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We’re Living Through a Digital Transformation. Has Your Security Kept Up?

PeterZavlaris
Peter Zavlaris
Product Marketing Manager

As organizations race to the cloud, a unique set of challenges has emerged in customer security, and customer identity is a hotspot. Some organizations will try to lift and shift their previous on-prem technology, patterns, and practices to the cloud, while others will attempt to build their own identity systems themselves. Both options introduce significant security risk, as teams try to force legacy approaches into modern environments or relearn lessons that have been well understood for nearly a decade.

A better option is to choose and apply an approach specifically designed and built to address these scenarios while taking advantage of capabilities that come as a part of a larger network. When tools like adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), threat intelligence, machine learning capabilities, and API security come standard (instead of bolted on after the fact), teams get a more coherent and secure solution overall. Read on to learn exactly how your team can too.

Modern authentication

As app production ramps up and the diversity of apps continues to multiply—web, mobile, single-page apps, and “smart everything”—identity is playing a more central role in both customer experience and security. Instead of building auth internally, organizations recognize their requirements are going well beyond traditional identity capabilities.

Modern app development is decentralized and powered by APIs, both internally and externally. Secure single sign-on experiences are no longer just built on SAML and WS Fed. Rolling out modern identity and authorization standards (namely, OAuth 2.0 and OIDC) is complex and requires support for a variety of use cases.

OAuth 2.0 and OIDC are built into Okta. As part of our modern auth offering, we tightly couple seamless single sign-on experiences with enhanced security (e.g., pre- and post reg threat analysis) along the customer journey. In addition, you can extend digital services built on authorization and add privacy as a foundational offering.

Adaptive MFA

The reliance on passwords is the biggest weak spot for most application security programs. In order to solve for password security problems, organizations deploy two-factor authentication and/or bolt on various point solutions like device fingerprint and device context. The problem with passwords is, they're insecure. Two-factor enrollments are poor and, for the  most part, only serve to diminish the customer experience for legitimate users. At a foundational level, businesses create risk because of a lack of a comprehensive and cohesive trust model around app security built on identity.

Our modern auth solution provides secure auth experiences and ties together passwordless policy, modern auth experiences, adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), and login contexts to define the auth journey. The end result is friction only when necessary and a much improved multi-factor experiences.

API Security

One of the fundamental approaches to digital transformation is via API development. APIs serve as an efficient, scalable approach to share data and functionality to speed up development and meet teams—both internal and external—where they are in the ways they need. As opposed to large scale, multi-team efforts, APIs are produced in small, agile teams.

These teams are typically organized into operational silos, making it incredibly difficult to have a centralized control point. Also, the pace of API production can overwhelm security. Due to the complexity of API security and the difficulty reining in API development, security can be painfully slow or, worse, non-existent.

A good API security strategy balances speed with control and visibility. Okta makes it possible for security admins to control configuration policies for API access without custom code. The solution integrates seamlessly with popular API Gateways, including Apigee, AWS, NGINX, and Mulesoft.

Improving security with Okta

The stakes for digitization are high. Successfully transitioning your business to the cloud spurs growth by opening up new markets and new revenue channels. On the other hand, ignoring the digital landscape or failing to execute a transition creates the opportunity for technology-driven disruptors.

Transitioning the business is not easy. The challenges are numerous and can often be complex, and security is a key factor. Customer experience is another. Organizations that have successfully transitioned are striking the correct balance between security and customer experience. Identity is where security and customer experience necessarily intersect. Modernizing identity is it’s own unique challenge, and one that can derail project timelines as well as increase security risk.

In order to digitize faster in a cost effective and secure way, brands like Allergan, Experian, and MGM Resorts have partnered with Okta to support their journey through digital transformation.

To learn more about the advantages of a modern identity solution, including a cost benefit analysis, download this white paper: Build vs. Buy: Key considerations and the advantages of a pre-built identity.

PeterZavlaris
Peter Zavlaris
Product Marketing Manager

Peter has 10+ years of go-to-market experience in IT infrastructure as a service, cyber security, fraud & abuse, and identity & access management. Prior to Okta, he worked for the fraud and abuse company Smyte, acquired by Twitter in 2018. He is a bylined author with contributed articles for Dark Reading, HelpNet Security, Network World, and Wired.

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