Unlocking Passwordless Security: Okta's New Passkey Support

Unlocking Passwordless Security: Okta's New Passkey Support

By Greg Tavarez

Passwords, traditionally, have been the go-to method for user authentication, but they come with their own set of problems, such as forgetting them, the need for frequent resets and vulnerability to hacking.

And businesses recognize this.

According to Accenture's 2023 Tech Vision survey, a staggering 85% of global executives recognize digital identity as vital for their organizations. Three out of four executives in the survey reported that such issues have had a detrimental impact on their bottom line. These negative effects manifest as abandoned transactions, customer frustration and the increasing risk of fraudulent activities.

In response to these challenges, user-friendly authentication methods like passkeys have emerged as a more convenient and secure alternative.

Passkeys are based on open standards like those set by the FIDO Alliance and W3C, ensuring compatibility and security across various platforms and devices. Passkeys not only offer a faster and more streamlined way for users to access apps and websites, but also enhance security, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized access.

Okta, a standalone identity solutions provider, introduced early access support for passkeys as a passwordless authentication option within the Okta Customer Identity Cloud, which is powered by Auth0. With a simple toggle, developers and digital teams can integrate advanced passkey functionality into their applications, promoting the adoption of phishing-resistant, passwordless authentication.

Passkeys are among the array of fresh features that augment Okta's all-encompassing solution for Customer Identity and Access Management, CIAM. This expansion brings added convenience, security, and privacy to both consumer and SaaS applications.

“For the broader end-user population to fully embrace passkeys, they must truly become a ubiquitous feature. Achieving this ubiquity hinges on ensuring that it’s seamless for all developers to incorporate passkeys into their applications,” said Vittorio Bertocci, Principal Architect at Okta. “We’re doing our part to achieve widespread adoption by making it easy for developers to add sophisticated passkey support.”

Other new CIAM capabilities include Okta Workflows No-Code Automation for Customer Identity, phone number as sole identifier, password recovery enhancements and custom sign-up prompts.

Okta Workflows No-Code Automation for Customer Identity empowers developers and digital teams to enhance security measures while also improving the customer experience and retention rates. This is achieved by customizing Customer Identity processes without the need for coding.

Using a phone number as the sole identifier simplifies support for a wider user base, particularly in regions like Asia-Pacific and Latin America where phone numbers are a common authentication method. Additionally, a passwordless option is available, allowing users to register using only their phone number.

To strengthen security and reduce support-related challenges, developers can integrate MFA into their password reset process or offer customers the flexibility to reset their passwords using any enrolled factor.

Furthermore, developers can craft personalized registration journeys directly within the new Universal Login through custom sign-up prompts. These prompts can be tailored to suit individual customer preferences, localization requirements, privacy considerations, consent and more.

“Okta Customer Identity Cloud supports a variety of use cases across consumer and SaaS applications, wherever organizations need both better security and user experience,” said Shiven Ramji, President of Customer Identity Cloud at Okta. “Okta gives application builders the most complete set of authentication, authorization, lifecycle and user management, and identity security tools, so they can focus more on innovation and less on identity.”

Passkey support is in early access now and will be generally available in Q4 2023. Okta Workflows is generally available for joint customers of Okta Workforce Identity Cloud and Okta Customer Identity Cloud. Password recovery and custom sign-up prompts will be in early access this month and generally available in early 2024. Phone number as the sole identifier will be in early access in November and generally available in early 2024.

Edited by Alex Passett
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MSPToday Editor

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