Okta, the cloud identity management company, announced today it has purchased a startup called ScaleFT to bring the Zero Trust concept to the Okta platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
While Zero Trust isn’t exactly new to a cloud identity management company like Okta, acquiring ScaleFT gives them a solid cloud-based Zero Trust foundation on which to continue to develop the concept internally.
“To help our customers increase security while also meeting the demands of the modern workforce, we’re acquiring ScaleFT to further our contextual access management vision — and ensure the right people get access to the right resources for the shortest amount of time,” Okta co-founder and COO Frederic Kerrest said in a statement.
Zero Trust is a security framework that acknowledges work no longer happens behind the friendly confines of a firewall. In the old days before mobile and cloud, you could be pretty certain that anyone on your corporate network had the authority to be there, but as we have moved into a mobile world, it’s no longer a simple matter to defend a perimeter when there is effectively no such thing. Zero Trust means what it says: you can’t trust anyone on your systems and have to provide an appropriate security posture.
The idea was pioneered by Google’s “BeyondCorp” principals and the founders of ScaleFT are adherents to this idea. According to Okta, “ScaleFT developed a cloud-native Zero Trust access management solution that makes it easier to secure access to company resources without the need for a traditional VPN.”
Okta wants to incorporate the ScaleFT team and, well, scale their solution for large enterprise customers interested in developing this concept, according to a company blog post by Kerrest.
“Together, we’ll work to bring Zero Trust to the enterprise by providing organizations with a framework to protect sensitive data, without compromising on experience. Okta and ScaleFT will deliver next-generation continuous authentication capabilities to secure server access — from cloud to ground,” Kerrest wrote in the blog post.
ScaleFT CEO and co-founder Jason Luce will manage the transition between the two companies, while CTO and co-founder Paul Querna will lead strategy and execution of Okta’s Zero Trust architecture. CSO Marc Rogers will take on the role of Okta’s Executive Director, Cybersecurity Strategy.
The acquisition allows the Okta to move beyond purely managing identity into broader cyber security, at least conceptually. Certainly Roger’s new role suggests the company could have other ideas to expand further into general cyber security beyond Zero Trust.
ScaleFT was founded in 2015 and has raised $2.8 million over two seed rounds, according to Crunchbase data.