Duo vs Okta – Which One is More Secure & Practical? [2022]

Introduction

Security is important, and very much so within the online space. Your phone has FaceID to prevent unknown users from accessing it, and every shop has its lock to prevent intruders from entering to steal. Every lock is different, and Duo and Okta are different in that manner.

With different features and operations to protect, verify and secure, these applications do a good job of protecting your company’s infrastructure.

These two are the top security, authentication, and identity providers that do the job at a scalable rate for a variety of contexts across enterprise infrastructures.

In this review article, we understand the level of solutions Duo and Okta provides for its customer and how that applies to your enterprise, and how efficient it is within different contexts.

For users across all devices, platforms, and environments, Duo provides endpoint security and scalable security solutions. Duo delivers engineering offerings for people to contend with security breaches across 2FA, secure sign-on, and API support, with an emphasis on teams and groups.

Okta prides itself as a top provider of identity security which provides identity, authentication, and security management systems that power other enterprises to be secure across all its potential target and weak points.

With Okta, there is solid provision for easy management of apps, multi-cloud environments, and application integrations ranging from AWS to Salesforce.

As the saying goes, your security is only as strong as your weakest link. Both Duo and Okta are effective for enterprise-scale security, authentication, and identity solutions that fit within different industries from finance to the government to ensure keep everything strong.

With their specific features, both deliver deliberate features that keep its customer within their ecosystems.

Duo vs Okta

Duo

For workspace security, endpoint security, and two-factor authentication, Duo offers a free 30-day trial. It’s for businesses and teams of all sizes, from startups to major corporations, that want to protect their work infrastructure.

You can use its products to perform multi-factor authentication in addition to 2FA and to validate your users’ identities. Additionally, you can allow and give secure remote access to work-related on-premise applications.

Importantly, using Duo Single Sign-On (SSO) allows users to access applications from a single location, and you can build up strict and top-class security measures that are enforced across users using your own set of access rules.

Duo provides security technology that is usable and flexible across a large spectrum of individuals, with several price models ranging from small teams to governments.

End-users have access to a variety of support options with Duo, including a knowledge base and contact assistance, which are effective in times of need.

Duo also offers compliance, password, and credential management, and allows administrators to control all access and security from a single, user-friendly dashboard, according to user reviews.

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Okta

Powering identity and security solutions, Okta brings security systems across Customer and Workforce Identity to allow its users to create secure access to their platforms and protect employees from security threats.

Okta products include single sign-on, universal directory, advanced server access, API access management, Multi-factor Authentication, User Management, B2B integration, Lifecycle management, Access Gateway, and Fastpass.

All these features and products enable automation of authentication, identity, and management of identity across the cloud and within a different context. Its API access allows you to provide secure login options for users and prevent security breaches.

The context in which Okta operates helps it provide secure remote work, Centralized IAM, modernized IT, and greatly improved User Trust. Okta integrations with partners help users gain all seamlessness that’s possible within the security space.

Comparison of Duo and Okta

Ease of Use and Setup

Duo makes security management simple, but it can be difficult to manage more complicated activities. Okta can be relatively difficult to set up compared to Duo but is still very easy to set up and use. However, Duo takes the prize in terms of ease of use and setup.

Pricing

Duo is free with minimal capabilities (identity verification) for small teams and persons on a budget, while MFA pricing includes desktop and mobile access protection, rudimentary reporting, and SSO.

Beyond the Free and MFA, the Access, Beyond and Federal are available with access to varying features from adaptive access policies to end-to-end FIFPS.

With the Federal, it comes at a variable pricing model while the MFA, Access, and Beyond come at a $3, $6, and $9 per user per month price model.

Just like Duo, Okta comes with 30 days trial which is available for both workforce and customer identity services with 7000+ pre-built integrations across platforms such as box, slack, AWS, and DocuSign.

In addition, there is the free version that’s available, however, with limited features. There is the Workforce Identity tier and the Customer Identity Tier.

For whatever your focus is, each tier delivers on such with the Workforce delivering identity access for work ecosystems, and the Customer Identity providing secure access to your applications for your customers.

Across these two tiers, there are different prices. With the Workforce Identity, the pricing model is on each feature from API Access Management to Single Sign-on. There is the pay-as-you-go via Auth0 which starts at $23 per month.

In addition, there is the edition pricing with comes at $14k and $36k for One App and Enterprise Editions. Duo takes the price with the pricing model which is way cheaper and clearer.

Features

Duo Security provides its users with everything they need. Depending on your budget bandwidth, everything from MFA to Device Trust is available. Apart from the aforementioned, access controls, compliance management, and a self-service portal are offered for the enhanced team and user security.

Duo’s single sign-on feature is powered by zero-trust security, which helps manage trust and provides seamless administration of team and individual online security. There are also many login alternatives available, which helps to reduce friction for different users.

Additionally, contextual data is used to understand each user and give up-to-date security. Access policies can be customized per application, and support structures for other identity providers are also provided.

Unlike Duo Security, Okta doesn’t provide knowledge-based authentication, mobile authentication, and biometrics. It does, however, provide policy management, compliance management, multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on, and user management.

