Digital password manager company 1Password announced this week intentions to expand the login features of its services — starting with something the company calls Universal Sign On that it says can make logging into different websites or services even easier.
1Password already sells subscription services to small and large businesses looking to control and secure access to various passwords amongst staff — and now it looks to make Universal Sign On work alongside multi-factor authentication products like Duo and single sign-on (SSO) products like Okta (depending on what the enterprise needs are).
While announcing a new funding round valuing the company at $6.8 billion, 1Password launched a “vision of the future” website presenting a simplified idea on how 1Password can help make logins easier by remembering what single sign-on method was used on what site and ride it through for you (thereby, continuing the tradition of only needing the namesake “one password”).
Tom Warren with The Verge joined 1Password CEO and founders on a Twitter Space talk on Wednesday, asking:
“How will 1Password try to solve the challenges of universal log on and, in particular, whether you’re trying to compete with Okta, Active Directory and others in this space?”
1Password’s CFO Jeannie De Guzman responded:
“We actually partner with Okta and we are an Okta shop at 1Password. When I think about competing with Okta... we don’t view them as a direct competitor. When you use Okta inside a company, it’s often times a lot of enterprise level software that you have enterprise-wide deployments... there's a huge proliferation of SaaS apps going out that are being used by all of us at work right now. Those onesies and twosies that go to one person or to a small group of people... those don’t necessarily get caught in Okta”
Guzman explains the issue of “shadow IT,” where people can still have access to things not governed by Okta SSO or have accounts for work that IT does not know about — and that is where Guzman says 1Password can cooperate with Okta (or other SSOs).
“We capture all those logins that don’t get captured enterprise-wide.” Guzman gave an example of this as someone who has worked finance in various companies: finance departments could give access to bank accounts with a single sign-on solution using 1Password, even if they’re not configured for Okta-style SSO access. Guzman further expanded that many companies could have a finance department employee who just left and, yet, still knows the bank account password.
Today, the company posted on its blog to further explain how 1Password will work alongside SSO solutions and why companies really should use its product:
It’s important to note that SSO doesn’t solve all your security problems, just a subset of them. For instance, if a service isn’t integrated into your SSO platform, employees can create an account on their own, bypassing SSO altogether.
You can also check out the full 1Password Twitter Space recording below.