A Step-by-Step Guide to Okta Identity Governance

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

How many identities does your organization manage? Hundreds, maybe even thousands? Efficiently and effectively managing these identities and their access privileges can be a major headache, especially in complex cloud environments and across multiple platforms and applications. 

2023 saw a 95% increase in attacks to exploit cloud infrastructures. These attacks go beyond mere disruptions – they threaten the security of vital information such as user credentials, cloud identities, and sensitive data. Okta Identity Governance emerges as a solution for protecting digital identities that access this data globally. 

What is Okta Identity Governance?

Okta Identity Governance

Okta Identity Governance (OIG) is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that offers a converged and intuitive approach to Identity and Access Management (IAM). It simplifies and manages identity and access lifecycles across multiple systems, improving your organization’s overall security. 

Why Should You Use Okta Identity Governance?

In comparison to other identity governance solutions, Okta stands out for its user-centric design, robust security features, and extensive integration capabilities. Its focus on delivering a seamless user experience, combined with its ability to adapt to various IT environments and scale with your organization’s growth, makes it a compelling choice for modern businesses seeking a reliable and efficient identity governance solution.

What are the Key Features of Okta Identity Governance?

  • Lifecycle management: Managing the entire lifecycle of a user’s identity, from initial creation to access removal during employee turnover.
  • Administration: Enables management of user identities, including the ability to add or delete users as needed.
  • Analytics: Provides detailed reports on network access, changes, and monitoring user activities.
  • Identity management: Ensures secure verification of user identities before granting access.
  • Role-based administration: Facilitates access control based on job roles, streamlining permissions management.
  • Workflows: The platform leverages Okta’s workflows to customize complex identity governance requirements, with or without code.
  • Self-service access requests: Users can integrate self-service access requests to any Okta resource directly from their workplace collaboration tools.

3 Reasons Why Should You Use Okta Identity Governance

Using Okta Identity Governance in your organization will benefit you in several ways.

1. Increased User Productivity and IT Efficiency

Okta Identity Governance enables efficient “Day 1” experiences for users by automatically provisioning access to necessary applications based on their attributes. It also empowers users with self-service access and approval workflows, freeing up IT resources.

2. Visibility Over Security and Compliance Outcomes

The system automatically suspends resource access based on user status changes in HR systems and directories, maintaining a least privilege system. It also facilitates quick audit evidence and reporting for sensitive resources in line with Okta security best practices.

3. Increased Cost Savings and Agility

OIG adapts quickly to new users and resources using open standards and API-based interfaces, eliminating the cost of maintaining on-premises systems.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Okta Identity Governance

This guide will navigate the essential steps of employing Okta Identity Governance.

1. Pricing

OIG’s pricing varies depending on your organization’s specific needs and size. Okta offers different tiers designed to cater to various business sizes and requirements. For example, Single-Sign-On (SSO) will cost you $2 per user/month, while Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) costs $3 per month/user. You can find detailed pricing information on Okta’s official pricing page

2. Access Requests

Access requests streamline the process of requesting access to various resources like applications, groups, and entitlement bundles. It offers a simplified experience that routes user requests to approvers, resolving common challenges like poor request experience, human errors, complex workflows, and decreased IT productivity.

How to create an access request

  • Step 1 – Set up necessary Okta settings to configure access requests.
  • Step 2 – Create a team to manage and configure access requests.
  • Step 3 – Create a configuration list enabling teams to automate user access during request processing.
  • Step 4 – Integrate with platforms like Jira, ServiceNow, Slack, or Microsoft Teams.
  • Step 5 – Create a request type to automate and define access-granting processes.
  • Step 6 – Manage requests, allowing request assignees to manage requests following specific steps. They must be part of the team owning the request type.
  • Step 7 – Generate past access reports to view historical data on who requested access, the status of their requests, and the approvers involved.

Once these steps are finalized, users can create and manage access requests.

Known limitations

  • Issues with email domains that have two hyphens.
  • Resource limitations:
Okta Access Requests

3. Access Certifications 

Access certifications in Okta Identity Governance enable organizations to review and manage user access to essential resources periodically. This process ensures that only necessary users have access, preventing unauthorized access. The main steps in setting up an access certification campaign include:

  • Choosing a start date and duration.
  • Selecting the specific resources and users for review.
  • Assigning responsible reviewers.

How to create an access certification

Okta Access Certifications

Once these steps are finalized, reviewers can review and reassign the items assigned to them.

Known limitations

  • Campaign failures occur when the assigned reviewer is deactivated.
  • Resource limitations:
Okta Resource limitations

4. Identity Governance Reports

Okta Identity Governance provides four main report types. You can easily create them from the reports section in the admin console. These reports allow you to:

  • Get an overview of past certification campaigns, including their duration and the resources they covered.
  • View detailed information about past resource access requests and campaigns, including user involvement, remediation status, and entitlements.
  • Support audit and compliance efforts.

Report types

  • Past Campaign Details Report: Offers in-depth data on certification campaigns, with filters for resources, users, and status. Useful for detailed campaign analysis.
  • Past Campaign Summary Report: Provides an overview of campaign configurations and completion statuses. Ideal for high-level tracking of resource certifications.
  • Past Access Requests Report: Shows resolved access requests, including approvals and resource assignments. This is key for monitoring resource demand and compliance.
  • User Entitlements Report: Allows viewing of user-assigned entitlements, with filters for applications and entitlement specifics. Essential for auditing user privileges.

Known limitations

  • The past access requests report shows details only for approved requests.

5. Entitlement Management 

Entitlement management streamlines user permissions, ensuring appropriate access to resources. It is integrated with access requests and certifications to enable detailed monitoring and management of user access levels. You can assign entitlements to users individually or through a policy, simplifying universal directory configurations and reducing excessive privileges.

How to create an entitlement

Known limitations

  • Only supports applications as a resource.
  • System log events may be inaccurate, making it difficult to use them for Okta log audit purposes
  • Does not support provisioning entitlements, except for Box, Google Workspace, Office 365, NetSuite, and Salesforce.
  • Entitlement limits:
Okta Entitlement limits

Securing the Cloud with Okta and Rezonate

Okta Identity Governance plays a crucial role in enhancing cloud security. However, using Okta might not be enough to protect against modern cyber attacks since its primary focus is handling access requests, lifecycle management, and compliance. That’s where the need for specialized tools like Rezonate comes in. 

Rezonate complements Okta by offering an additional layer of security and specializes in continuous risk monitoring and real-time threat detection beyond Okta’s core functionalities. Rezonate evaluates the entitlements and usage, providing insights into every access event and enabling more comprehensive security measures with automated remediation features. Integrating Okta and Rezonate ensures more secure and resilient cloud infrastructure & SaaS apps access.

Rezonate also offers a layer of protection on top of Okta to identify potential security risks, misconfigurations, and active attack attempts on Okta. 

Book a Demo today to secure your digital assets with Rezonate.


Ready to see Rezonate in action?

“Rezonate combines identity threat detection and posture management to reduce exposure time and optimize our response to suspicious activities. The robust remediation workflows and the UI, make the platform an important asset in our line of defense.”

Paul Groisman

Sr. Director Cyber Security, Fubo