Okta, also, provides a self-service portal to allow easy and faster management across all integrations, partnerships, and cloud and API services. As stated, it provides Fastpass which allows for passwordless sign-on into applications, and uses its Workflow to provide no-code identity automation.

Security

MFA with 2FA, Credential Management, Single Sign-On, and Biometrics support are all security features of Duo that help to improve security and manage online identities. With Okta, MFA, Credential, Policy, and Compliance Management is available to provide full-scale security.

Application Integration

Both Duo Security and Okta Verify are available on Android, iOS, and via the web, and are not available via any desktop medium.

Enterprise Solutions

Duo has extensive enterprise support which cut across software, remote access, VPN, cloud service providers, identity providers, and web applications such as Asana, WordPress, Salesforce, AWS, Confluence, JIRA, Oracle, Cisco ISE, Microsoft, and Adobe Document Cloud.

Also, it has some consolidated partnerships with technology partners, service provides, and solution providers to provide enhanced, scalable, and integrated security for its customers.

Included within the Duo package is 2FA authentication for SSH for protecting Unix and Linux Logins.

Okta takes the win within the enterprise solution department with its integration capabilities across multiple categories ranging from network security, ID proofing, SaaS platforms, DevOps, API Gateway, and Bot Detection among others.

Zoom, Office 365, G Suite, BambooHR, Cisco, Nginx, IBM Radar, Splunk, McAfee, AWS, Google Cloud, and Terraform are applications and integrations that are possible with the Okta package. According to Okta, there are more than 7000+ pre-built integrations that are available for its customers.

APIs and Language Support

In the API department, Okta and Duo come off strong, but Okta takes it home. Duo brings its deep security support via its Web SDK available in Python, Java, Go, and PHP using an OIDC-compliant authentication protocol.

Included in this support is its custom feature called Universal Prompt which helps simply the whole process of secure login via the web.

Aside from its Web SDK, Duo has a RESTful API for auth, device, and administration to cover different aspects of the security pipeline. From an administrator viewpoint, Duo Splunk makes log management easier with the simplified integration with Splunk.

Whether it is workforce or customer identity, Okta gives its customers’ authorization API gateways over 12+ languages and platforms such as Angular, React, JavaScript, Vue.js, Go, Python, Java, and PHP.

Also, lifecycle management is made easier with pre-built SCIM integrations.  All of these are powered and maintained via 14 SDKs across the stated languages.

Customer support

Duo is the better option when it comes to customer support. Duo’s infosec eBook materials include a wide range of knowledge that is vital for consumers to better understand how to take charge of their online security, whether individually or in groups.

In addition to assisting, the knowledge base, community forum, and how-to videos are important resources that can assist administrators and end-users in resolving issues and improving their use of Duo as an online security tool. Another significant method is to contact customer service.

Aside from that, there are end-user guides and FAQs for the average team member who isn’t aware of information security but needs to get things done.

Okta does have an Email and Help Desk readily available to solve a couple of your issues. In addition, there is an extensive FAQ and Forum page.

To support all these, there is phone and chat support and access to a live rep, 24/7. The lack of a centralized knowledge base can be overwhelming for new users; however, community documentation covers that.

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Pros

Your staff members can use a range of log-in choices with Duo Security, ranging from mobile devices to hardware tokens, and onboarding and setup are a breeze thanks to top-notch documentation and knowledge base.

Duo provides everything every team, enterprise, and organization needs without the fuss, with outstanding uptime, easy integration, and multifactor authentication.

MFA, 2FA, remote access, device trust technologies, SSO, and adaptive access policies are among the items offered by Duo, as described in the feature sections, enabling flexible but secure internet exploration.

Okta’s pros are numerous ranging from the features that are available to you to managing all the apps, software, and integrations you need. Intruders are a thing of the past with their MFA and API Access Management tools.

Also, from a developer and even an enterprise perspective, Workflow makes it a lot easier to automate and develop identity authentication.

In addition, data governance is easier to do with its user management feature, especially on a large scale. Identities are easier to manage, authentication is easier to automate, and security is easier to implement.

Cons

Customers have noticed delays in receiving push notifications on their devices from Duo, or even no notifications at all.

Moving between devices can be tricky and annoying, and you’ll often have to reapprove all of your internet logins if you close all of your browser windows, which can be beneficial but also frustrating for average users.

Duo also has a lot of compatibility difficulties, and third-party integrations might be tough. Furthermore, considering Duo’s extensive features, its cost is justified. Aside from the cost, Duo does not offer automatic push requests, which means you must click to send the request, which is inconvenient.

Similar to Duo, customers do experience slow push notifications with multiple tries needed before access. Also, you have to have the Okta Verify app downloaded, and upon loss of the phone, it can be very damaging, which is different from Authy where multiple device synchronization is a killer.

Also, Okta is incredibly expensive compared to other security and identity platforms, however, the value of money is very high. Also, Okta can be UX-unfriendly through its login phase, especially across its mobile applications. Lastly, the logs and reports can be a bit tedious to understand.

Conclusion

Both Duo and Okta are great choices for developers, teams, and enterprises to implement security, authentication, and login features on a small or large scale.

Both provide secure sign-in, MFA, and credential and policy management across their different integrations. For us, Duo is better for starter companies with small or medium scale, and Okta is better for large-scale companies that need all the security they can have.