Okta Tutorial for Beginners-Authentication-SSO

Okta identity cloud software gives you one trusted platform to secure every identity. On-demand cloud computing is one of the booming technologies, nowadays a lot of cloud solutions refer to very top-rated platforms like PaaS (platform as a service), IaaS(Infrastructure as a servicServiceaaS (Software as a service). Most entrepreneurs adapted these cloud applications. The next thing was a very tough age, like how to maintain security over the applications that were deployed on the cloud. That moment of time, Okta came into the picture. IDaaS(Identity as a Service). It helps or mitigates the security solutions which companies are facing when they are moving towards the cloud. One solution, which deployed on the AWS cloud. Initially, it was only for authentication services, later added MFA (multi-factor authentication), mobile mobility, and API. Even LCM(life cycle management). Okta seamlessly connects you to everything you need. The Okta certification training is to educate with the learner's insights into advanced user lifecycle management scenarios, identity management, security policy frameworks, integration of web applications, and more through industry use-cases and projects. This tutorial walks the learner through all the main aspects of Access Gateway gateway, from deploying the virtual appliance to configuring High Availability.

What is Okta?(okta authentication tutorial)

Okta is a cloud-based software that helps to manage and secure user authentication into modern applications and for developers to build identity controls into applications, website web services, and devices. Okta helps to link all your apps, logins, and tools into a unified digital fabric. Okta seamlessly connects you to everything you need. Utilization and access to those applications are efficient and straightforward. 
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Okta SSO

SSO means single-sign-on. To access multiple systems without being prompted to sign in for each one. Okta is a cloud-based SSO platform that allows users to enter one name and password to access multiple applications. Okta is also supported 3rd party gateways for legacy SSO. Because every platform has its own password rules, it can be challenging to remember different passwords or even variations of the same password. This is one reason users often default to using the same password complex across different accounts, which ultimately makes all these accounts more vulnerable. 

  • SSO is the same as a password manager
  • SSO is no longer need passwords

Okta Access Gateway 

Access Gateway integrates with legacy applications. Access Gateway allows you to seamlessly integrate your legacy web-based applications with Okta’s Cloud SSO Capabilities.

Okta Tenant, or Okta Org - Okta Tenant is the start point for implementation. Okta Tenant represents the real-world application including users and applications, and multi-factor authentication. Users access their org and are presented with a list of administered application tiles which can be to access their applications. It manages users, groups, profile information, and other details.  It is a dedicated Universal Directory, can be linked to another universal directory or a combination of both.

  • Virtualization Environment - Okta Access Gateway is a virtual appliance and must be hosted in an appropriate virtualization environment. Access Gateway can be hosted directly on any computer which supports Oracle Virtual Box v5.0
  • Virtual Appliance - Access Gateway is a 100% self-contained virtual application. The appliance is downloaded from your Okta org using the Settings > Downloads page and then can be deployed in any supported environment. Once deployed Access Gateway can be easily managed using the command line and GUI based tools. In High Availability scenarios Access Gateway is deployed as many times as required to meet reliability and throughput requirements.
  • Protected Applications - The core purpose of Access Gateway is to protect application resources. These resources may be Header based applications, SAML applications, custom Web applications; Kerberos based applications, or others.
  • Policy - Access Gateway can protect applications using fine-grained application policy. Groups of users can be defined and individual parts of applications protected using various policy statements.


Access Gateway Administration

Access Gateway is administered using the following tools:

1. Admin UI Console

The Admin UI Console is the main tool for administering Access Gateway applications and identity. The Access Gateway Admin UI Console can be used to Initially configure an instance of a virtual application; Administer Access Gateway and Okta Organization integration; Define, administer, monitor, and manage protected applications; And more.

2. Command Line Console

The command-line console is used for more system related tasks such as Configuring High Availability; Managing Underlying networking; Monitoring and logging; Enabling and disabling the support network; And more.

How to implement and configure okta?

After Access Gateway has been installed, and typical post-installation tasks have to perform, Okta tenant must be configured as an IDP.

  • Create an Okta Service Account for Access Gateway: Okta recommends creating a specific Service Account in Okta that will be used to create the Access Gateway API key. This is important because every action performed by an API key is logged under the user that created the key. In the interest of maintaining accurate logs, a dedicated Access Gateway Service Account is recommended.
  • Create an Okta API Token: in the Service Account Dashboard, select Security > API from the menu options. On the API page, click Create Token.
  • Configure IDP in Access Gateway: Ensure that the IP address of the Access Gateway virtual appliance has been added to your local /etc/hosts or equivalent.

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Create and configure users, groups, and apps

Add, import, and manage users in groups or individually. Every user has a unique profile within Okta. This unique profile helps you manage app and device access, group membership, and user status. Universal Directory lets you store an unlimited amount of user and attribute data from apps and other sources such as directories or human resources apps. All attribute types are supported, including linked-objects, sensitive attributes, and predefined lists. All of it is accessible by all apps in our Okta Integration Network (OIN) catalog, over LDAP, or through API.

