Okta Device Access Redefines Zero Trust Security Paradigm

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  June 20, 2023

Trends come and go; such is their nature. They are often seen in fashion, culture, social behavior and technology, and tend to die out almost as fast as they come to fruition.

There is one trend, however, that unfortunately continues to grip organizations worldwide:

Identity-based attacks.

Various reports are out there proving this fact. According to Verizon (News - Alert)'s 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report, 60% of security incidents can be attributed to identity-based attacks, such as stolen credentials and insidious phishing schemes.

The report highlights a disconcerting finding: That is, missing desktops and laptops being at the forefront of security incidents, accounting for approximately 60% of cases involving lost or stolen assets. Surprisingly, this figure surpasses the impact of mobile phones or any other device.

Confronted by this sobering reality, organizations find themselves compelled to redirect their focus toward fortifying user and device identities. The implications are clear — security measures must be fortified, and vulnerabilities must be addressed promptly.

Okta is enabling businesses to secure access to devices and applications, and future-proof their hybrid work strategy by enabling employees to work easily and safely from anywhere with their new product, Okta Device Access. With this innovative offering, access management is unified, resulting in immediate productivity gains for administrators who can effortlessly integrate authentication policies across all user touchpoints.

Okta Device Access, part of Okta’s Workforce Identity Cloud, is designed to seamlessly function across a diverse range of devices, empowering customers to construct a technology architecture that embodies excellence. The launch of Okta Device Access introduces two vital capabilities: Desktop MFA (News - Alert) for Windows and macOS, and Desktop Password Sync for macOS.

Recognizing that devices are often the first vulnerable touchpoint for cyberattacks, organizations must prioritize MFA for device access, especially when working with government entities as required by certain cybersecurity regulations. This feature enables customers to extend Okta's Advanced MFA policies to desktop logins, bolstering their zero-trust strategies.

By fortifying local data, native apps and non-internet facing services on desktops, organizations can enhance their overall security posture.

Now, for Desktop Password Sync for macOS. In close collaboration with Jamf and leveraging Apple (News - Alert)'s Platform Single Sign-On Extension, this feature facilitates the secure provisioning of local macOS user accounts with Okta credentials. It seamlessly enrolls users into Okta Verify and FastPass, Okta's flagship passwordless authenticator, enabling robust authentication resistant to phishing attempts across all Okta-protected applications.

Organizations can further augment their authentication flows by incorporating relevant device context and benefit from enhanced security assurance through the Device Assurance capabilities offered by Okta Verify.

“We believe identity should empower IT and security teams to protect the enterprise across all touchpoints without compromising on productivity or agility,” said Arnab Bose, Chief Product Officer, Workforce Identity Cloud at Okta. “That’s why we’re investing meaningfully to become a first-party player in the device security space and provide our customers with a unified authentication experience from any device to all applications.

The vision for Okta Device Access is to unify access to everything employees need to work safely and productively from anywhere. By extending Okta’s leading IAM from apps to devices, customers advance their zero trust strategy with identity-powered security and a reimagined single sign-on experience across all touchpoints.

Edited by Alex Passett
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