Microsoft Acquires PhoneFactor

Today I am excited to announce that we are welcoming PhoneFactor to the Microsoft family. For those of you not familiar with PhoneFactor, they are an industry leader in phone-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) and their solutions bring a unique blend of security and convenience to our developers, partners and customers.

People are connecting to critical applications and services through an ever-growing number of devices – corporate PCs, business or personal laptops, personal phones, and more. These applications and devices are generally only secured using single factor authentication (i.e. passwords).  As many are aware, single-factor authentication can often be insufficient, which is why leading businesses around the world are turning to MFA to enhance security in a multi-device, mobile, and cloud-centric world. Typical MFA solutions require the user to have something they know (like their password) and something they physically possess (a device of some kind like a smartcard) – and the result is often too complex or hard to use.  MFA is meant to provide enhanced security, but for it to be effective it must also be 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.  Also, perhaps most importantly, PhoneFactor is popular because it conveniently relies on a device that most users already have with them – their phone.

PhoneFactor’s solutions can be implemented to help Microsoft 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. To learn more about PhoneFactor and what our MFA solutions can do for you – today – please visit: www.PhoneFactor.com.

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. Of course, we will continue to work with other security partners in the industry to offer a broad array of multi-factor and strong authentication solutions to best meet the wide-ranging and unique security requirements of our customers.

I am thrilled to welcome PhoneFactor to Microsoft and I look forward to sharing more about our plans in the near future.

    – Bharat Shah, Corporate Vice President, Server and Tools Division.