Security, Seamless Payments Tradeoff Drives Demand for KYB

Socure - Alternative Payments - March 2022 - Discover how FIs and Fintechs use robust identity authentication to meet emerging cybersecurity challenges

With more work being done and services being provided via the cloud, identity has become increasingly important. 

For one thing, organizations must enable customers to register and log in to their customer-facing applications in a frictionless way. They need to provide simple, seamless interactions while also keeping customer information secure. At the same time, they need to give employees, contractors and partners access to the tools and information they need — a big challenge given the shift to working from home. 

“As the traditional network perimeter organizations have relied on has eroded, there has been a staggering rise in security threats,” Brett Tighe, chief financial officer at Okta, told PYMNTS. 

Keeping Pace with Innovation 

For identity provider Okta, that’s meant growing demand for services that provide secure connections between people and technology. In fiscal 2022, the company reached $1.3 billion in revenue and a headcount above 5,000. Last year, the company also acquired Auth0. 

Tighe joined Okta seven years ago, served as senior vice president of finance and treasurer and interim CFO, and was appointed CFO in January. Throughout his tenure, he’s seen three macro trends driving demand for identity systems. 

One is the need to move businesses’ information technology (IT) to the cloud. This is being done because employees need access to work tools from anywhere, organizations need to be able to scale or pivot their business quickly, security threats are on the rise, and organizations are looking for ways to improve efficiencies and cut costs. 

“On-premises solutions hinder all of these, slowing a business’s ability to grow and evolve to meet today’s fast pace of innovation,” Tighe said. 

Meeting Employees and Customers Where They Are 

Another trend is the digital transformation across industries and companies of all sizes with the rise of remote work and the need to engage with customers and partners virtually. 

“With digitally native generations entering the workforce and making up a significant portion of the consumer base, companies that aren’t meeting their employees and customers where they are, with a simple and secure experience, will be left behind,” Tighe said. 

The third trend is the increasing adoption of zero trust security that requires all users to be authenticated and verified — improving a company’s security posture. 

“These are long-standing trends that will continue to drive the critical necessity of a cloud-based identity solution to modernize businesses and secure their sensitive data,” Tighe said. 

Providing Access to Technologies and Applications 

Okta has had to navigate these challenges itself. The company had been transitioning to its own framework for flexible work before the pandemic. Today, work schedules are flexible. 

For those who don’t go into the office regularly, Okta provides virtual components to all events and access to the technologies and applications they need to work remotely. Naturally, they all access them through the Okta Identity Cloud. 

“Okta is its own customer, and as you might imagine we are power users,” Tighe said. “Even an identity company isn’t immune to the many challenges IT and security teams face.”