Alex Taylor Internet enthusiast

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Okta – Day 1 – Introduction to Identity & Access Management with Okta

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Accessibility note: While I am impressed with Okta in general, please be warned that the Okta Basics training seems to have zero accessibility features – the videos do not offer closed captioning and there are no transcripts available anywhere that I can find. I am disappointed that in 2021 a company as large as Okta hasn’t made their training more accessible. Here’s hoping they figure it out soon and improve the training platform.

Day one of the Okta Basics training takes us through the basics of how Okta works, and how identity and access management works – its a quick 20 minutes that covers single sign-on, directories, federated identities, and lifecycle management, plus a few other things. We’re also introduced to the Okta Integration Network, which I’ll touch on later in this post, as I think this is really Okta’s biggest selling feature.

First, some very basic IAM definitions that you’ll need to understand:

Single sign-on – An authentication method that allows a user to authenticate once and then access a number of different tools and services without needing to log into each individually

Directories – A group of objects (computers, users, etc) that share the same database – Active Directory and LDAP are the two most prevalent examples

Federated identity – A user’s single authentication ticket or token is trusted across multiple IT systems or organizations

Lifecycle Management – Management of the creation of a user account, processing changes to the account, and the eventual offboarding or decommissioning of the account

Multi-Factor Authentication – Use of more than one type of authentication to access a user account – the three primary factors are something you have, something you know, and something you are.

As mentioned earlier, day one of the training introduces us to Okta’s bread and butter – the Okta Integration Network – Okta has exploded in popularity in the last couple of years primarily due to the amount of integrations they’ve developed that allow organizations to connect the tools and services they use with Okta.

Their quick overview of the OIN is available here, and the full list of integrations is available at okta.com/integrations – as of March 2021 they’re up to over 7000 different integrations. They have a whitepaper that goes into further detail about how application integration works – good read, and we’ll also learn more about this as we go through the Basics course.

That’s it for day one – tomorrow I’ll dig into workforce identity.

New Series: Okta

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The identity and access management industry is growing daily as companies realize that they need to focus more time and energy on protecting their data and controlling access. Plenty of tools have arrived to help fill in the gaps and help make things easier for administrators to manage.

For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to do a deep dive into one of those options – Okta.

Okta was founded in 2009, hit unicorn status ($1+ billion valuation) in 2015, and IPO’d in 2017. They’ve grown even further since then and have become one of the primary identity management tools, supporting companies from the startup level up to Fortune 500 corporations. They announced this month that they were acquiring Auth0, a quasi-competitor with a focus on authentication and authorization.

I had the opportunity earlier this month to work through Okta’s entry-level training curriculum, and have also spent some time digging into the Okta administrator dashboard. I’ve started this new series of posts to track my own training and also provide some outside references to IAM essentials to help fill in the gaps for other learners. I have no affiliation with Okta. Just trying to level up my own skills.

The plan is to loosely follow the Okta Basics curriculum – one post per day with things I’ve learned, as well as external links. I’ve completed the Basics course once before and definitely found it useful – I recommend signing up if you’re using Okta in your organization.

Onward.

Day 1 – Introduction to Identity & Access Management with Okta
Day 2 – Introduction to Workforce Identity
Day 3 – Managing Okta-Mastered Users
Day 4 – Managing AD-Mastered Users
Day 5 – Managing LDAP-Mastered Users
Day 6 – Managing Single Sign-On
Day 7 – Automating Lifecycle Management
Day 8 – Workflows and Automating Tasks
Day 9 – Multifactor Authentication
Day 10 – Managing API Access
Day 11 – Advanced Server Access
Day 12 – Configuring O365 with Okta
Day 13 – Okta’s Access Gateway
Day 14 – Configuring Universal Directory and User Profiles
Day 15 – End User Support & The Okta Help Center
Final training certification

Alex Taylor Internet enthusiast

Privacy advocate
Process developer
Product manager

Experience in information security, customer success, compliance and privacy, risk management, identity and access, and service deployment. Former teacher. Always learning.

We should hang out.