Okta debuts single sign-on authentication for the cloud

Okta says its new cloud-based single sign-on multifactor authentication service keeps user accounts protected even when a password is stolen.

San Francisco-based identity firm Okta this morning unwrapped a new single sign-on authentication service that it says is the industry's first integrated multifactor authentication.

It's intended for both cloud and on-premises applications.

The more easily accessible data in the cloud, the more security you'll need to ensure the right people are accessing it, especially when a virtual private network is no longer required for access. Okta says its multi-factor authentication -- which will be included in the company's core platform -- offers a second, flexible layer of security, from basic security questions to a soft token that runs on a smartphone.

Simply, it's a way to ensure that a user's account is safe even if the password is compromised. Since many of us use the same password for multiple applications -- hey, we're human -- it's a way to stop large-scale theft from happening without forcing your customers to get out the pitchforks.

The platform allows IT managers to manage policies centrally and vary the authentication by location, application or frequency. The company's framework integrates with third-party multifactor authentication options, so there are no conflicts on the road to security reinforcement.