What’s the difference between Microsoft user-based MFA and Azure MFA?


If your business relies on cloud computing services, it’s essential that you set security defaults that include multifactor authentication (MFA) to protect your resources. Protecting your user accounts during a sign in event is vital for securing accounts that require privileged access to data and other resources in the cloud. MFA has become the standard in electronic authentication, streamlining the process of granting access to a website or application while requiring two or more pieces, or factors, of evidence to an authentication process or mechanism. Using MFA ensures that your accounts are 99.9% less likely to undergo some type of compromise. 

You might wonder which multi factor authentication MFA service you should choose. Microsoft 365 MFA service and Azure multi factor authentication offer the best in modern authentication for Microsoft environments. It might help to explore each one and what it can do for you. 

Microsoft 365 User-Based MFA 

The Microsoft user experience offers you a reliable way to introduce additional security to your organization’s cloud-based applications. Take a look at some of the key features and authentication methods you will find in your Microsoft user-based MFA. 

  • Protection of accounts with trusted MFA method of security 
  • Microsoft authenticator app serves as a second factor 
  • A phone call is another second factor beyond your PIN or fingerprint factors 
  • Text messages provide a second form of authentication 
  • A mobile app for username and password solutions for clients that do not support MFA 
  • Office 365 MFA authenticator offer an extra layer of protection if you or one of your members’ passwords are stolen, forgotten or otherwise compromised 
  • Free and easy to use for Microsoft 365 account holders 
  • Stores and remembers all MFA for trusted devices 

Azure MFA 

As helpful as the standard Microsoft 365 MFA sounds, the full Azure MFA server subscription’s capabilities add even more protection for your cloud-based resources. Whether you require a second form of protection or want to boost security, Azure gives you the ability to enable MFA for your on-site applications. You can also receive a push notification for any fraud alerts or other types of vital reporting on your data in the cloud. Here are some additional features available with Azure MFA. 

  • Administrative control over various authentication methods 
  • Push notification for fraud alerts 
  • MFA service reports 
  • PIN mode 
  • Custom greetings to personalize phone call authentication factors 
  • Customization of caller identification for phone call authentications 
  • Sign in event confirmation 
  • An NPS extension that allows you to add cloud-based MFA to RADIUS 
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) that provide single sign-on access to applications and systems within an organization 

If you want to boost your MFA to the next level with Azure, purchase or register for your desired, eligible Azure AD tier, which comes in one of four editions: Free, Microsoft 365 apps, Premium P1 and Premium P2.  

Learn more about security in hybrid environments, check out our webinar, “3 Keys to Secure Hybrid Microsoft Management.”

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