Microsoft Buys PhoneFactor

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

"PhoneFactor, based in Overland Park, Kan., sells phone-based multi-factor authentication products for enterprises," writes Computerworld's Lucian Constantin. "Its technology was designed to work with both Microsoft enterprise products and with platforms from other vendors."

"Multi-factor authentication is mainly a concern in business and enterprise environments, where it’s critical that sensitive information is protected," writes TechCrunch's Sarah Perez. "The process typically involves something you know (like your password) and something you possess. This latter item is often a smartcard, which some users find confusing to deal with and can be hard to keep up with. Mobile phones, on the other hand, are almost always by our sides."

"The acquisition of PhoneFactor will help Microsoft bring effective and easy-to-use multifactor authentication to our cloud services and on-premises applications," Bharat Shah, corporate vice president of Microsoft's server and tools division, said in a statement. "In addition, PhoneFactor’s solutions will help Microsoft customers, partners and developers enhance the security of almost any authentication scenario."

"Microsoft says it will continue to sell PhoneFactor’s existing solutions as a standalone offer, and complement to Active Directory or Windows Azure Active Directory solutions," writes WebProNews' Chris Crum. "The company says that it will drive further integration with key Microsoft technologies (like those, as well as Office 365) over time."