If you have been paying attention to news in the software industry, you’ve probably seen more than a few articles about the ‘steady growth’ and ‘expanding market’ for identity and access management platforms. This should be no surprise. Every year thousands of new applications for desktop, mobile, IoT and beyond are released to the market, and every one of them needs to register and manage their customers. With so many business opportunities, of course there are a variety of solutions available. Okta and Passport are two popular solutions, although they have different perspectives that make a big difference in what they provide.
Okta is clearly a massive organization backed with over a quarter of a billion in investor funding, which has been a benefit. They have built a complex cloud-based solution that has connections, sockets, and integrations for thousands of other systems. This is worth the money for entrenched, slow-moving companies with multiple levels of legacy infrastructure they need to work around. Passport takes a different approach providing a streamlined platform that is designed to scale up as needed without adding unnecessary overhead. This contrast in perspective explains the differences between Okta and Passport, although they do have many features in common.
What Okta and Passport Have In Common
1. As Many Users As You Can Get
Okta and Passport both take advantage of OAuth tokens & API key management providing secure access for web and mobile applications. Designed with exponential growth patterns in mind, they are both web-scale applications and can register an unlimited number of users without a hiccup.
2. Full-Featured Identity Tools
Okta and Passport both provide the essential tools that modern identity management requires including multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on (SSO) across multiple applications, customizable communication templates, and localization support. Both also provide user reports and native segmentation options that go far beyond basic registration tools.
This is a tremendous benefit over spending the time and money to develop a custom authorization system which can take months or more of advanced developer effort. A ‘roll your own’ solution also requires constant evaluation and maintenance as technology and security threats evolve, shifting valuable developer resources away from core application features that serve generate revenue.
Despite their similarities, Okta and Passport differ in ways that can be vital to an organization and how they need to manage their infrastructure and their users.
How Okta and Passport Are Different
3. Single-Tenant Security
A big difference between Okta and Passport is while Okta is a multi-tenant ‘built in the cloud’ service, both of Passport’s local and cloud options deliver true data isolation as single-tenant solutions. This eliminates the possibility of data leakage between unrelated companies, whether accidentally or through sabotage. It also eliminates the risk of another company’s poor security practices allowing access to your customer’s data. Passport also enables customers to implement a firewall at any layer, further protecting their data from unauthorized access.
4. Data Regulation Compliance
Passport’s single-tenant architecture also allows for easier compliance with complex regulatory restrictions in many industries and countries. Germany’s Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, Australia’s Privacy Principles, Canada’s PIPEDA, and most recently the European Union’s GDPR all place different restrictions on how a user’s personal data can be used and transmitted. Passport provides the expanded control for companies required to comply with laws and regulations in their specific region.
For more details on the benefits and pitfalls of single- and multi-tenant solutions read our recent whitepaper.
5. Configurable Password Encryption and Brute-Force Protection
Every application has different security requirements. Some need to be HIPAA compliant, while others can be less stringent. We let you pick the level of security you need, and adjust it as quickly as your needs or threats evolve. We also allow you to use different password schemas for different groups of users, making it possible to consolidate multiple identity management systems into one efficient platform. This can be a completely transparent process without any downtime or customer friction. For more details, read about how we migrated DataStax to Passport from their previous solution.
Passport is also able to detect brute-force attack attempts and can block the targeted user accounts until a moderator or administrator can decide on their preferred next steps. This is a first line of defense against a less sophisticated but still very common attack strategy.
6. Reporting and Analytics
User reports have been in every slide presentation and corporate board meeting since the first bit of software hit the internet. From day one Passport gives you the most requested reports like daily/monthly active users, logins and registrations without any additional configuration or setup.
7. Enterprise Identity Unification (EIU)
Another way Okta and Passport differ is how they can handle complex bulk merger challenges. In today’s fast-moving business world, companies merge with or acquire partners and competitors every day. It’s a difficult challenge to combine and manage the unique databases of users that each company brings into the system. This is the realm of EIU and presents many complex issues such as duplicate users, incomplete or conflicting data, and varying password schemas.
Passport allows a parent company to create unique tenants to isolate distinct datasets while still providing a single user management system for the overall organization. It gives the administrators incremental control over how and when the information is merged, and can even engage the users to manage, filter, and unify their own profile data.
If you would like more information on how Passport enables effective EIU across multiple identity management systems, contact us.
8. Custom Feature Development
Another difference between Okta and Passport is our size and flexibility. There is no doubt that Okta is a huge corporation that works with large organizations around the world. At their size, it is difficult to get custom features or functionality unless they can serve their all Okta customers. Smaller companies with unique or non-standard needs will find it difficult to get any type of custom feature implemented.
Inversoft is a small, bootstrapped company dedicated to our customers. For the last 10-years we have successfully provided our core solutions with unique customizations and one-on-one support for our clients. We have eliminated the overhead, complex approval pipelines, and corporate red-tape that cripples large firms so we can deliver exceptional solutions for clients like DataStax, Mineplex, and Niantic (Pokemon). If you have a specific challenge for managing users that we don’t already cover, we’ll work with you for a solution. This is an added benefit to having a single-tenant solution: your system can be customized to fit your specific requirements and specifications.
These are eight of the similarities and differences between Okta and Passport. Download this feature comparison for a point-by-point evaluation, and please contact us if you have any questions or would like a quick demo. We’d love to provide a CIAM solution so your team can focus on your revenue-generating features.
Learn More About Passport
Passport is designed to be the most flexible and secure Customer Identity and Access Management solution available on the market. More than a login tool, we provide registration, data search, user segmentation and advanced user management across applications. Find out more about Passport and sign up for a free trial today.