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Exclusive: European Microsoft 365 outage sent Department for Education’s IT into “meltdown”

February 06, 2019 / Keumars Afifi-Sabet

The Department for Education (DfE) endured a 12-hour IT nightmare as a result of last month's European-wide Microsoft 365 outage.The government department's IT systems were paralysed on 24 January, with more than 6,000 of its employees locked out of their cloud-based Microsoft and email accounts, according to a DfE source, Cloud Pro has learnt.Crisis meetings were held throughout the day as officials scrambled with the consequences of a departmental-wide outage entirely out of their hands, and also unexplained at the time.The civil servant, who requested not to be named, also confirmed that colleagues were forced to share confidential documents using Skype's instant messaging.