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Multi-factor Authentication on Azure, an Intro

The Internet is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. Hacking is becoming prevalent and every day you hear about more and more breaches in all sorts of different companies throughout the globe. This is why Multi-factor Authentication as a service from Azure is so important. Here’s a little information about the service including how it can help you with your particular business.

The Importance of Security

Multifactor security is a response to the fact that it’s getting easier for hackers to guess passwords due to the prevalence of information in the modern age. For example, social media sites, even those for major companies, can absolutely have information in them that hackers can take advantage of in combination with various methods including brute force and others. A brute force method, which just guesses as many combinations as possible to break a password, is obviously limited by security systems which limit guesses in a row. So, if the password is many different characters, this attack usually doesn’t work.

However, if the password has anything at all to do with the information in a profile for an employee of the company, for example, then this information is plugged into a program that limits the number of combinations being tried to those related to the employees’ interests. So, If the employee is interested in the Beatles, all combinations of all Beatles songs, both backward and forwards and also even mixed up, will be tried, for example. This drastically reduces how much the brute force approach has to go through and makes it much more likely that they will get into your system. This is why it’s important to add another layer of protection that doesn’t bog down your company.

Multifactor Authentication Azure Overview

This service has a number of famous customers including Walsh Construction and Fredrikson, for example. The focus of the service is about tightening up security while making it easier for people to use on an everyday basis. Obviously, this is going to be important when it comes to companies. You can’t have a company where it takes ten minutes and a hundred passcodes or other barriers for just allowing one employee to log in when they want to do so.

You can use Multi-factor Authentication services from Azure for your employees or your customers, and having an easy system to use that both allows your customers log on quickly, and provides for a strong security system that blocks many modern approaches. After all, customers are often going to drift away from a site or service if they think that the difficulty of signing into their account doesn’t make it worth it, or if the site is notorious for having security issues that hackers exploit. No one wants to risk their private data in this way. This is exactly why it’s often important to find a service that has the Multi-factor Authentication. You need to thread the needle between these two problems since neither is acceptable to customers.

Active Monitoring

This service from Azure also helps protect your security by using machine-learning in order to check for any kind of pattern that indicates that there may be a breach at any part of your business. The Azure service can specifically help to boost the ability of IT departments through alerts that let the agents take a closer look at any particular event that is flagged as a possible problem. After all, it’s difficult for the agents to be everywhere at once. Having the ability to merely check flags instead of trying to notice patterns on their own is going to be important since agents don’t have the same ability to go through thousands and thousands of possible logins the way that a computer can.

Major App Integration for Office

Another useful part of the service is that you can use the Multi-factor option with Office 365 in order to add security to these apps for free. If you go with the premium option with the directory, you can combine this with a huge number of applications, with the given examples being Dropbox and Salesforce. This is useful because Dropbox is often going to be a major target for attackers given the number of files you may be storing there, their importance and sensitivity, and how far you are distributing them. Files here could be critical if you’re sharing them with a huge number of team members, or even with customers, in other words.

This is the same with Salesforce, given the applications there often serve intimate functions in your company. Securing them could be critical to make sure that customer data stays secure since many apps here are going to allow sales agents to remember their conversations with past customers, along with their payment information, address, and other important details about them.

This is not the kind of information you can afford to get out. Using multi-factoring authentication should be considered a requirement for making sure you do your due diligence to stay modern in your security protocols with apps using this data.

Other Options

One thing that people find useful about this Azure Service is that it gives you customization options for the secondary authentication procedure. In other words, you can choose how you want the code to be transmitted based on your particular needs and the needs of your employees or customers. For example, if you are catering to a primarily tech-savvy audience, then chances are decent they may want to receive the authentication number on their phone through an app notification or a text message.

Otherwise, the preference may be a phone call. Obviously, this could also be one way or another based on other different factors, such as what people have to pay for, some of them may prefer free text messaging and phone calls, others might not. The point is, you have the ability to offer flexibility to your customers.

Additionally, there’s an option to build the multi-factor authentification app into any apps that you build for yourself. You’ll have access to the SDK, and along with the database of your own customers, you’ll have the ability to make sure that this option is available to any company-specific application that you make for yourself. This will often be a more effective tool for getting this level of security than trying to code for it yourself and handle the server load from the service yourself, or from using some other application and service that doesn’t have Microsoft’s reputation or capacity and experience.

Remember, this the reputation here is often just as important as anything else. Even the most green customer has probably heard of Microsoft before. And if you can add that your app and company site and infrastructure is protected in this way to those who ask about it on your site or elsewhere, then this could go a long way to helping secure people’s trust in your company. After all, if they want the services or products that you offer, they are going to have to go somewhere, so it’s a game of trust. By going with Azure, this could be a game that you can definitely win.

For more information on Azure services, including Multifactor Authentification, cloud services, and many others, please make sure that you contact us today.

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About Jess Coburn

It's Jess's responsibility as CEO and Founder of Applied Innovations to set the direction of Applied Innovations services to ensure that as a company we're consistently meeting the needs of our customers to help drive their success. In his spare time, Jess enjoys many of the things that made him a geek to begin with. That includes sexy new hardware, learning new technology and even a videogame or two! When you can’t find him at the office (which admittedly is rare), you’ll likely find him at the grill or in front of his smoker getting ready for some lip-smacking ribs to enjoy with his wife and two kids.

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