Exchange Online to Block Remote PowerShell Connections for New Tenants Next Month

Cloud Computing

Microsoft has announced that it’s deprecating Remote PowerShell (RPS) for Exchange Online in new tenants next month. The company will begin blocking RPS connections for all new Exchange Online customers on April 1, 2023.

“Today, we are announcing that starting April 1, 2023, we will start blocking RPS connections for all tenants created on or after April 1, 2023. After April 1, 2023, new tenants will not be able to use RPS when connecting to Exchange Online and will have to use the v3 module with REST cmdlets instead,” Microsoft explained.

Microsoft originally announced its plans to deprecate the use of the Exchange Online PowerShell v2 module in December 2022. The company built RPS to let IT admins use local workstations for managing Exchange 2010 on-premises servers. However, Remote PowerShell uses Basic Authentication that is subject to password spray attacks in organizations. Moreover, it also lacks support for the multifactor authentication (MFA) mechanism.

Microsoft launched the new REST-based Exchange Online management v3 module to boost security in September 2022. The company has already started deprecating Remote PowerShell for Exchange Online v2 in favor of v3, with a complete cut-off in July 2023. However, Microsoft found that many IT admins still use RPS to communicate with Exchange Online.

Update to Exchange Online PowerShell v3 module

Microsoft recommends Exchange Online customers to switch to the v3 PowerShell module as soon as possible instead. The company claims that the latest version supports modern authentication and it’s more secure as compared to the older PowerShell modules. Moreover, it includes a couple of new features and performance enhancements.

Microsoft acknowledged that many administrators might face challenges in migrating to the Exchange Online PowerShell v3 module. The company plans to let IT Pros delay the deprecation of Remote PowerShell in their tenants. “We heard your concerns related to deprecation timelines. We will soon release a tool to allow tenant admins to request an extension to use RPS for a little longer. We will keep you posted,” Microsoft added.