Microsoft has been busy of late, making a raft of improvements to their email system that are designed to enhance user security.
Not long ago, they added a fantastically useful feature called ‘Plus Addressing’ which allows Office 365 users to make use of an unlimited number of disposable recipient email addresses and track email sources.
Now, the Redmond giant is upping the ante further, with an “External” email tag coming soon to your cloud-based email inbox.
Once the feature becomes available, Exchange admins will have a new tool in their arsenal to provide better protection from phishing, and malicious emails that rely on unsuspecting users opening attachments from senders outside the company. Any email received from an external source will be automatically tagged on the inbox view pane. Additionally, in some Outlook clients, the “mail tip” will also be included at the top of the reading pane, along with the sender’s email address.
Note that this change will not show up for absolutely everyone. It will only be visible to users who make use of Outlook on the web, the new Outlook for Mac, and Outlook Mobile (for both iOS and Android users).
When the new feature is ready to use, it will roll out to all Office 365 environments with the external tag feature set to ‘off’ by default. If you want to enable it, you’ll need to use the “Get-ExternalInOut” and “SetExternalINOutlook” PowerShell cmdlets.
If you enable the feature, then withing 24 to 48 hours your users will start seeing the tag on all emails received from outside your organization.
In addition to this change, the company is also working on adding SMTP MTA Strick Transport Security to Exchange Online to better combat man in the middle attacks. These are exceptional changes and we look forward to seeing the new tag in action. Kudos to Microsoft for continuing to enhance their ubiquitous email service.