Okta Buys ScaleFT To Boost Access Management Capabilities


Okta has purchased cybersecurity startup ScaleFT to make it easier for businesses to protect their sensitive data.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based identity giant said its acquisition of fellow San Francisco-based ScaleFT will enable customers to more easily validate users, devices, applications and network information and securely grant access to data. Together, Okta said it and ScaleFT will deliver continuous authentication for secure server access for everything from AWS to Secure Shell to Remote Desktop Protocol.

"To help our customers increase security while also meeting the demands of the modern workplace, 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," Frederic Kerrest, Okta co-founder and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

[RELATED: Okta's New Context-Based Tech Will Keep Workers From Having To Enter Passwords All The Time]

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Okta didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment. Okta's stock was up nearly 2 percent to $56.74 since the deal was announced midday Wednesday.

As the proliferation of applications and devices continues, the network perimeter is disappearing, which Okta said is forcing firms to rethink how they secure their extended enterprises. As a result, Okta said companies of every size are looking to build secure micro-perimeters, limit the risks associated with excessive user privileges and access, and improve detection and response via analytics and automation.

Companies have moved from trusting everyone to a "Zero Trust" approach that requires verification for all users regardless of whether they reside inside or outside of the organization. Therefore, Kerrest said organizations must move away from static controls and perimeter-based security and instead focus on adaptive and context-aware controls to make better decisions.

ScaleFT was founded in 2015 and employs 12 people, according to research firm PitchBook. The company has raised $2.8 million in two rounds of funding, most recently hauling in $2 million last year from s28 Capital, Graham Weston, Fuel Capital, and Fathom Capital, according to CrunchBase.

The company provides an access management program that enables secure access without a VPN, and has leaders formerly employed at places such as Rackspace and Yahoo. ScaleFT Co-Founder and CEO will manage the transition between the two companies, while Co-Founder and CTO Paul Quema will lead strategy and execution around Okta's architecture.

ScaleFT CSO Marc Rogers, meanwhile, will join Okta as executive director of cybersecurity strategy.

The company works both with MSPs to deliver security offerings that allow for better management of a customer's infrastructure, as well as consulting partners that bring cloud-native security practices to organizations of all kinds.

ScaleFT said it can make it easier for MSPs to protect customer resources by automating role-based access control and eliminating static credentials as an attack vector. MSPs will also enjoy the backing of ScaleFT for infrastructure support.

The offering natively integrates with the underlying cloud platforms so that MSPs don't have to make any changes to their access policies. MSPs can also use ScaleFT will any identity provider in the cloud or on-premises, allowing them to be more cloud-native and avoid lock-in.

Finally, ScaleFT said its framework makes it easier for MSPs to manage access to cloud resources across different environments in a consistent and clear manner.