What is Identity and Access Management?
It is critical to make sure that the correct resources are accessed by the appropriate people in disparate technology environments and ensure that compliance requirements are met. Identity and access management is the discipline that empowers the correct people to access the right resources for the correct purposes at the correct times.
What are IAM Tools?
Identity and access management tools refer to any tools that assist organizations to safeguard their systems from not only unwarranted access but also misuse. It does this by only offering authorized and authenticated users access to specific organizational data and systems.
These tools use company policies to grant staff access to data and systems, authenticate users, track user activity, and offer reporting tools to guarantee staff compliance.
How to Choose IAM Software
To select the right IAM software for your use case, there are a few factors to consider.
- Alignment with business goals: The ideal IAM software should be aligned with the priorities of the business with respect to the implementation of IAM projects. This allows the software to encompass the full scope of the IAM needs of the business.
- A balance between security and simplicity: A factor to consider when selecting IAM software is how well balanced it is between being a robust security solution and providing users with simple identity management. The software should ensure users enjoy fast and secure access to boost their productivity.
- Ease of deployment and scalability: It is also worth considering solutions that are scalable and can be easily deployed to future-proof their usefulness to an organization. Such solutions complement business agility and growth.
- Flexibility: As accentuated by the pandemic, flexibility has become an invaluable characteristic of various technologies. IAM software today should offer flexibility, robustness, and stability to ensure it continues to be valuable in the event of inevitable or unanticipated change.
Also read: The Growing Necessity of Zero-Trust Frameworks
Best IAM Tools and Solutions
Okta channels the power of the cloud to not only offer flexible access to applications regardless of device and time but also enforce robust security protocols. It provides the foundation for secure connections between people and technology.
- Network of prebuilt integrations: With a network of over 7,000 integrations, the Okta Integration Network enables users to securely adopt and automate any technology.
- Cloud-to-ground protection: Okta helps users secure their accounts and applications with a robust multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution that ensures the correct people are granted access and unauthorized ones are frozen out.
- Adaptive security policies: Okta Single Sign-On (SSO) empowers IT teams to safeguard users with homogeneous security policies that are adaptable to user behavior. Users can automatically distinguish and hamper malicious login attempts using tools such as Okta Insights.
- Real-time data: Okta simplifies user access auditing by allowing users to get real-time data within Okta. IT departments can instantly use this data to troubleshoot and tackle SSO security issues.
Cons: Obtaining access after switching devices is cumbersome. It also requires you to send push notifications to your phone when signing in, meaning your access is heavily dependent on the phone.
Pricing: For Workforce Identity Products, Okta charges a $1,500 annual contract minimum. These prices are broken down depending on products and duration on the vendor’s page. For Customer Identity pricing, there’s a pay-as-you-go option for developers, one app edition starting at $14,000 annually and an enterprise edition starting at $36,000 a year.
JumpCloud provides easy and secure access to corporate technology resources regardless of device or location. The JumpCloud Directory Platform offers IT, DevOps, and SecOps a single cloud-based platform to manage staff identities and devices.
- Unified identity: JumpCloud has one cloud directory that can connect to all IT resources. You can quickly provision, create, and import users in the admin console.
- Secure identities: JumpCloud provides users the ability to certify that users are as secure as possible when authenticating through SSH (secure shell) key management and password management capabilities.
- Device management: Users can manage Windows, Linux, and Mac devices from one platform using JumpCloud. The platform has zero-touch onboarding; can automate policy enforcement, management, and reporting at scale; and offers zero-trust security.
- Secure, frictionless access: You can enjoy access securely through Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) whether from web-based, mobile, or on-premises environments and servers.
Cons: Limited or ineffective support. The mobile experience for the admin portal is difficult to navigate as the software has a learning curve.
Pricing: JumpCloud has a free plan for 10 users and 10 devices that includes all premium features and 10 days of premium support. For the premium plan, you can check out JumpCloud’s pricing calculator to receive a package recommendation and an estimate based on your needs.
As an independent product within Okta, Auth0 Identity Platform empowers organizations to offer any of their users secure access to any application. Taking up a modern approach, Auth0 offers development teams simplicity and high customizability, and flexibility. The platform also provides privacy, security, convenience, and efficiency to customers.
- API authorization: Auth0 allows users to extensively leverage the API economy with authorization functionality. This is achieved through the use of granular permissions and scopes for first-party, third-party, and machine-to-machine client applications.
- Role-based access control (RBAC): Users can establish an easy, practicable access management approach using RBAC in Auth0. Such an approach mitigates the error-prone nature of individually assigning permissions to users.
