Okta Showcases Enhanced Security Capabilities with Distributed Cloud Services and NGINX

Scott Laster
Scott Laster

Yuichi Miyazaki

Yuichi Miyazaki
Published April 07, 2021

F5 delivers industry-leading application security, and one thing that sets us apart is the way our products and solutions interact with those from other providers. Our partnership with Okta, one of the world’s premier providers of identity solutions, is a great example of how working with others helps F5 fulfil our promise to you, the customer.

At the company’s marquee identity conference, Oktane21, Okta highlights some exciting news about this partnership: new features and capabilities that enable F5 Distributed Cloud Services and NGINX solutions to be more powerful—and more efficient—than ever.

Okta is well known and highly trusted for offering powerful and easy-to-implement Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions, including critical single sign-on (SSO) capabilities and other functionality that contributes to a comprehensive identity and access management (IAM) solution. These types of solutions provide users with a single, centralized point to log in and access all of the applications to which they are authorized access, and they empower organizations to manage and secure all those user credentials.

Distributed Cloud Services + Okta = Continuous Authentication

From F5 is a leader in fraud and abuse prevention, providing protection from automated attacks, botnets, and targeted fraud across the full range of our customers’ digital experiences. F5 Distributed Cloud Services offer SaaS-based security, networking, and application management services, including innovative traffic analysis solutions. These solutions identify harmful, bot-driven network traffic and block it before it becomes a drain on your resources (or worse).

One of the portfolio’s newest solutions, Distributed Cloud Authentication Intelligence, leverages the intelligence that is gained while protecting users at login and uses that information to make repeat visits—by legitimate users—smoother than ever before. You may have seen technology like this in use at your favorite e-commerce sites, but chances are you didn’t even notice it. And that’s pretty much the whole point—helping users stay secure without constantly hassling them to identify themselves and type in their passwords upon every repeat visit.

One product unveiled at Oktane21, the new Okta Risk Ecosystem API, works directly with Distributed Cloud Authentication Intelligence to increase security while providing the user a smooth, frictionless experience. Essentially, when Distributed Cloud Authentication Intelligence detects a suspicious device, that information is shared with the Okta CIAM system so that a return user can extend session without friction.

NGINX + Okta = Continuous Risk-Based Authorization

Also from F5, NGINX is another important name in online security, with a suite of technologies for developing and delivering modern applications. For example, one of its modules, NGINX App Protect, combines API security with foundational features from F5’s market‑leading Advanced Web Application Firewall (Advanced WAF) and bot protection to help DevOps integrate non‑disruptive application security controls into the automation and CI/CD processes. These security controls can then easily be deployed and managed across distributed environments. In this way, NGINX App Protect is an important enabler of the modern “security as code” approach to app development.

As with the Distributed Cloud Services example above, Okta has taken steps to strengthen the ties between NGINX solutions and the Okta ecosystem. In this case, when NGINX App Protect detects suspicious activity, the offending IP address and associated risk score are immediately provided to Okta, which in turn forces the user to identify themself via MFA (multi-factor authentication).

Better Security for a Better Experience

Whether you’ve deployed Distributed Cloud Services to ensure user identities and secure their logins or are using NGINX to code the security policies your apps rely on, one thing is fundamental: You need to be able to look at incoming data, know where (and who) it is coming from, and apply the appropriate policies. And just as important in our modern, multi-vendor application environment is the ability to share this information among the other security components within any given system. By partnering with Okta and using its vast stores of threat-based knowledge, F5 is working to provide a more granular level of protection to the full suite of security tools you already use.

“Delivering a seamless yet secure experience continues to be the top priority for our customers,” said Maureen Little, VP Technology Partnerships, Okta. “To outsmart the bad actors, a new model for continuous and scaled authentication is required where identity and risk solutions cooperate closely. We couldn’t be more pleased with our partnership with F5 and the capabilities we jointly provide to ensure that our customers are secure.”

Oktane21 is a virtual conference taking place this week. Please see the “Roadmap: Security” session recording for all the details about the exciting work F5 is doing with Okta.

To get your free trial and find out how NGINX App Protect can work seamlessly in your DevOps environment and protect your applications please go here.

Or schedule a demo to learn how Distributed Cloud Authentication Intelligence can reduce login friction and help drive increases in online revenue safely.