If there was any doubt that Microsoft is looking to dominate the enterprise and business software space, the company announced this week that it will offer multi-factor security authentication for most Microsoft Office users.
“We’re adding [it] for Office 365 to Office 365 Midsize Business, Enterprise plans, Academic Plans, Nonprofit Plans and standalone Office 365,” wrote Microsoft Technical Product Manager Paul Andrew in a blog post earlier this week.
The company will utilize technology similar to Facebook, Twitter and most email providers. Those platforms can push text messages, phone calls or app notifications for sign-in when users raise security settings.
“This update includes the current phone-based multi-factor authentication, and it adds capability to integrate other forms of authentication such as: third-party multi-factor authentication solutions and smart cards,” Andrews wrote. “Smart card support is planned to include the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Common Access Card (CAC) and the U.S. Federal Personal Identity Verification card (PIV), among others.”
The multi-factor authentication service measures may help lower security concerns some IT managers and CIOs may have about cloud-based Office 365. Microsoft has repeatedly stressed the software’s safety, and so far private consumers seem to have responded: More than 3.5 million users have subscribed to Office 365’s home version.
*Metaphorical key fob. Nobody really uses those anymore.