Okta acquires ScaleFT to bring Zero Trust to the enterprise

Okta announced it has acquired ScaleFT. Together, Okta and ScaleFT will bring Zero Trust to the enterprise by providing organizations with a framework to protect data, without compromising on experience.

As the proliferation of applications and devices continues, the network perimeter is disappearing and organizations must rethink how they secure their extended enterprises — employees, contractors and partners.

Organizations of every size are realizing the criticality of moving to a Zero Trust framework by building secure micro-perimeters, limiting the risks associated with user privileges and access, and improving security detection and response with analytics and automation.

By leveraging ScaleFT’s Zero Trust platform, and combining it with the Okta Identity Cloud, Okta will further enable customers to validate users, devices, application and network information and securely grant access to data.

Okta and ScaleFT will deliver continuous authentication capabilities to secure server access from cloud to ground — whether it’s for Amazon Web Services, Secure Shell (SSH) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

“Companies have realized they can no longer trust their network and have to understand device security — instead of trusting everyone behind a firewall, now IT and security leaders must trust no one, inside or outside the organization. To help our customers increase security while also meeting the demands of the modern workforce, we’re acquiring ScaleFT to further our contextual access management vision — and ensure the right people get access to the right resources for the shortest amount of time,” said Frederic Kerrest, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder, Okta.

“Zero Trust is the security paradigm for today’s threat landscape, and identity is the unifying component which makes it all possible. In order to implement Zero Trust the right way, organizations must move away from the static credentials and access controls, the antiquated approach of perimeter-based security, and instead focus on adaptive and context-aware controls to make better, continuous access decisions.”

Founded in 2015, ScaleFT is providing a BeyondCorp-inspired access management platform that enables secure remote access without a VPN.

The ScaleFT team has decades of experience in IT, coming from companies such as Rackspace, The Apache Foundation, Yahoo! and more.

CEO and co-founder Jason Luce will manage the transition between the two companies, and CTO and co-founder Paul Querna will lead strategy and execution of Okta’s Zero Trust architecture. Marc Rogers, CSO, will join Okta as Executive Director, Cybersecurity Strategy.

Making Zero Trust a reality for Okta customers

Today, Okta makes the Zero Trust model accessible for customers in the following ways:

  • Centralizing identity and access control via Single Sign-On (SSO): Okta unifies identity infrastructure for IT to reduce account management complexity, while also providing access for users to eliminate passwords while simplifying access. With the Okta Identity Cloud, customers can mitigate risk and reduce identity sprawl by restricting access to services via intelligent SAML connections.
  • Ensuring strong authentication across all services via Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): Okta customers can enable ‘MFA Everywhere’ through the Okta Integration Network’s over 5,500 pre-built integrations to applications and infrastructure providers, and extend coverage to on-premises applications via support for RADIUS, RDP, ADFS and LDAP. Okta empowers organizations to make intelligent, contextual access decisions based on device and connection attributes.
  • Reducing attack surfaces through automated provisioning and deprovisioning: Automated provisioning and deprovisioning via Okta accelerates onboarding, while eliminating orphan accounts. Okta also offers complete lifecycle management to ensure people have the right level of access to the right applications at the right time.
  • Providing visibility and response to credential compromise and account takeover attacks: With a centralized view into all authentication data across cloud, mobile and on-premises applications, Okta helps its customers to identify unusual and suspicious behaviors and quickly take action to mitigate threats.

With ScaleFT, Okta will further encompass the network security focus of Zero Trust with the device-centric approach of BeyondCorp. Customers such as 21st Century Fox will benefit from the integrated Zero Trust platform, which provides employees with a seamless user experience and enables IT teams to increase the organization’s security posture.

“As an organization, 21st Century Fox is committed to giving our people access to best-in-class technology, and because of that, our technology strategy has to be a heterogeneous one. The Okta Identity Cloud helps our apps work together, gives us visibility and the ability to take action when we see suspicious behavior, and at the same time, provides our users with a delightful experience,” said Melody Hildebrandt, Global CISO, 21st Century Fox.

“The investment Okta is announcing today underscores its deep commitment to empowering its partners with next generation tools and experiences for end-users.”