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The Okta Disaster Recovery Plan Guidebook


Brendon Rod

Co-founder and CEO

The Ultimate Guide to Crafting an Okta Disaster Recovery Plan on any Budget.

In an era increasingly threatened by ransomware and data breaches, the importance of robust Identity and Access Management (IAM) is indisputable. 

While Okta ensures platform security as part of a shared responsibility model, the primary responsibility for safeguarding configurations and data falls on the organizations themselves. Recent security incidents, such as the targeted campaign against U.S.-based Okta customers and IT service desk personnel discussed in our previous blog post, highlight the importance of being prepared for vulnerabilities that often result from human error, especially since Okta does not provide adequate built-in disaster recovery measures.

These past incidents involving Okta serve as a wake-up call to the real and immediate risks that organizations face—from social engineering attacks to compromised credentials. With stakes elevated by the alarming average cost of a data breach—4.24 million dollars—implementing an effective disaster recovery plan is more critical than ever.

This executive article, presented by acsense, highlights that disaster recovery is far from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ endeavor. We offer you a comprehensive toolkit aimed at shaping an Okta-integrated disaster recovery plan tailored to your organization’s specific needs. 

Our approach emphasizes shared responsibilities, key recovery components, and core objectives, all targeted to mitigate risk, minimize IAM downtime, reduce operational costs, and enhance your IAM resilience and security posture.

Determining Recovery Scope

The first step in building an effective Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is determining its scope.

Address key considerations such as communication planning, user accounts, application access, privileged access, backups, and training. This section will guide you through these questions to help you build a comprehensive, effective, and customized DRP.

Communication Planning

Communication is a critical aspect of any disaster recovery process.

This section will guide you through identifying the parties to be informed, the information to be shared, and the most effective ways to share this information. An effective communication plan must be agile, updated regularly, and tailored to the audience’s needs.


Shared Responsibility in IAM and Okta

IAM solutions like Okta have been chosen by over 75% of organizations, primarily because of their excellent track record. While Okta is responsible for platform resilience, it’s up to you, the customer, to safeguard the integrity of your configurations and data. This shared responsibility model should form the cornerstone of your disaster recovery planning.

Understanding Disaster Recovery and IAM

Disaster recovery in the context of Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a key component of business continuity planning. It entails securing the mechanisms and processes that manage digital identities and access rights across a network.

Foundations of Disaster Recovery in Okta and IAM 

Directory-Based Authentication

Disaster recovery begins with foundational elements like directory-based authentication mechanisms such as Active Directory or Azure AD. Integrating these with Okta provides an added layer of resilience.

Directory-Based Resilience Planning

Your disaster recovery plan should start by understanding the existing architecture.
Directory-based authentication systems must be resilient to both man-made and natural disasters. Backup and redundancy plans must be well-defined.

Objectives and Principles

Understanding key objectives and principles like the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is vital. These define the acceptable levels of downtime and data loss.

Application Access

Being able to log into an application is just half the story.
The application itself must be resilient and capable of recovering quickly. 

Privileged Access & Break-Glass

Inclusion of Privileged Access Management (PAM) systems is a must.
A “break-glass” procedure should be in place for emergencies when standard processes fail.

API Access Management

API-first development and microservices are on the rise.
These should also be included in your disaster recovery plan.

Maintaining the Backup

Regular maintenance and continuous data verification are essential. 

Disaster Training & Exercises

Simply documenting your Disaster Recovery Plan isn’t enough.
Regular training and simulation exercises are necessary to ensure everyone knows their role during an actual disaster.

Future Trends in IAM and Disaster Recovery

As IAM solutions and technologies evolve, so will the strategies to safeguard them. Expect to see Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Zero Trust Architectures play increasingly important roles in the field of disaster recovery.

Final Thoughts

We hope this executive summary gives you an initial understanding of the complexities involved in creating a resilient Okta-specific disaster recovery plan. It’s crucial to understand that effective disaster planning isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor and the responsibility for the integrity of data and configurations lies with the organization itself.

What’s Inside Our Complete Okta Disaster Recovery Guide?

If this guide has piqued your interest and you’d like to delve further into the topic, our comprehensive white paper offers an in-depth look at the subject of disaster recovery for Okta.

👉 Download the Full Guide




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