Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
Data Security
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft Buys Multi-Factor Authenticator PhoneFactor
Microsoft Buys Multi-Factor Authenticator PhoneFactor

By Barry Levine
October 4, 2012 4:08PM

Bookmark and Share
PhoneFactor, founded in 2001, is used by hundreds of organizations to secure logins and transactions. PhoneFactor's solutions already work with a variety of Microsoft products and services, such as Outlook Web Access or Internet Information Services, and it interoperates with Microsoft's Active Directory.
 


Microsoft has acquired multi-factor authentication provider PhoneFactor, the two companies announced Thursday. Terms were not disclosed.

Microsoft said in a statement that the acquisition will help to "enhance the security of almost any authentication scenario." PhoneFactor said it is the leading provider of phone-based, two-factor authentication solutions, and that its authentication is used in government, healthcare, enterprise, banking, and Web site applications.

Out-of-Band Methods

PhoneFactor, founded in 2001, is used by hundreds of organizations to secure logins and transactions. Its solutions already work with a variety of Microsoft products and services, such as Outlook Web Access or Internet Information Services, and it interoperates with Active Directory.

The company's authentication platform can be used either in a hosted or on-premise fashion, and it offers centralized user management, automated enrollment, user self-service and reporting. PhoneFactor said it would continue to provide support for its services, and that new customers would still be able to purchase PhoneFactor products directly from the company.

Multi-factor authentication systems have great potential, because they decrease the emphasis on coming up with a hard-to-guess password and require that the user have a physical device on hand. With such systems, users enter two or more supporting forms of identification to access a secure area or conduct a transaction.

PhoneFactor's phone-based multi-factor authentication methods use existing phones. It incorporates out-of-band methods, which means two separate channels are used to deliver the logon information, such as a phone call or a text message in conjunction with a typical user name and password combination. It also offers an OATH passcode option.

Third-Channel Option

With the company's system, for instance, a person enters a user name and password. Immediately, PhoneFactor calls the user, and the user simply answers the call and presses the # key. Instead of a phone call, PhoneFactor could send the user a text message with a logon- or transaction-specific passcode, which the user then enters.

Another alternative is that a notification is "pushed" to the PhoneFactor App on the user's smartphone or tablet, and the user clicks the "authenticate" button to complete.

PhoneFactor can also utilize a third factor, through a third channel, such as speaking a short passphrase during the authentication call. The spoken passphrase is then authenticated through a voiceprint.

The idea is that a hacker would need to know the user name and password, physically have the phone, and know the second- or third-channel confidential information. In the case of a voiceprint, of course, the hacker would be out of luck -- except in movies, when the victim's voice has been prerecorded.

The company's multi-factor authentication could also involve the generation of an OATH passcode, which is entered during login. An OATH passcode is generated by an open source algorithm, creating an unique passcode each time. The OATH option was added to PhoneFactor's portfolio in July, and can use either PhoneFactor's app or one from a third party to generate the passcode.


 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Data Security
1.   Retailers Hacked by New Malware
2.   IBM Beefs Up Identity Intelligence
3.   Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
4.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
5.   Protect Yourself from Identity Theft


advertisement
IBM Beefs Up Identity Intelligence
To offer biz better security products.
Average Rating:
Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
Users should assume they're affected.
Average Rating:
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Even if your data was compromised.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Ruling Against Microsoft Raises E-Mail Privacy Concern
Microsoft has been ordered to hand over e-mails to law enforcers in the United States as part of a criminal investigation, even though the e-mail is stored at a data center in Dublin,Ireland.
 
Twitter Buys Password Manager Startup Mitro
Following on the heels of another acquisition earlier this week, Twitter is adding to its fold a password-manager security startup called Mitro, which in turn is releasing its code as open source.
 
Government Requests for Customer Data Skyrocket
Requests for customer data from the government jumped 50 percent in the first half of 2014, according to Twitter, which received more than 2,000 requests for user info from gov't agencies.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.