Okta to explain why everything starts with identity at #ITWebSS2023

Johannesburg, 01 Jun 2023

Effective management of access to a corporate network lies at the core of cyber security posture. It is critical that businesses get to grips with the technology and processes to ensure that not only are employees protected, but that customer data is also secure.

This is according to Mark Whelan, regional sales director, growth markets at Okta, a US-based global provider of cloud-based identity and access management services and solutions.

Whelan will elaborate on identity theft and access control as part of cyber security at the 2023 ITWeb Security Summit from 6 - 8 June in Johannesburg and on 15 June in Cape Town.

Whelan says that while the emphasis often falls on vulnerabilities, anti-virus software and firewalls, businesses cannot afford to neglect identity and access security – which essentially represent ‘the front door’ of the business.


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“Hackers are getting smarter and there are lots of varied types of attacks," Whelan says. "We ensure that we stay ahead of hackers and that we are effectively protecting ‘the front door’ for customers and for employees to access the applications in a secure and safe way.”

The company’s vision is to allow every person to use any application safely and securely, and to help to help businesses authenticate, authorise, and secure access for applications, devices and users. Its vision has already been recognised, with Gartner placing it as a leader in its 2022 Magic Quadrant for Access Management. Okta is also placed highest on the 'Ability to Execute' axis for the second year in a row.

Okta's Customer Identity Cloud is built to tackle both consumer and SaaS Apps across every industry.  Its Workforce Identity Cloud helps businesses to secure employees, contractors and partners, wherever they are. It covers every part of the Identity lifecycle, from governance, to access, to privileged controls.

Security fatigue

“It’s about solving the complex challenge of identity within an organisation, it’s about securing the workforce environment, but it’s also about securing the third-party environment as well,” says.

He uses global brand FedEx as an example of how Okta can expand its service offering and capabilities to meet market demand.

“A global business, FedEx’s modernised yet complex identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure presented continued friction for software developers and end users, as well as obstacles for M&A integrations. By embracing a zero-trust model with Okta, FedEx now has a cloud-native platform covering SaaS apps, cloud-native apps, and legacy apps — and one unified directory for the entire FedEx workforce. Everyone can log in and get to work with less friction and less fuss.”

This process involves engagement on several levels, including B2E (business to employee), B2B to B2X (business extended to third-parties), all of which has to be authenticated, secured and managed.

Whelan says many companies are trying to do this themselves, which can become complex and costly.

“Companies are spending a lot of time and money trying to do this themselves. But the cost is extremely high and they are never going to be able to deliver the level of security they need. The last thing that any company wants is a breach, or their customers’ or employees’ data to be stolen.”

“This is where we come in. Yes, there is a bit of fatigue around cyber security, but if your company is hacked or if your data is compromised through a hacker being able to position themselves as an employee or as a customer to get into your systems, there is a cost to your brand and to your revenue.”

Okta is positioned as the cyber security guard and gatekeeper – a highly relevant topic and critical consideration for any business looking to protect themselves from increasingly sophisticated and motivated cyber criminals.

Whelan is scheduled to speak on day two of the ITWeb Security Summit, to be held from 6 to 8 June at the Sandton Convention Centre. Follow #ITWebSS2023