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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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FinTech Forward, a collaboration of American Banker and BAI, brings together the research, media, and event capabilities of banking’s top two professional information and education organizations. The initiative includes the annual FinTech Rankings of technology vendors to the financial services industry and new proprietary research and market analysis conducted by BAI and American Banker to identify the forces and trends that are motivating banks’ technology investment.

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