Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Buys Mobile Security Firm

Microsoft CorporationMicrosoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has gone shopping recently, as it announced this week that it is purchasing mobile security company PhoneFactor, which conducts mobile device authentication services. Phone Factor conducts login authentication in any of three ways – with a phone message to the user’s phone number, a text message with a passcode or with a single-push notification through a PhoneFactor smartphone app.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was already using the technology in a handful of its services, and now Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) says that it will integrate the service across all of its platforms once the sale is finalized by regulators.

“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, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) vice president. “In addition, PhoneFactor’s solutions will help Microsoft customers, partners and developers enhance the security of almost any authentication scenario.”

Current PhoneFactor subscribers will see no changes in their service, and new customers may still buy the service directly through its Web site.  “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,” wrote PhoneFactor CEO Timothy Sutton in a blog post. “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.”

Specific details of the deal have not yet been released by either company. however, this acquisition may be something tht could help overall mobile security for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) as it moves into more mobile platforms withe the impending launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems. Improving security can certainly be a positive step for Microsoft, as well as for investors in the stock like billionaire fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital.