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Okta looks to eliminate workplace passwords

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/scyther5)

The days of using passwords in the workplace may soon be at an end thanks to a novel release from Okta.

The security firm has today announced the launch of a new platform that will allow companies to do away with passwords altogether in favour of much stronger authentication options.

Okta ThreatInsight, revealed today at the company's Oktane 2018 event in Las Vegas, combines context-specific information with real-time analysis from internal risk assessment teams to block threats.

This, the company says, provides a more secure experience that should mean businesses, as well as their employees, partners and customers, stay safe online.

"Everyone knows passwords aren't a great need a complete picture", Okta CEO Todd McKinnon said at Oktane 18, "We're able to eliminate passwords completely".

Due to be released in the second half of 2018, Okta is now hoping that its contextual tools will allow companies to do away with passwords as a main option for authentication.

Instead, the company's Okta Adaptive MFA platform can detect whether a security risk is possible, using information such as the location of an IP address attempting to access a corporate network. The platform can also identify known devices, and if they are attempting to connect from an unfamiliar location, can block access.

Adaptive MFA covers both cloud and on-premise technologies, meaning it can be quickly scaled and extended across a business. 

As part of the launch of ThreatInsight, Okta, which counts the likes of Nordstrom and 20th Century Fox among its customers will also be making the analysis from its internal incident response team available to its thousands of partners and customers. The data will be accessible in real time, allowing the user to quickly decide what action to take, as well as being able to set up automated policies based on what kind of threat is detected.

“The best password is no password at all. Today’s threat actors are targeting the weakest point of your company’s security – your people – and too many are successfully compromising employee accounts due to poor or stolen passwords,” said Okta CEO and co-founder Todd McKinnon. 

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.