Manually add users when they join your org. After you add the user, you can assign them to apps and groups and manage their profile. A new user account is only created and activated if the user does not have an existing Okta user profile. If the user has an Okta user profile, it is updated during a full import. Users who are confirmed on the import results page, You can use Just-In-Time (JIT) provisioning to automatically create user profiles when a user first authenticates with Active Directory (AD) delegated authentication, desktop single sign-on (SSO), or inbound Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).

Okta does not support nested groups. Okta imports all nested directories for group members and adds the user to each group in Okta. Users' profile is a record of information stored in Okta Universal Directory that contains specific user attributes such as the user's name and phone number, location, and role.

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Directory integrations

Enterprise uses Microsoft Active Directory (AD) as the authoritative user directory that governs access to email, file sharing, and other business applications. In all likelihood, you're also using Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that are not integrated with Active Directory and finding it increasingly difficult managing all of your user accounts. Managing multiple separate user directories is not only inefficient, it also exposes your enterprise to increased security risk. Okta Active Directory integration helps your enterprise seamlessly integrate your SaaS applications and your Active Directory instance with Okta.


Application Integrations

If we need to integrate your Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance with Okta. Integrating your Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance with Okta lets your users authenticate to one or more AWS accounts and gain access to specific roles using single sign-on (SSO) with SAML. An Okta admin can download roles from one or more AWS accounts into Okta, and assign those accounts to users. In addition, an Okta admin can set the duration of the authenticated session of users using Okta.

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Integrate and configure Data Stores:

Increase Access Gateway session data using external data sources such as databases or LDAP. It supports bi-directional synchronization between the access gateway and external data sources. Including MySQL, Oracle and Postgres. It can be managed within the Access Gateway UI.
Configure after selecting SQL Database the Create New Data Store wizard will start, initialized for database creation

1. Name: Driver
    Name used to identify the data store: Driver for datastore. Choose one of: MySQL/MariaDB
                                                                                                                               MSSQL Server
   My SQL Datastore: MySQL/MariaDB

2. Name: HostName:Port
    Name used to identify the data store: Enter the FQDN and port for the database instance
    My SQL Datastore: mysqlserver.example.com:3306

3. Name: Database
    Name used to identify the data store: Name of the database (schema) within the database.
    My SQL Datastore: user database

4. Name: Username
    Name used to identify the data store: Username to access the database
    My SQL Datastore: abuser

5. Name: Password
    Name used to identify the data store: The password associated with Username.
    My SQL Datastore: password

6. Name: Advanced Query Mode
    Name used to identify the data store: Disabled: Specify the table name
    My SQL Datastore: people

Automations and Hooks

Okta provides features that enable you to automate and customize your Okta processes. With Automations, you can prepare for and respond to situations that occur during the life cycles of end-users who are assigned to an Okta group. Event Hooks enable you to trigger process flows within your own software systems. Okta Device Trust contextual access management solutions enable organizations to protect their sensitive corporate resources by allowing only end-users and partners with managed devices to access Okta-integrated applications.

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Okta RADIUS Integrations

Okta provides the ability for organizations to use Okta to manage authorization and access to on-premises applications and resources using the RADIUS protocol. Okta provides a RADIUS Server Agent that organizations can deploy to delegate authentication to Okta. Admins can configure sign-on policies to RADIUS-protected applications just as they would any other application in the Okta Integration Network. Okta has created guides and OIN apps for several commonly-used RADIUS integrations.


Okta is the foundation for secure connections between people and technology. Functionality for user authentication, password and access management, integration with on-premise user directories, and analysis of cross-application usage requires that Okta remains secure and highly available. Implemented security features are most appropriate for your organization, from managing failed logins and encrypted password protection to roles and access control rules to audit logs of user interactions. Platform security refers to the security architecture, tools, and processes that ensure the security of an entire computing platform. It uses bundled/unified security software, systems, and processes to enable the security of a computing platform’s hardware, software, network, storage, and other components.

  • General platform security
  • Login security
  • Access control rules
  • Encryption support
  • Domain separation


Okta reports are built to give you a view of the activity and security of your Okta environment. The Reports page contains canned reports and pre-defined System Log

queries that enable:

  • Understand how your apps and services are utilized by your end-users
  • Detect potential security risks


Okta is the most robust and innovative identity software that provides one secured solution for all cloud applications to business organizations in driving businesses efficiently. Now that you have an idea about the basic concepts of Okta, you will need to learn more deeply to gain an in-depth knowledge of Okta. I hope the information in the tutorial is helpful. Assuming that it has given a basic idea, I would like to inform you that learning and understanding Okta is a plus in Business organizations. For any queries/questions related to the topic, we are here to help you resolve them.

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.