Microsoft is following in Google’s footsteps when it comes to the authentication process and security for user accounts. Given the slew of attacks on the big guns like Apple and Facebook recently, most companies are beefing up security to prevent future identity and information theft. Microsoft has now introduced two-step authentication to log in to access services from a Microsoft account. The authenticator app is similar to Google’s version for dual authentication.
Dual factor authentication works by asking the user for a password as well as a six digit code that is reprieved from the authenticator app on a user’s smartphone. The code changes often so that hackers cannot steal this data. Dual step authentication comes with its own set of pitfalls like having to authorize your phone before pairing it, working with apps and software that require access to the phone to factor in two step authentication and having to constantly carry the phone around when accessing a Microsoft account. The advantages outweigh the shortcomings as this technique provides users an additional layer of security, that is hard to get past without the password or the six digit code.
The authentication process is rumored to work with Google’s auth app as well, a very good thing since Google’s Authenticator runs on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and those who want to run Microsoft services can use the app with their smartphone OS. These new security measures will prevent access to personal Microsoft accounts and data theft since hackers now need two important bits of information – A password and a digit code that is changed frequently.