The cloud has paved the way for innovation across multiple industries: healthcare, financial services, and education, to name a few. The opportunities for government agencies to leverage modern technology are also extensive and abundant. The continued use of legacy technology is rife with heavy maintenance costs and increasing security risks signals the need for imminent change.
Okta is well positioned to help federal agencies meet standards like NIST’s SP 800-63 Digital Identity Guidelines and the Department of Defense’s Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) efficiently and securely. In 2017, Okta also received certification in the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a critical milestone that simplifies the FedRAMP process for partners and customers that use Okta within their own applications. For government agencies looking to protect important citizen and employee information, Okta makes it easy to attain the benefits of the cloud — improved user experience, productivity, security and cost savings — at scale and with great impact. Here’s how three organizations have already benefited:
FCC: Modernizing to the cloud
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent government agency responsible for regulating and licensing US communications — from radio, television, and wire, to satellite and cable. Much of the commission’s responsibility is to develop rules and regulations, requiring lengthy consultations with industry stakeholders and citizens. The time constraints of such a process were only compounded with on-prem infrastructure that was becoming increasingly difficult and expensive.
“We looked at transforming the way the FCC delivers citizen-centric services and accelerating a path to the cloud, really to improve the scalability, security, and agility of the overall IT organization,” says Byron Caswell, a technology and security advisor for innovation, working at the FCC.
The commission chose several Okta solutions, starting with Single Sign-On as the entry point for all FCC applications, including Box, Office 365, and ServiceNow. Lifecycle Management automates the process of provisioning and deprovisioning applications when users are onboarded and offboarded. And Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) protects the agency’s sensitive information, including license holders’ financial and banking details.
The result overall cost them six times less than the previous combination of on-prem solutions they were using, and gave the team the ability to scale quickly and seamlessly.
AFGE: Uniting thousands of members in one place
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal union representing federal and Washington D.C. government employees internationally. Members include doctors, law enforcement officers, scientists, correctional officers, nurses, and food inspectors. All in all, this is about 300,000 members and 400 employees. To serve all its members and employees, AFGE needed an agile, scalable IT infrastructure.
Enter Okta: Single Sign-On, Universal Directory, and Lifecycle Management form the core of AFGE’s foundation for all users, whether they’re inside or outside the organization. This was a shift from ADFS and on-prem servers, and resulted in $40K in annual IT savings, an 80% reduction in password-reset requests, and eliminating connector maintenance all together. End users have even reported seeing productivity savings valued at $100K+.
CMS: Closing the Innovation — and Security — Gap
In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) selected Okta to transition the federal agency to a modern identity architecture. At the time, Okta was already HIPAA compliant and pursuing FedRAMP authorization under the sponsorship of the Department of Justice (since received), ensuring CMS would meet the highly-stringent security needs of being both a healthcare and federal agency. Okta was brought on to enable CMS to securely control user access to a range of services, quickly provision and deprovision users, enable multi-factor authentication, and mitigate unauthorized access. This also made CMS’ IT architecture more agile and removed the need for patching, maintenance, and upgrades.
More than ever, leading technology solutions are shaping federal agencies and guiding how citizens and government think about the future. Okta is thrilled to be at the forefront of that change, ensuring that citizen data and sensitive information remains protected while giving employees and lawmakers the tools and access they need to succeed.