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Microsoft acquires multifactor authentication vendor PhoneFactor

Microsoft has purchased the multifactor factor authentication platform vendor for an undisclosed amount.

Microsoft has acquired PhoneFactor Inc., an Overland Park, Kan. Vendor that provides multifactor authentication technology via smartphones. The acquisition was announced in a press release Thursday.

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

Founded in 2001, PhoneFactor provides a phone-based authentication platform and helps companies secure logins and transactions. Its multifactor authentication service involves sending a code to a user's mobile phone to verify a person attempting to log into an application or company VPN.

The company also has a biometric voice authentication product that requires users to speak a passphrase that matches their voiceprint.

According to the companies, PhoneFactor is already compatible with many Microsoft products and services, including Outlook Web Access and Internet Information Services, and integrates with Active Directory. In February of 2011, PhoneFactor announced that its multifactor authentication service had been integrated with Microsoft's HealthVault.

The Microsoft-PhoneFactor deal positions Microsoft to not only build mature multifactor authentication services into its products, but also to compete with authentication vendors like EMC Corp.'s RSA unit, Symantec Corp. and SafeNet Inc.

"We are thrilled to join Microsoft and look forward to bringing our secure, cost- effective and convenient authentication solutions to the millions of Microsoft customers, partners and developers around the world," said Timothy Sutton, CEO and co-founder of PhoneFactor, in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not made public.

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