Oleria raises $8M to make multi-factor authentication adaptive

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Most organizations’ identity and access management strategy has a long way to go. According to Gartner, by 2026, 70% of identity-first security strategies will fail unless organizations adopt context-based access policies that are continuous and consistent. 

Part of the reason is that multi-factor authentication (MFA) isn’t user-friendly: It requires legitimate users to jump through hoops before they can access critical resources. As a result, a number of vendors are turning to adaptive authentication to streamline secure access. 

One such provider is Oleria, which today announced it has raised $8 million as part of a seed funding round led by Salesforce Ventures. The organization, founded by former Salesforce chief trust officer Jim Alkove and former JumpCloud chief product officer Jagadeesh Kunda, customizes the authentication process according to the level of risk posed by a connection. 

Making multi-factor authentication fit

One of the core challenges with identity and access management is that the authentication process is reliant on multi-factor authentication. 


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The problem is that MFA is inconvenient for authorized users who have to log in with usernames and passwords before entering one time passcodes sent to their email addresses or phone numbers. 

“Current access management systems are complex and time-consuming, requiring significant manual effort and multiple management tools. Security should be adaptive to your organization and sensitive to every context,” said Jim Alkove, CEO and cofounder of Oleria. 

“It should protect data and maintain trust while allowing you to accelerate the pace of business without ever getting in your way,” he said. “This is what we are building at Oleria.”

Adaptive authentication helps to address these challenges by providing trusted users with a shorter authentication process than more high risk connections, which are given extra steps such as biometric authentication before they can access a protected resource. 

Reviewing the risk-based authentication market 

Oleria’s solution falls under the risk-based authentication market, which researchers valued at $4.95 billion as of 2022, and anticipate will reach a value of $11.9 billion by 2029. 

The organization is competing against a number of providers including Okta, which offers adaptive MFA with contextual access management that takes into account risk factors such as device, network, location, travel, IP and other risk signals to determine whether a connection is allowed, denied or given extra MFA steps. 

Okta also recently announced raising $510 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023. 

Another key vendor in the space is SecureAuth, providing its own adaptive authentication solution with the SecureAuth Risk Engine, which uses machine learning (ML) to analyze the level of risk posed by a user and extends or shortens the login process accordingly.

SecureAuth reportedly raised over $200 million in funding back in September 2017. 

However, Alkove argues that, “other approaches require an enormous manual effort that is both time-intensive and costly. They are also static, and access is typically only reviewed and updated on a quarterly or monthly basis at best.”

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