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Okta + Coalition: Access management and the importance of MFA

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In an increasingly distributed workforce, how do we give access to the right people while keeping the wrong ones out? How do you stop your employees (and yourself) from using the same password across various business applications, bank accounts, and social media platforms? When an employee logs into a sensitive business application, how can you be sure the authorized user is legitimate?

To answer these questions, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Okta, the leading independent identity provider. Okta supports small businesses and the world’s leading organizations alike through a large product suite that includes single-sign-on (SSO), universal directory, and multi-factor authentication (MFA). As part of our partnership, Coalition policyholders will be able to access Okta’s suite of tools and services at a reduced cost.

What is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

Adding IAM as another acronym to the security space, Okta specializes in the core of security — identity. With single-sign-on, Okta lets users access multiple applications more securely by tying all the login experiences and credentials into a single pane of glass. No more reusing the same password repeatedly, which is a major security risk and common vector of attack by bad actors.

Further, through user lifecycle management, Okta gives IT the control it needs to grant employees access to the applications and tools they need with the click of a button. More importantly, it gives IT the power to remove access to all applications with the same button. Finally, for access to more sensitive information and company assets, Okta can require that users provide a second layer of authentication to prove who they are — think a text message with a code to input or an email with a link to click.

As you can see, it is so much more than just login credentials. That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for poor passwords, though.

Credentials and clothes: change them often

Passwords are the virtual keys to the kingdom, but unlike keys, passwords can and should be changed often. The relative strength of a password should always be taken into account. The beauty of using a password management solution like Okta is they take the guesswork out of it. Through SSO, Okta will randomize the passwords of all the applications managed by their platform on a regular basis.

You can also set reminders within their platform to change your password, adjust the required strength, and automate password resets by you and your team. Remember to be as vigilant about your passwords as you are with your house keys; approximately 80% of email intrusion incidents happen because of weak or stolen passwords. However, even with stolen, leaked, or weak passwords, one of the most effective methods to mitigate the risk of email-based or app-based cybersecurity incidents is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Being authentic[ated]: Who are you?

In the real world, we’re often required to provide ID when performing general tasks, but can you think of a time when you were required to provide two forms of ID? Perhaps a fingerprint. Or, less common, but very cool; a retinal scan. These are additional factors of authentication that offer additional proof that you are who you say you are.

In the digital world, the equivalents to the above may be an email, SMS (text message), or app-based token or code generator. To reduce loss and the likelihood of a claim, it is critical that businesses use MFA on all business-critical applications and systems such as email accounts, internal services, and third-party services. Once again, Okta to the rescue! Okta allows you to customize which applications and systems require an additional layer of authentication and will automatically inquire for another factor prior to access.

Helping you manage risk as a policyholder

What does our partnership with Okta mean to our policyholders?

  • Password management is mission-critical to businesses of all sizes. Let Okta remove the stress of managing passwords on a day to day basis.

  • Require MFA. When in doubt, add an additional layer of authentication to login experiences with Okta. The extra seconds added to logging in will save you the exponential amount of time and money associated with a cyber incident.

  • Become a Risk Manager. Coalition cyber insurance and a properly deployed, top-tier identity solution like Okta will broaden your risk management strategy, mitigating risk through Okta identity and access management, while transferring the remaining risk to Coalition as your cyber insurance carrier.

To learn more about Okta and the discounts available to Coalition policyholders, log in to your policyholder dashboard. We’ll get you started!