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back to article Microsoft adds two-factor authentication to Windows Azure

Microsoft's cloudy identity and access management tool has been given two-factor authentication. This lets admins add another layer of security into applications that integrate with Windows Azure Active Directory, Microsoft announced on Wednesday. Microsoft announced plans in April to bring two-factor authentication (in softy- …

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Anonymous Coward

$1 per 10 authentications is not the route to go; better off paying per user. I have used a few Sharepoint sites that you always had to put your password in twice. If that was online, that would be two logins right there and for the life of me, I don't understand why it always asks for your password again. If you could tie desktops to use their cloud based AD I would bet every time a user unlocks their computer it would be an authentication. Use 802.1x, yep, that would be another authentication. Outlook, yep, that would be another. A user just booting and getting logged in would be about 10 authentications right there.

I bet Microsoft will bump the price to $2 and then drop them back to a $1 as no one buys into it.

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Price make sense

Unfortunately since there is a running cost for the service in the form of the call centre I can understand both why the price is so high and why its per authentication.

I would be better if they split the normal 2 factor authentication via software and the more expensive with call center. However I would probably guess that the call centre would not be profitable without the additional users not using it.

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Holmes

Alternatively, you could use Google 2-step authenticator which is open source, does not phone home, allows you full control over who can log in to your Linux server with no third-party involvment and costs you $0 per month.

What's that you say? Azure is some sort of pay-thru-the nose Windows thing? Oh, carry on then . . . . .

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Ru

That isn't quite an apples-to-apples comparison... the Google system is just a TOTP/HOTP implementation (of which there are several other implementations, it being a standard of sorts... I use Gooze TOTP hardware tokens, for example) whereas the MS offering includes a dumbphone based auth system, like the sort of thing that Google has for their own products (if you've given them a backup mobile number, they can text an OTP code to that if you don't have your android device handy) but doesn't offer as part of their free package.

Whether the extra cost is worth it to anyone or not, I've no idea.

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Anonymous Coward

The problem with relying upon Google for anything is that they have developed a habit of stopping products, services or features with little to no notice. I wouldn't be particularly comfortable if I used anything Google which wasn't a total core product and then I would use features which you may consider exotic in any way.

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FAIL

"The problem with relying upon Google for anything is that they have developed a habit of stopping products, services or features with little to no notice"

<Kryten Mode>

An excellent point Mr Anonymous Coward, except for two minor facts. Google 2 step auth is not a Google "product" (ie. it is open source) and it does not phone home (ie: not a service) because it does not rely on google servers to operate.

Apart from those two trivial things you would have an excellent point.

</Kryten Mode>

More information here

P.S. Also, it is not at all like Microsoft to pull products that people rely on simply because they don't make anough money from them is it?

PlaysForSure anyone?

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FAIL

Windows Azure and Ms Accounts already have 2 factor auth

when logging in you already can use 2 factor authentication you can even use the google authenticator if you so choose. This is additional service on top of that for example you can phone a call center if you want ( hence the additional cost).

I think its good that they offer it but it will be too pricey for most businesses.

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