Authentication and authorization are two significant components when building web applications, as developers are required to know and recognize the identity of their users, grant them access and then restrict access to unregistered or unauthorized users. Simply put, it is a process by which a user’s identity is recognized. In this tutorial, we will look at and compare Okta with other authentication managers and then know why you should make Okta your authentication manager of choice.
What is Okta?
Okta is an Enterprise-level automated Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) platform for securing every identity, resulting in developers focusing on higher issues. Its Single Sign-On and Multi-factor Authentication features give colleagues and customers access to software with one login. With Okta, you can connect your application to any stack or language and determine how you want the users to sign in. Okta also allows IT admins to manage cloud-based applications across their enterprise securely.
What is Auth0?
Auth0 is an open-standard authentication & authorization service that runs on AWS. It provides security without the stress of learning security expertise. AuthO is easy to implement and offers secured login for any platform or device. It runs on AWS and benefits from the encryption and security services built into the AWS platform, making operating an advanced security system straightforward. It is mainly for managing public user access to your app. Recently Okta completed its acquisition of Auth0 to enable it to provide security for small to medium-sized organizations.
What is Azure AD?
Azure Active Directory is an identity and access management solution with cloud-based protocols, owned and managed by Microsoft. It provides tools like adaptive Authentication and multi-factor Authentication for securing devices connected to your network. And if you are using a Windows environment, it makes it a lot easier to be up and running.
What is OneLogin?
OneLogin is an identity platform with user-friendly tools which simplify management, integrate with users’ existing directory seamlessly, and give users access to applications faster by logging into a single interface once. It is a cloud-based entity that can be integrated with most applications and comes with tools like Single sign-on. It eliminates and incorporates passwordless Authentication for companies that accept and embrace cloud computing.
Features of Okta
Okta comes with features like Single Sign-on, Multi-factor Authentication, life cycle management, etc., and in this section, we are going to talk about and understand what all this means:
- Single Sign-on (SSO): Okta comes with single sign-on access meaning that once you have logged into your account, you can then access your application anywhere without the need to log in again or input your credentials. It also lets users access multiple applications with a single password, and there is also accessibility for mobile and cloud applications.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Okta addresses the issue that secrets can be compromised through Single sign-on by integrating the Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). MFA ensures secrets like passwords are not leaked and compromised by asking extra identification in the form of Knowledge (answering a personal question), one-time passwords, biometrics (facial or fingerprint unlock), and many other means.
- Life cycle management: Life cycle management is an initiative businesses use to improve their product sustainability. Okta enables this feature by automatically increasing the efficiency of IT processes like onboarding and offboarding users, thereby saving an average of 30 minutes of IT time per request and 20 dollars on audits preparation every year. You can view more about this information here.
- Customizable Identity management: This feature allows users to create and customize their Okta components to provide authentication solutions to their various needs without using the default features provided by Okta.
- Provisioning: Manual provisioning and de-provisioning processes increase security risks. Okta addresses this issue by automating and providing provisioning integrations that seamlessly empower the right apps to the right users.
- API: Okta comes with an API which is the primary way for apps to merge with and implement auth functions with Okta
Comparing Okta with Auth0, Onelogin Azure AD
- Multi-Factor Authentication: They all come with a two-factor authentication feature for added security.
- Batch permission and access: Permissions is a control list that grants access by roles to an object created in the system. Except for Onelogin, all other authentication managers have Batch permission and access, but only Okta provides for large organizations. Azure provides batch permission for select admin roles, and Auth0 provides batch permissions for small to medium-sized organizations.
- Data import and export: Except for Onelogin, the other authentication managers come with features that allow Data import and export for both teams and individuals
- Email and Google app Integration: Apart from OneLogin. Okta, Azure AD, and Auth0 implements and feature Email and Google app integration.
- Multi-User: They all implement features that allow multiple people to use an app profile simultaneously as long as they provide the same username assigned to the app.
- External Integration: All the authentication managers implement features that manage connections to other identity and authentication providers for your application.
- Password and Access Management: This helps protect against deliberate misuse of privileged access by monitoring privileged users and streamlining authorization.
Below is a summarized and tabulated comparison of the Authorization and Authentication Managers:
|Multi Factor Authentication||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Batch permission and access||✔||✔||✔|
|Data import and export||✔||✔||✔|
|Email and Google app Integration||✔||✔||✔|
|Password & Access Management||✔||✔||✔||✔|
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Why choose Okta as your authentication manager of choice?
We have compared four Authentication and authorization managers, but in this section, we will discuss why you should make Okta your authentication manager.
- Passwordless Authentication: Okta does away with passwords which are a weak link in security systems, by implementing passwordless Authentication, which can include Factor sequencing, E-mail-based magic links, etc.
- ThreatInsight: Okta integrates ThreatInsight, which detects, blocks, and protects you from suspicious and malicious addresses by collecting data across its customer base and stopping the problems before they occur.
- Seamless Integrations with any application: Okta integrates seamlessly with users existing applications like Dropbox, Slack, etc., and provides additional security through One-time passwords and password policies.
- Automated User Lifecycle Management: This increases IT efficiency by automating onboarding and offboarding processes.
- Faster Office 365 Deployments: Office 365 by Microsoft is a cloud subscription service that enables security functions, real-time communication, and much more. Many organizations choose Okta specifically for office 365, and that’s because Okta shortens Office 365 deployment time and offers both automation and user experience improvements that cut down on operational costs in the long run.
- Advanced Server Access: Okta implements advanced server access to manage remote desktop protocol and secure shell protocol access to Linux and Windows servers.
In this article, we have learned about Authentication and authorization managers, specifically about Okta, its features, advantages, and benefits, and why you should consider using it for your next application. Okta was mainly for big and enterprise-level companies and organizations, but its acquisition of Auth0 enabled it to diversify into providing security for small to medium-sized organizations. You can learn more about Okta here.