Windows Azure Multi-factor authentication available now

Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Windows Azure multi-factor authentication service for all. The service costs $2 per user per month, or $2 for every 10 authentications.

For those who are not aware of it, using the Windows Azure Multi-Factor authentication requires filling in more than one form of verification to access an account. Microsoft has added extra steps to its sign-in process known as Active Authentication. After a user enters their username and password, they are required to also authenticate in one of three ways: users can either authenticate through a mobile app, phone call or text message.

Windows Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM, on-premises VPNs, Web applications and custom applications are some of the applications for which multi-factor authentication can be used. According to Microsoft multi-factor authentication can be set up in minutes for applications that require an additional level of access security.

Organizations must run a “Multi-Factor Authentication Server on your existing hardware or in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine” to secure their on-premises applications. Those looking to secure their cloud based application would need to enable “Multi-Factor Authentication for Windows Azure AD identities” and for this layered access security for their custom applications, organizations need to use Microsoft’s SDK to build Multi-Factor Authentication phone calls and text message authentication into your application’s sign-in or transaction processes.

Microsoft is also running a promotional offer until October 31 while the full prices will be applicable from November 1. For more information visit Windows Azure blog here and pricing page here and for information on how to set up multi-factor authentication, check out this video from Microsoft’s Channel 9.