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    Okta vs. Azure AD: IAM Tool Comparison

    Identity and access management (IAM) is a set of applications, tools, and policies that specify and maintain who has access to what resources and services in an organization.

    In development, security, and operations (DevSecOps), this involves access to logs, internal networks, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) models, internal and external Wikis, continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, code repositories, and even Slack. Today, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are a result of human error.

    IAM restricts the use of enterprise resources and services to the people that require access to them. IAM software is designed to manage identities of employees and their access via levels of authentication and permission. The aim of IAM software is to streamline the maintenance of employee accounts and access privileges.

    The principal features of IAM tools include:

    • A reporting and logging system for access and auditing history
    • Tools for revoking, modifying, monitoring, and granting access privileges
    • A database of employee identities and their access privileges

    In this guide, you will learn all you should know about Okta and Azure AD and how they compare as identity and access management tools.

    Also read: IAM Software: Auth0 vs. Okta

    What is Okta?

    screeenshot of Okta

    Okta is an IAM solution that provides employee and customer identity capabilities to help secure digital communication with your employees and customers. 

    The IAM tool offers a plethora of features, including single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), application programming interface (API) access management, advanced server access, and universal directory.

    Key Differentiators 

    • Securely implement SSO to cloud applications in weeks, rather than months, by leveraging over 7,000 prebuilt integrations, including DocuSign, Confluence, Zendesk, Workday, Box, Slack, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
    • A universal directory for all devices, groups, and users provides a single, consolidated view.
    • With dynamic service access management brings identity to the modern server infrastructure. 
    • Extends permission and authentication policies to APIs with API access management abilities.
    • Adaptive MFA ensures secure and smart access to applications and accounts. The feature protects accounts from credential theft and fraud and protects customer-facing and enterprise applications that house confidential information.
    • The IAM software’s sturdy user authentication system safeguards customer data. 
    • User management abilities enable collection, storage, and management of customer profile data at scale to give customers customized experiences.
    • Connect vendor, partner, and customer identities seamlessly.
    • Automate identity procedures at scale with Okta Workflows.
    • Other features include automated access management, lifecycle management, intelligent security, and centralized access management.

    Pricing: For product pricing information, please reach out to the Okta sales team. You can commence a free trial before you purchase the product.

    What is Azure Active Directory?

    screenshot of azure active directory

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) by Microsoft is an enterprise-grade, complete IAM software with integrated security that provides numerous features such as SSO, MFA, and conditional access to protect against cybersecurity attacks. 

    Key Differentiators 

    • The solution comes with built-in, comprehensive security and compliance.
    • SSO simplifies access to your applications from anywhere.
    • Conditional access and MFA help safeguard confidential data.
    • A simple, quick sign-in experience keeps your employees productive, minimizes friction, and reduces the time required to manage passwords.
    • A solitary identity control plane allows complete visibility and control of your applications, whether they are on-premises or in the cloud. 
    • Simplified identity governance grants authorized users access to resources and services.
    • Identity protection capabilities help discover likely vulnerabilities affecting your organization’s identities, set up policies to counter suspicious actions, and take suitable action to settle them.
    • Privileged identity management (PIM) helps monitor, control, and manage access within your organization.
    • Reporting and monitoring capabilities help gain insights into the usage and security patterns in your information technology (IT) environment.

    Pricing: Azure AD comes in four packages: Free, included with Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions, Premium P1, and Premium P2. Reach out to the Microsoft sales team to request a quote.

    Okta vs. Azure AD: What are the Differences?

    Here is how Okta and Azure AD fare when compared:

    FeaturesOktaAzure AD
    Ability to Understand Needs
    Ease of Use
    Ease of Deployment
    Ease of Administration
    Ease of Doing Business With
    Product Direction
    Authentication User Experience
    Supports Required Authentication Systems
    SSO
    MFA
    Self-Service Access Requests
    Smart/Automated Provisioning
    Role Management
    Policy Management
    Access Termination
    Remote Access
    Scalability
    Service and Support
    Willingness to Recommend
    Overall Capability Score

    Choosing IAM Tools

    Identity access management tools guarantee the right people and identities in your organization have access to confidential resources and services. Both Okta and Azure AD are tremendous IAM tools.

    To determine which solution better suits your necessities, conduct a deep dive into their features by visiting their respective websites and checking peer-to-peer reviews.

    Read next: Best Identity Access Management (IAM) Solutions & Tools

    Surajdeep Singh
    Surajdeep Singh
    Surajdeep Singh has been working as an IT and blockchain journalist since 2018. He is a contributor to publications including IT Business Edge, Enterprise Networking Planet & Smart Billions and works as a consultant at Drofa Communications Agency.

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