As digital access to a company’s assets grows, organizations need secure ways for their employees to access those resources. Identity and access management (IAM) software helps companies keep their data safe by providing role-based access to their employees. This means that employees only get access to the information they need to perform their job functions. Most IAM tools also include a password manager to securely store login information for easy employee access. To help you find the best IAM software for your organization, we’ve put together this guide of the top identity and access management software of 2021.
IAM software overview
- What is IAM software?
- Benefits of IAM tools
- Top IAM solutions 2021
- Ping Identity
- Microsoft Azure Identity Management
- CyberArk Workforce Identity
- Oracle Identity Management
- IBM Security Verify
What is IAM software?
Identity and access management (IAM) software makes it easier for employees to securely access the data and applications they need to complete their duties. These solutions ensure that only authorized employees are accessing sensitive information. For example, your accountant needs access to your payroll software, but your marketing team doesn’t. IAM tools provide role-based access to keep your company’s resources safe.
These tools generally perform two different functions. First, they confirm that the user, device, or application is who they say they are by cross-referencing the credentials they provide against what the system has on file. Then, once those credentials are confirmed, the software only provides the necessary level of access, instead of giving the individual access to everything within a network.
Benefits of IAM tools
IAM tools’ main benefits come from improving company security and increasing employee productivity. Many companies use IAM software to reduce the burden on their IT and security teams while still ensuring their employees can access the data and applications they need.
The biggest benefit of IAM tools is added security for your company’s data and applications. Not only does role-based access prevent unauthorized people from within your company from viewing sensitive information, but most IAM solutions also include AI to help your security team spot compromised credentials faster based on behavioral anomalies. This added security can also help you ensure regulatory compliance in highly regulated industries.
IAM software also improves employee productivity by reducing the number of times they have to log in. Once they access their IAM portal, the employee should have access to everything their role demands, and the IAM tool can log them into other applications automatically. This means they don’t have a ton of passwords to remember, and they won’t implement shadow IT policies to get around irritating login policies.
Top IAM solutions 2021
These are some of the top IAM tools available in 2021 and include a variety of features to keep your company resources secure.
JumpCloud is an IAM solution that provides single sign-on (SSO) access for a company’s users, allowing them to easily and securely access the resources they need. The platform works with on-premises and cloud applications, as well as macOS, Windows, and Linux networks and infrastructure. JumpCloud also provides reports and insights that log user activity, allowing your security team to see access attempts that might indicate an identity has been compromised. It even offers remote management to let your security team address issues with a user’s identity no matter where they are.
- Free platform for up to 10 users and 10 devices
- Easy to install and add users
- Wide breadth of features
- Pricing is per user which can add up quickly
- Reporting requires an API
Auth0 is great for developers looking to create a secure login experience for their own applications. It allows companies to provide role-based access to their employees, giving them access to only the files and applications they need to complete their duties. The software assigns permissions automatically based on a user’s role, causing less chance of error than manual assignments would have. Additionally, it can provide access tokens to give users temporary access they might need. Auth0 also handles API authorization to ensure that you only connect to applications that are safe. The platform offers flat, monthly pricing, making it easy to budget for.
- Free plan for up to 7,000 users
- Provides templates in several programming languages
- Multi-language options available
- Not many options available for customization
- Few tools for corporate governance
Also read: Best Practices for Application Security
Ping Identity was designed for hybrid environments, meaning it works well with both cloud and on-premises networks and applications. The platform combines multi-factor authentication (MFA) with SSO to provide an easy and secure sign-on experience for each user. It also includes artificial intelligence (AI) to help your security team detect anomalies in user behavior that might indicate an identity has been compromised. Ping Identity can also help you enforce business rules for authorization and authentication through customizable policies.
- Highly attentive and responsive support team
- Easy to implement
- Good interoperability with other applications
- One of the more expensive tools on our list
- UI can sometimes be difficult to navigate
Okta provides companies with SSO, MFA, and a universal directory which gives your security team a single place to manage all of your user identities. The platform offers several different factors for their MFA, meaning you’re not limited to phone or email authentication. Okta also provides zero trust access management for your infrastructure, giving you more control over user permissions. It also secures APIs on the backend, allowing your developers to focus on creating a great user experience.
