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

Posted by Ignition Technology

March 11, 2021

It’s Time to Evolve Your Customer’s Experience with CIAM

Vaccine or no vaccine, COVID-19 has triggered digital transformation of unprecedented scale.

The transformation was already underway pre-pandemic. Following COVID, we’re now (if you can excuse the pun) entirely at home with working, banking, shopping, socialising, exercising and even ‘visiting’ our doctors via the digital realm.

It’s incredible to see. Still, the rapid transformation has birthed a unique set of security challenges, at the centre of which lies customer identity. 

How are organisations currently managing user access?

Some continue to hack away at legacy solutions, while others have attempted to build their own one-off identity systems from scratch. Both options introduce significant security risk. Yes, forcing round pegs into square holes is possible… but it’s messy. More to the point, it leaves clear gaps.

Enlisting a solution designed to eliminate the burden of authentication security altogether is  a third, superior approach. Okta CIAM has tools like adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), threat intelligence, machine learning capabilities, and API security built in rather than bolted on. That means those who use it get a more coherent and secure solution overall. 

Read on to learn more about the benefits Okta CIAM helps unlock.


Modern authentication

As app production ramps up and app diversity multiplies – web, mobile, single-page apps, and “smart everything”– identity plays an increasingly central role in both customer experience and security. Instead of building auth internally, forward-thinking organizations recognize their identity requirements are moving 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 CIAM. As part of our modern auth offering, we 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

Password reliance is the biggest weak spot for most application security programs. Put simply, passwords alone are insecure. To solve the password problem, organizations pair passwords with two-factor authentication and/or bolt on things like device fingerprint and device context solutions. Still, issues exist. Two-factor enrolments are poor and, for the most part, they harm customer experience. The lack of a comprehensive and cohesive trust model around app security built on identity creates risk.

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 much improved multi-factor experiences.


API Security

API development is fundamental to digital transformation. APIs serve as an efficient, scalable approach to sharing data and functionality. They accelerate development and serve teams – both internal and external – wherever 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, which makes any form of centralized control point a fantasy. What’s more, the sheer pace of API production frequently overwhelms security. Due to the complexity of API security and the difficulty reigning in API development, API 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. Once upon a time, digital transformation opened new markets and revenue opportunities. Post-COVID, however, transformation is more a matter of survival than a matter of growth.

Quick transitions are far from easy. The challenges are numerous and can often be complex. Security is a prime example. 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 intersect. Modernizing identity is it’s own unique challenge, and one that can derail project timelines and 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 modernise identity and support their 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.



Peter Zavlaris

Product Marketing Manager, Okta

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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