Workforce Identity Not when the parties involved remain true to their original supporters, and endeavour to benefit not just themselves but the industry.

When large innovative technology firms merge, economies of scale and market consolidation can result in better products and services. On the flip side, the traits that had made each firm successful in the first place may become redundant depending on how the two disparate entities merge.

Also, when two successful firms join forces to maximize their market shares and exploit the best of each entity’s strengths, smaller players in the industry may suffer, leading to attrition that can impact the pace of innovation.

So how has Okta’s acquisition of Auth0 last year panned out for the identity security and management industry so far? Very well, thank you—according to Scott Monro, Regional VP, Asia, Okta, who reassured that the strong complimentary fit and both managements’ desire to stay true to supporters will open up more opportunities for all stakeholders in the industry.

DigiconAsia: How has the integration of secure workforce identity software with developer-centric identity authentication technology benefited APAC customers and corporate competitors alike?

Scott Monro (SM): Okta completed its acquisition of Auth0 in May 2021. While the former organization pioneered Cloud-based identity to provide world-class security and enterprise-grade reliability to industries, the latter firm was built by developers for developers—meant to enable product builders to innovate with a secure, easy-to-use, developer-friendly, and extensible customer identity platform. 

The coming together of both firms has been highly complementary, and the combined technologies can offer workforce and customer identity solutions to enterprises with exceptional speed, simplicity, security, reliability and scalability. At the developer level, this integration empowers them to build with identity at the foundation. Such a bottom-up approach gives organizations better protection against today’s advancing cyber threats.

In the multi-year journey to build the most comprehensive, neutral identity platform available, more people can be empowered to engage any technology safely in this US$80bn global market, and more opportunities lie ahead.

Scott Monro, Regional VP, Asia, Okta

DigiconAsia: What new areas of security and technological innovation can merging the two technologies open up, and how do you think it will impact the identity authentication market’s innovativeness and competitiveness?

SM: The integrated technologies across developer communities and the enterprise is providing the market with identity solutions of even greater depth and breadth. These solutions will also integrate more quickly into the modern tech stack of today’s developers.

This should spur innovation and competition to make identity authentication and development platforms even simpler, more elegant, and more customer-centric. They will be cloud-ready, and more developer-friendly. 

DigiconAsia: Please share with readers some exciting technologies and strategies that can help the world tackle the problems of remote/hybrid-work, the surge in cybersecurity and geopolitical cyber warfare and fraud better.

SM: The Zero Trust security approach is fast becoming the preferred mode for organizations around the world. According to our research, about 90% of organizations polled across the Asia Pacific region had indicated they are working on a zero trust security initiative or were planning to start one in the next 12 to 18 months.

Looking ahead, some of the new and emerging technologies that can help tackle the security challenges of remote/hybrid work and other cyber threats include:

  • Decentralized identity uses a blockchain to remove reliance on centralized databases, giving individuals more control (and peace of mind) over their personal information storage and use. By cutting the risk of account takeover and information misuse while simplifying compliance requirements, this technology dramatically lightens the burden of protecting personal information.
  • Emerging passwordless security standards and technological advancements have made the elimination of passwords a reality. Organizations can utilize non-password, secure factors at login, such as biometric input and hardware tokens, combined with systems that check passive signals such as user behavior, atypical web traffic and physical location. This results in less friction and more productive user experience while strengthening security at the same time—by using substantially more phishing-resistant factors at login. 
  • Organizations increasingly realize that identity management is not for their workforce only. Applied externally to customers or other end users, it can both improve online security and open up new revenue streams. Today’s Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) technologies can be easily harnessed to capture and manage customer identity and profile data, allowing businesses to gain a better understanding of their customers to easily add more value to their digital journeys.

Meanwhile, there is no doubt that threat actors will continue to step up their nefarious activities. With more innovation in the technology sector, organizations will have more options with which to address cybersecurity challenges more effectively.

DigiconAsia thanks Scott for his insights on the topic of identity security and management.