Identity and access management (IAM) controls are a key requirement for cyber insurance as well as overall cybersecurity best practice. Identity management solutions either include or integrate with device management to ensure that only trusted endpoints can access resources. IAM is a broad category where small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could end up considering solutions that may be a mismatch for their requirements and can become very costly to afford.
Auth0 and Okta are enterprise IAM solutions that have comprehensive features, but solve two different problems. Auth0 provides authentication and authorization for custom applications, and Okta is an enterprise-grade IAM platform. Auth0 was acquired by Okta in May 2021. SMEs may benefit from Auth0 and Okta, but their requirements may be better served by taking a different approach. This article compares Auth0 and Okta and then examines their suitability for SMEs. It will also provide an overview of what JumpCloud is and how it may be a better choice.
Features and Functionality
The capabilities of both solutions may vary significantly depending upon subscription levels.
On the surface, Okta and Auth0 provide similar base functionality. That includes:
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Modern authentication
- Integrated security features and add-ons
- User management capabilities through directory integrations
Auth0 provides backend user management for applications. It offers a variety of integrations to help manage the process of onboarding end users to an application and managing their user identity in that application. The result is that an organization rarely has to switch out their user directory for that application, and features such as MFA can become application specific. Auth0 doesn’t extend into device management to establish healthy device security posture.
Okta is an enterprise IAM platform that’s designed for large organizations with many users. It offers a range of features and add-ons to meet enterprise compliance and security requirements and can integrate with cloud and on-premises applications. It’s best suited for complex enterprise scenarios that require extensive integration with legacy systems, on-premises applications, and multi-cloud services. It also doesn’t provide integrated universal endpoint management (UEM).
Next, let’s examine the ways in which Auth0 and Okta are different.
As an enterprise IAM platform, Okta offers strong SSO and MFA, which vary according to subscription levels. That includes password complexity policies in addition to options for conditional access and identity lifecycle management. Okta also provides ThreatInsight, a security intelligence layer that performs threat hunting to detect anomalies and block suspicious users. Monitoring and reporting tools offer insights into user events, security events, and system logs. It can also track security events for when an incident response becomes necessary.
Auth0 offers similar strong MFA methods for access control. Its security features include password health checks, protection against brute-force login attacks, and IP blocking. The extent of those security features is dependent upon your subscription tier. It also offers monitoring and logging tools to assist with incident response in the event of a breach.
Both platforms support web apps via:
- APIs (Okta)
Okta integrates with on-premises servers and applications via its Advanced Server Access product and integrates with identity providers (IdPs) with its Universal Direction subscription. Other add-ons and features that enable on-premises identity and access control include:
- Cloud access security broker (CASB)
- Custom data integrations
- Virtual private network (VPN)
Auth0 hosts a “marketplace” of integrations with third-party identity solutions. Admins can register their custom applications with Auth0’s dashboard and specify an application type. Specific application integrations may include:
- Server-side apps such as Express.js and ASP.NET
- Native desktop and mobile apps
- Non-interactive applications such as daemons or IoT services
Integration with other systems extends IAM controls everywhere identities reside with standardized policies for authentications and methods to reduce user risks.
Please check with the vendors directly for the most up-to-date pricing information.
Auth0 recommends Okta Workforce Identity for enterprise IAM, which is detailed below. Otherwise, a free tier for B2C and B2C use cases is available. It limits the number of active monthly users, social connections, as well and functionality around roles and permissions. Paid B2C subscriptions begin at $22/month with a “professional” plan priced at $270. Features such as support for external databases and cross-app MFA require the premium plans. B2B projects are priced at $130/month, increasing to $800 and more for pro and enterprise plans. These plans meet very different requirements than enterprise IAM. None of the plans provide UEM.
Modular components include:
- Machine to machine tokens
- Attack protection
- HIPAA and PCI DSS compliant environments
- Adaptive and enterprise MFA
- Private cloud deployments
Okta’s SSO plans range from $2/month per user for its standard offering for cloud and on-premises apps to $6/month per user for adaptive MFA. The $2 plan includes only basic MFA and its ThreatInsight security layer. The adaptive MFA plan adds contextual access management that takes risk, device state, location, and other factors into account.
- It’s important to note that fully enabled MFA, i.e., push notifications, SMS, and FIDO hardware keys, is available for $3/month per user. Even more advanced MFA features are included in a premium subscription tier at $6/month per users.
There will be additional a la carte costs for advanced server access, directory integration, API access management, lifecycle management, automation workflows, and more. The total cost can be as much as $22/month per user with a minimum contract of $1,500 for your subscription.
- On-prem components such as Okta Gateway require dedicated server resources that must be maintained and supported.
- Okta’s Customer Identity Cloud B2B and B2C pricing plans essentially mirror Auth0’s pricing for those services.
Okta doesn’t provide UEM or mobile device management (MDM). Those must be obtained separately to secure your devices.
Customization and Integrations
Auth0 is designed to be developer friendly, and making customization and integrations is simpler and easier than Okta. Potential integrations include APIs, microservices, as well as web and mobile applications. Its perceived ease of use makes it better suited for organizations that have smaller IT teams with a smaller budget. However, some options that include custom domains are only available in its premium subscription tiers. Okta is capable of extensive configurations that are managed by larger teams and organizations that have more extensive resources.
Auth0’s interface can be more streamlined and user-friendly than Okta’s traditional enterprise solution.
A public community is available to all subscribers; standard support starts with the Essential plan and continues until to the Enterprise tier, which has its own plan. Software components must be within their active development lifecycle to be supported. Auth0 offers Premier Success Plans (previously, Enterprise and Premier Support) with service-level agreements (SLAs).
Okta support plans range from basic with 24-hour SLAs to several premium packages that offer more immediate support and/or dedicated support managers and VIP onboarding. Pricing for these services isn’t transparent, and customers must work with Okta sales representatives.
JumpCloud’s Identity Management Solution
See research on how JumpCloud compares to Okta.
JumpCloud is designed for SMEs with unified IAM and UEM. That pairing reduces costs, improves operational efficiencies, and strengthens cybersecurity without extensive implementations and support required. JumpCloud is also an open directory platform that integrates with other directories, including Active Directory, Google, and Okta. An SME that subscribes to Okta could use JumpCloud for UEM and migrate over if it’s a better fit.
JumpCloud delivers SSO with environment-wide MFA for common network protocols:
- OIDC and SAML for web apps with SCIM provisioning
- LDAP and RADIUS for network authentication
- A secure, decentralized password manager is available for when SSO isn’t an option
- Dynamic groups provide added security and lifecycle management
TOTP/Push MFA and certificates are included, along with biometric authentication, at no additional cost. JumpCloud is also developing phishing-resistant modern authentication and will soon be introducing additional passwordless workflows to deepen security and usability. Conditional access is available as a premium add-on along with cross-OS patch management.
JumpCloud provides unlimited remote assistance.
Try a JumpCloud Demo
Okta provides enterprise IAM and Auth0 extends access control to in-house applications. JumpCloud is designed for SMEs to secure access management to resources through integrated IAM and UEM. The pricing is transparent and workflow based. You can also see the product in action by scheduling a live demo with us. JumpCloud also offers a variety of Professional Services to help ease the load your employees face.