Okta preparing for the end of passwords with new technologies

Published on
12/12/2019 01:54 PM

Okta is preparing for the time in the future when passwords will no longer be required by launching new identity and access management technologies.

Okta says its system means that organisations can replace passwords with “stronger authentication” for employees, partners and customers.

The company says its new “contextual access management” system has numerous features which make it more secure than password-protection.

By combining signals such as device, location and network context, with threat intelligence from across Okta's ecosystem through new ThreatInsight functionality, organisations will be able to use Okta's contextual access management to eliminate the login password as a primary factor of authentication.

ThreatInsight will be available in both Okta's new Adaptive Single Sign-On and enhanced Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication products.

Todd McKinnon, chief executive officer and co-founder, Okta, says: “The best password is no password at all. Today's threat actors are targeting the weakest point of your company's security – your people – and too many are successfully compromising employee accounts due to poor or stolen passwords.

“Over the past few years, we've invested heavily in new security technologies that provide the right level of protection for the many apps and services an organization uses today, which can vary by company, app, user and scenario.

“Now we're using both those signals across a user's login context as well as insight from across our ecosystem to improve an organization's ability to set stronger access controls and make faster, more intelligent decisions when there may be a concern – allowing companies to replace the password with stronger, simpler authentication.”

Despite Okta's new system, passwords are unlikely to completely disappear any time soon – too many use them now and at least some of them will continue to use them in the future.

However, along with Okta's system there are also new biometric systems emerging which also dispense with the need for passwords.

Biometric systems can include such things as fingerprint identification, iris scanning or even heart rate monitoring – potentially anything about human biology could be used.

A combination of alternatives to passwords will certainly make for a much more varied ecosystem of identity and access management technologies in the future.

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