Multi-Factor Authentication in the Microsoft Azure Cloud
Security in the cloud is one of the major reasons many businesses hesitate to adopt cloud computing. Multi-factor authentication is always a good idea, and an even better one in the cloud. Microsoft Azure cloud supports two-step authentication and makes it easy to set up and customize to meet business needs.
Multi-factor authentication means that logging into systems needs more than just a password. Two-factor authentication requires users to prove their identity using two different verification methods:
- something you know, like a password
- something you have, like a cellphone that receives a security code
- something you are, meaning biometric factors like fingerprints or retinal scans
By adding the second authentication method, the risk that passwords will be stolen or guessed and grant unauthorized users access to the system is reduced.
Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication
Eric Datwyler, Account Relationship Manager at Prescient Solutions, discusses the importance and benefits of multi-factor authentication.
Multi-Factor Authentication in Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure makes it easy to set up multi-factor authentication. It’s scalable and integrates with on-premises Active Directory. It’s highly available; Microsoft guarantees 99.9% availability of the multi-factor authentication service.
Azure provides three ways users can provide authentication, including phone calls, texts, and through an application. Configure users to have more than one method enabled so they are able to access even if they lose their phone. You should also define trusted IP addresses that bypass the multi-factor authentication process so users don’t need to pass through multiple layers of security when they’re logging in from your trusted, internal network.
You should enhance your multi-factor authentication security with monitoring and alerts. Azure uses machine learning to recognize access patterns and reports suspicious activity in real-time.
Some applications may not work when user accounts have multi-factor authentication enabled because they don’t allow entry of a second password. Application passwords allow users to bypass two-step verification only for those applications.
With the widespread increase in the number of mobile devices used in business has come a corresponding increase in the number of mobile malware attacks. Enabling multi-factor authentication on Azure is an effective way to increase security and protect corporate resources.
Contact Prescient Solutions to learn more about keeping your data safe in the cloud. As a Microsoft Partner, we’re expert in the entire suite of Microsoft products. Our team offers IT consulting and managed services to help businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg leverage their information technology effectively. Microsoft Azure services from Prescient Solutions help you set up your Azure platform, migrate applications and data from on site servers to the cloud, configure and monitor security, and provide support to your users.