Feeds

Microsoft defends Azure with two-factor auth security

Like Amazon, but it costs money

High performance access to file storage

Updated Microsoft's multi-factor authentication service has gone into general availability, doubling prices and giving enterprises a service-level agreement.

Microsoft announced the general availability of the product in a blog post on Thursday. The MFA technology allows admins to add an additional layer of security to accounts using the company's cloud services.

Users can authenticate via an application on their mobile device, an automated voice call, or a text message. The technology was introduced in June of this year, and is based on assets it gained from its acquisition of PhoneFactor in October 2012.

The service works with on-premises VPNs and web applications via integrating with Windows Server Active Directory, as well as with cloud applications such as Windows Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM.

"The Preview period allows time to get customer feedback on new features and offers before generally available," a Microsoft spokesperson told El Reg.

"The security architecture is fully in place and tested before services are made available to customers in Preview. When the service becomes generally available, an SLA is added and pricing discounts offered during Preview are removed."

Pricing for the tech is $2 per user per month, or $2 for 10 authentications, making Microsoft significantly more expensive than Amazon Web Services, which charges nothing for a similar service. Additionally, Amazon sells a hardware-based authentication device from Gemalto for $12.99, although it lacks a phonecall or text message option for authentication and relies on an smartphone-based key-generating app. ®

Update:

When asked why Microsoft does not have a hardware-based option, Redmond said: "Hardware tokens are difficult to set up, manage, and use. Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication leverages the phone instead for improved convenience. We do offer a software token method using the Multi-Factor Authentication app for smartphones, which works like a hardware token to generate a one-time passcode. This is included in the per user or per authentication fee."

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.