. I tried everything. Dean fixed it, got me up and running, (and on a weekend no less) and I am supremely grateful. Your Toronto staff rules!
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