Oleria secures $8 million in funding to revolutionise adaptive access management

The identity and access management strategies of most organizations still have a considerable distance to cover. According to Gartner’s projections, by 2026, a staggering 70% of security strategies centered around identity will prove ineffective unless organizations embrace access policies rooted in context that remain both continuous and consistent.

One key factor contributing to this challenge is the user-unfriendliness of access management and multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions. Many of these solutions demand legitimate users to navigate complex hurdles before gaining access to critical resources. Consequently, several vendors are now turning to adaptive authentication to simplify and enhance secure access.

Among these innovators is Oleria, which has just announced securing $8 million in funding as part of a seed funding round, with Salesforce Ventures at the helm. Co-founded by Jim Alkove, former Chief Trust Officer of Salesforce, and Jagadeesh Kunda, former Chief Product Officer of JumpCloud, Oleria tailors the authentication process to match the level of risk associated with a particular connection.

Making multi-factor authentication fit

Identity and access management grapples with a fundamental hurdle: its reliance on multi-factor authentication (MFA).

The predicament lies in the inconvenience experienced by authorized users who must first navigate the traditional path of usernames and passwords, subsequently tackling the added complexity of one-time passcodes delivered to their email or mobile devices.

Jim Alkove, the CEO and co-founder of Oleria, emphasizes the current cumbersome nature of access management systems. He stresses the need for these systems to evolve into adaptive solutions that harmoniously integrate with an organization’s operations while preserving data security and trust. Alkove’s vision for Oleria is to construct a solution that achieves this delicate balance.

Adaptive authentication emerges as the antidote to these challenges. It streamlines the authentication process for trusted users, offering a more expedient route compared to those deemed higher risk, who must undergo additional steps such as biometric verification before gaining access to secure resources.

Reviewing the risk-based authentication market 

Oleria’s offering is situated within the realm of risk-based authentication, a market segment that was valued at $4.95 billion in 2022. Analysts project this market to surge to a whopping $11.9 billion by 2029.

In this fiercely competitive landscape, Oleria contends with a variety of providers, most notably Okta. Okta delivers adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) intertwined with contextual access management, which factors in various risk elements like device, network, location, travel, IP, and other risk indicators. These inputs guide Okta in determining whether to permit, deny, or impose additional MFA steps for a given connection. Notably, Okta made headlines by generating a remarkable $510 million in revenue during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023.

Another prominent player in this space is SecureAuth. They have devised their own adaptive authentication solution, leveraging the SecureAuth Risk Engine, which employs machine learning (ML) to assess a user’s risk profile and subsequently streamline or expedite the login process. It’s worth noting that SecureAuth secured a substantial funding round of over $200 million in September 2017.

However, Alkove argues that alternative approaches necessitate substantial manual efforts, consuming copious amounts of time and financial resources. These approaches are also inherently static, typically undergoing review and updates on a quarterly or, at best, a monthly basis.