Okta announced today that it is expanding its platform to a few new domains. Until now, the company was known for its Identity Access Management product, which gave businesses the ability to sign in to multiple cloud products with a single authentication. Today, the company is moving towards two new areas: privileged access and identity governance
Privileged Access gives businesses the ability to provide as needed access to a limited number of people to key administrative departments within a business. This could be your database or your servers or any part of your technology stack that is very sensitive and over which you want to have tight control over who can access those systems.
Okta CEO Todd McKinnon says Okta has always been successful in locking down general user population access to cloud services like Salesforce, Office 365, and Gmail. What these cloud services have in common is that you access them through a web interface.
Administrators access specialized accounts using different protocols. “It’s something like a secure shell, or you use a terminal on your computer to connect to a server in the cloud, or it’s a connection to a database where you connect with an SQL connection, or you connect to a container, which is the Kubernetes protocol to actually manage the container, ”McKinnon explained.
Privileged Access offers a few key features, including the ability to limit access to a given window of time and record video of the session so that there is an audit trail of what happened. exactly while someone was accessing the system. McKinnon claims that these features provide additional layers of protection for these sensitive accounts.
He says it will be quite trivial to separate these accounts because Okta has already divided users into groups and can only grant these special privileges to those people in the administrative access group. The challenge was to figure out how to access these other types of protocols.
The governance element enables security operations teams to run detailed reports and investigate identity issues. “Governance provides exception reports so you can pass them on to your auditors and, more importantly, you can pass them on to your security team to make sure you understand what’s going on and why there is this discrepancy. in relation to your stated policy, ”he said.
All of this, combined with Auth0’s $ 6.5 billion acquisition last month, is part of a larger plan the company has to become what McKinnon calls the identity cloud. He sees a market with several strategic clouds and he thinks identity will be part of it.
“Because identity is so critical to everything, it unlocks your customer, access, it unlocks your employees’ access, it secures everything. And so this expansion, whether it’s the identity of the untrusted customer or whether it’s about doing more about the identity of the workforce with not only access, but privileged access. and identity governance. It’s about the evolution of identity in this core cloud, ”he said.
While both of these new products were announced today at the company’s Oktane virtual customer conference, they won’t typically be available until the first quarter of next year.