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Microsoft Buys MFA Provider PhoneFactor

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 6:41am
Andrew Berg

Microsoft today announced that it has acquired phone-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) provider PhoneFactor. 

Bharat Shah, corporate vice president with Microsoft's server and tools division, made the announcement via a blog on the company's website.

Financial details of the deal were not available. 

Shah said the acquistion of PhoneFactor will allow Microsoft to reassure its business customers that their data is secure no matter what kind of device they're using. Shah says a single authentication, such as a password, just isn't enough these days. 

Shah says that typical MFA solutions are often too complicated, requiring the user to have a password as well as smartcard or other device.  He says PhoneFactor will allow Microsoft to provide a secure solution, as well as one that is convenient. 

"PhoneFactor is popular because its solutions interoperate well with Active Directory so users don’t have to learn new passwords and IT administrators and application developers can use infrastructure and services they already know," Shah wrote. "Also, perhaps most importantly, PhoneFactor is popular because it conveniently relies on a device that most users already have with them – their phone."

Microsoft says PhoneFactor's solutions will help its customers protect data in SharePoint, on their file servers and with their critical business apps running on-premises. In addition, they can be used to enhance the security of applications running in the cloud. 

"As we bring PhoneFactor onboard, we will drive further integration with key Microsoft technologies like Active Directory, Windows Azure Active Directory and Office 365, making it even easier for customers to protect their on-premises and cloud assets," Shah wrote. 

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