- Standards-based security: Auth0 uses the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework for secure communication to ensure users enjoy the protection of their APIs with open standards.
- Passwordless authentication: Auth0 delivers a frictionless, secure, and delightful authentication experience through passwordless authentication. This extends to email and SMS for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Cons: There’s a learning curve to Auth0’s implementation, and documentation may be frustrating, as some content may be outdated.
Pricing: Besides a free plan, Auth0 has premium plans dependent on your B2C, B2B, and B2E use cases. Auth0’s intuitive pricing page will help you estimate the right costs for your use case.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory
The Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a comprehensive identity and access management platform that helps protect people from identity compromise and bridges people to their apps, data, and devices. The platform offers seamless user experience, unified identity management, simplified identity governance, and secure adaptive access.
- Secure adaptive access: While maintaining a seamless user experience, Azure AD has robust authentication and risk-based adaptive access policies that protect access to data and resources.
- Seamless user experience: Azure AD improves the productivity of users by providing a simple and quick sign-in experience to reduce friction and the time taken managing passwords.
- Unified identity management: Regardless of whether on-premises or in the cloud, users can centrally manage all identities and access to their apps to improve visibility and control. Users can unify user directories in a single portal to manage access across organizational boundaries.
- Simplified identity governance: The automated identity governance by Azure AD assists users to ensure that applications and data are accessible only by authorized users and administrators.
Cons: Some advanced security features are only available with an Azure AD Premium subscription. Also, troubleshooting synchronization problems can be cumbersome.
Pricing: Azure AD offers four editions: Free, Office 365 apps, Premium P1, and Premium P2. Online purchase of Azure Premium P1 starts at $6 per user per month while Azure Premium P2 starts at $9 per user per month. Both subscriptions require an annual commitment.
With capabilities such as MFA, directory, and SSO, Ping Identity strengthens identity security for enterprises globally using an intelligent platform. Ping enables enterprises to maintain a balance between user experience and security for customers, workforces, and partner identity types.
- Personal identity: Ping’s personal identity solution supports easy and secure verification of personal user data. It also implements a no-code approach to supplying digital cards directly to users.
- Identity verification: Ping allows users to verify customer identities to ensure digital identities are tied to real-life identities. This can be done by linking customer identity to a device. It provides confidence that your customers are who they claim to be to mitigate the risk of fraud and meet Know Your Customer (KYC) regulatory requirements.
- Multi-factor authentication: MFA helps determine that users are who they say they are. Ping’s approach uses adaptive and risk-based authentication policies to balance between security and productivity and numerous authentication methods such as biometrics.
Cons: Ping Identity has a steep learning curve, and the UI may be overwhelming.
Pricing: Ping offers pricing packages for Customers and Workforces. Each package offers an Essential, Plus, and Premium plan. The Customers Essential plan starts at S20,000 annually, and its Plus plan starts at $40,000 annually. The Workforce Essential plan starts at $3 per user per month, and its Plus plan starts at $6 per user per month. You would have to contact the vendor for quotes for the Premium plans.
SecureAuth Identity Platform
SecureAuth Identity Platform is a company that supports flexible and secure authentication experiences for a workforce, customers, and partners. It offers tools that build identity security into applications and workflows to improve productivity and mitigate risk. The company also champions passwordless authentication functionality to protect organizations.
- Adaptive authentication: SecureAuth allows you to design multi-step login that is dependent on your risk threshold for each application, system, or user group. Users can leverage machine learning for user risk and login analysis to validate every request using SecureAuth Risk Engine.
- Multi-factor authentication: Without disrupting users, SecureAuth empowers you to challenge login efforts every time risk is detected. Users can design suitable two-factor or multi-factor authentication policies for every single user and use case.
- Passwordless authentication: SecureAuth expedites users’ transition to passwordless identity access management. With SecureAuth, you can add adaptive passwordless authentication to any user directory. This eliminates the need for password management and the risk of social engineering and brute-force attacks.
Con: Setting up reports can be cumbersome.
Pricing: SecureAuth offers a demo upon request; however, you have to contact their sales team for specific pricing information.
The Right IAM Tool
When purchasing an IAM tool for your business, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks, the value to your particular use case, and the cost of the IAM solution with respect to your budget. Also, be sure to use free trials and demos wherever available to intuitively validate how suitable a solution is for you.
Read next: 12 Tips for Mitigating Security Risks in IoT, BYOD-driven Enterprises