Security Advisor

Microsoft's Got a New Security Toy

Phone authentication could be installed in quite a few Microsoft products in the near future.

Redmond sent word last week that it had bought security firm PhoneFactor. The company specializes in adding a second level of security to software with mobile (and landline) authentication.

How it works is once you log into a software or Web site featuring PhoneFactor's service, you will receive a text message, phone call or push notification asking if that's really you trying to log in.

Microsoft has already been utilizing PhoneFactor in its Internet Information Services, Outlook Web Access and             Active Directory. But I'm guessing that it wants to extend this service to its other products, and it's much easier to just go ahead and buy the company instead of drafting up new contracts for each time Microsoft wants to use the mobile authentication.

One area where I think this could fit in nicely is its newest OS's Windows To Go feature. For those who have been asleep the past few years, this allows those running Windows 8 Enterprise to boot up their own desktop using a USB or other mass storage device. As someone who has misplaced a few of these small drives, adding this type of security authentication on something that anybody can easily walk away with seems like a no brainer.

How do you see Microsoft utilizing its new acquisition? Let me know below or send your thoughts to [email protected]  

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for and


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