- Easy to deploy and integrate other applications
- Keeps employees from having to remember multiple passwords
- Large number of features
- Difficult to detect login information that’s no longer used
- Pricing model might be cost-prohibitive for small businesses
Microsoft Azure Identity Management
Microsoft Azure Identity Management gives companies the ability to protect their data and applications in both cloud and hybrid environments. They offer several different identity management products to help you find exactly what you need for your business. Azure’s Identity Management enables your organization to classify and label data to make it easier to assign permissions based on user roles. It also lets you track activity on shared data and applications, so you know exactly who is accessing each file.
- Simply secure data and applications and limit access
- Easy to use and set up
- Provides remote access for identity management
- Requires expert maintenance and management which may rule out SMBs
- Updates can be slow to implement
OneLogin offers a cloud IAM platform that makes it easy for businesses to secure and manage their users’ identities. It offers integrations for over 6,000 different applications to help you keep your users safe across your entire network. The platform also works with both cloud and on-premises applications. Your HR department controls the user identities, allowing your company to easily adjust them as the employee lifecycle changes or ends. You even have the option to implement certificate-based trust for remote employees, meaning they’ll never have to enter a password.
- Responsive customer support team
- Manageability and granular access control
- Don’t have to reset passwords when employees leave
- Chrome plugin doesn’t always work properly
- Event logs occasionally miss important actions
ForgeRock’s Identity Platform gives organizations the ability to create and manage digital identities for their employees to provide them with the right level of access based on their role. The platform automates several identity lifecycle processes, including creating new identities when employees are hired, changing access as they are promoted, and removing permissions when employees leave. It is compatible with on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments and applications. ForgeRock is built to support large numbers of identities, making it best for enterprise companies.
- Easy integration with Java-based applications
- Ability to add customized components into modules
- Supports legacy systems while still offering modern solutions
- Pricing is per identity, which could add up quickly
- UI can sometimes be difficult to navigate
CyberArk Workforce Identity
CyberArk Workforce Identity (formerly Idaptive) offers MFA and SSO to help your employees log into applications easily and securely, and it automates the onboarding and offboarding processes to lessen the load on your HR and IT teams. The frictionless sign-on feature helps prevent shadow IT practices from your employees looking for easier ways to log into the resources they need. The MFA is AI-powered, making it easier to spot anomalies that could lead to security breaches. You can even extend the protection to endpoints to ensure only approved devices are connecting to your network.
- Easy to reset passwords across all software
- Integrations to over 150 applications
- Responsive customer support
- Custom reporting doesn’t always accept SQL inputs like it’s supposed to
- User interface is a bit granular which can make navigation difficult
Oracle Identity Management
Oracle Identity Management provides secure access to both on-premises and cloud applications. The platform is highly scalable and works well for businesses of any size. Oracle allows organizations to set their own rules and policies for access, so they have complete control over their data and applications. It also offers SSO for any integrated application from any type of device, including mobile phones and tablets. The software includes real-time fraud prevention to protect against compromised credentials and keep your business resources secure.
- Easily handles large volumes of traffic
- Smooth user provisioning and reconciliation
- Supports customization
- Requires customization to access many features
- Steep learning curve
IBM Security Verify
IBM Security Verify is an identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) platform that includes SSO, MFA, and identity analytics to keep your corporate resources secure. It offers AI-powered authentication and adaptive access decisions to prevent shadow IT practices and keep identities from becoming compromised. There are even options for passwordless authentication. IBM also provides user lifecycle management and compliance to make it easy for your HR department to create new identities as they hire new employees and remove identities when employees leave.
- Centralizes and automates profile management and authentication
- Easy to use and implement
- Feature-rich platform
- Steep learning curve
- Licensing and pricing structure are somewhat complicated