Okta, a vendor of ID management software, has unveiled three new cybersecurity partnerships that will help safeguard corporate networks.
San Francisco-based Okta helps users access various applications with one set of credentials and has sought to integrate its software with that of other vendors to burnish its image as an open and neutral vendor. The latest partnerships with VMware’s Carbon Black unit, CrowdStrike and Tanium were in the works before the coronavirus pandemic struck, but the offering may very well be boosted by the experience companies have of securing systems from infiltration while so many employees work from home.
“With Covid-19, where everyone is trying to work from home, the ability to do work in a secure environment and integrating that together is more important than it’s ever been,” said CEO Todd McKinnon. “Carbon Black is scanning the device for malware and viruses. This information pumps that right into Okta. If your device has anything bad on it from a security standpoint, you can’t get in anywhere.”
Okta and VMware had already been working together, but have expanded their existing relationship to include Carbon Black, which VMware acquired in October 2019. VMware will be Okta’s premier partner in its effort to boost endpoint security, reflecting the virtualisation company’s large size and long list of customers.
According to Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s chief operating officer of customer operations, the solution will reduce the need for employees to access corporate networks with cumbersome numbers or token systems. He says it is expected to be available to customers in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Products from Crowdstrike and Tanium will also be integrated with Okta’s software in a similar way, the company said.
Many companies have purchased new laptops and tablets to enable employees to work from home and maintain a level of operational normality (see Flexible working still a huge opportunity for B2B telcos). However, cyber criminals see mass home working as an opportunity to exploit and have ramped up their efforts accordingly.
While part of the solution is the adoption of virtual private networks (VPNs) and network-based security, device security is equally important to provide end-to-end security to help mitigate against the various forms of malware, phishing and ransomware attacks. Combining this with access management solutions, such as Okta provides, delivers an even more protective layer.
Omnisperience believes that organisations such as Okta that deliver access management solutions need to raise the visibility of what we call ‘User Isolation Protection’ (UIP).
The greatest challenge that organisations have to battle is that the user provides (in most cases unintentionally) the entry and exit points for many of the cyber incidents that occur. Automated ‘identity provenance’ of the user, where the individual can be validated with minimal physical interaction, removes a key advantage that cyber criminals possess – the first strike advantage when the user is asked to interact. Remove this and the criminal is stranded.
A UIP approach reduces or eliminates many malware disruptions far earlier in the kill chain – making it a critical strategy for end-to-end security.