Identity and access management is an anchor for security and top of mind for enterprise IT departments. It is key to extending anytime, anywhere access to employees, partners, and customers. Today, we are pleased to announce the General Availability of Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication - delivering increased access security and convenience for IT and end users. 

Multi-Factor Authentication quickly enables an additional layer security for users signing in from around the globe. In addition to a username and password, users may authenticate via: 1) An application on their mobile device. 2) Automated voice call. 3) Text message with a passcode. It’s easy and meets user demand for a simple sign-in experience.

Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication can be configured in minutes for the many applications that require additional security, including:

    • On-Premises VPNs, Web Applications, and More -- Run the Multi-Factor Authentication Server on your existing hardware or in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. Synchronize with your Windows Server Active Directory for automated user set up.
    • Cloud Applications like Windows Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM -- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for Windows Azure AD identities with the flip of a switch, and users will be prompted to set up multi-factor the next time they sign-in. 
    • Custom Applications -- Use our SDK to build Multi-Factor Authentication phone call and text message authentication into your application’s sign-in or transaction processes.

Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication offers two pricing options: $2 per user per month or $2 for 10 authentications. Visit the pricing page to learn more.

For details on enabling Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication, please visit Scott Guthrie’s blog and check out this video. To get started with the new Multi-Factor Authentication service, visit the Windows Azure Management Portal and let us know what you think at @WindowsAzure!