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.