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Conditional Access Policy Settings Cause Microsoft 365 Access Issues

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On March 23, 2023, at ~8:22 AM ET, Microsoft communicated via tweet (@MSFT365status) that they were investigating an issue in which users with certain conditional access policies applied were unable to access any Microsoft 365 service.

For IT pros or system admins with Microsoft admin center "working" access, the incident number to reference for more complete details was MO531859.



Immediately, responses from the community on Twitter were quick to point out several clarifications.

Several community responses claimed that the "issue" started several hours prior to Microsoft's first communication on Twitter, and that for users who do not have access to the Microsoft Admin Center and who rely on timely messaging from @MSFT365status, this extreme delay in messaging was unacceptable.




Additionally, several community users tweeted the geographical regions impacted.  These impacted regions included the UK, Netherlands, the United States and Canada, and parts of the APAC region.

Some Twitter responders were suggesting that the cause may be due to inaccurate IP geolocations and that, if was indeed the case, this would not be the first time that this has happened.




At approximately 10:25 AM ET, Microsoft sent its second public message via Twitter as to the issue.  At this time, Microsoft was disclosing only that a reversion was ongoing.  Most customers were likely still experiencing a Microsoft 365 service disruption during the remediation efforts.



By 1:00PM ET, the matter was still not completely resolved.  Microsoft's third tweet indicated that remediation efforts were still underway at this time.



As of 4:00PM ET the Microsoft 365 service disruption was still not fully resolved. Microsoft communicated their fourth message via @MSFT365status at this time and stated that while many users globally had seen restored service, users in the United States and Japan were still suffering impacts. Microsoft at this time was still performing traffic redirects for the remaining impacted regions.



Finally, at 5:18PM ET, approximately 9 hours from their first tweet as to service incident MO531859, Microsoft was confirming that all service for all users had been restored.


During this entire service incident, repeated checks of the Microsoft Service Health Status page (as of 10:00AM ET) indicated no issues.



The Importance of Microsoft 365 Monitoring

In a cloud-world, outages are bound to happen. While Microsoft is responsible for restoring service during outages, IT needs to take ownership of their environment and user experience. It is crucial to have greater visibility into business impacts during a service outage the moment it happens.

ENow’s Microsoft 365 Monitoring and Reporting solution enables IT Pros to pinpoint the exact services effected and root cause of the issues an organization is experiencing during a service outage by providing:

  • The ability to monitor networks and entire environments in one place with ENow’s OneLook dashboard which makes identifying a problem fast and easy without having to scramble through Twitter and the Service Health Dashboard looking for answers.
  • A full picture of all services and subset of services affected during an outage with ENow’s remote probes which covers several Microsoft 365 apps and other cloud-based collaboration services.

Identify the scope of Microsoft 365 service outage impacts and restore workplace productivity with ENow’s Office 365 Monitoring and Reporting solution. Access your free 14-day trial today!

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