Microsoft Buys Security Firm PhoneFactor

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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) announced Thursday it has purchased PhoneFactor Inc., a multifactor authentication solutions provider with many financial institution clients.

The amount paid for the Overland Park, Kan.-based company wasn't disclosed.

"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.

PhoneFactor , which was founded in 2001, sells a phone-based authentication platform to a variety of industries, including financial institutions. The offerings are meant to better secure account logins and financial transactions by leveraging the customer's phone through either a phone call, text message or push notification to help know whether the consumer is who he says he is.

In a blog post, CEO and Co-Founder Tim Sutton writes:

"With Microsoft's product breadth and distribution reach, it will be possible to bring the benefits of PhoneFactor to a broader set of customers, partners and developers than we could as a stand-alone company. And as part of Microsoft, we will work to improve the interoperability and ease of use of our solutions - but more to come on that in the future."

Sutton also wrote that his team will continue to support existing customers "in the same manner we do today."

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