6 Best Identity & Access Management (IAM) Solutions

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Identity and access management (IAM) once helped IT departments in large enterprises manage employees in Microsoft Active Directory. In a modern IT environment, IAM plays a far more critical role in authorizing geographically dispersed workforces as they connect to internal resources, cloud resources, and especially software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

IT teams can no longer easily manage individual user rights and permissions with the rapid increase in SaaS applications and remote work. IAM offloads the burden of individual access management and automates the onboarding and offboarding processes as well.

Choosing the best software for IAM needs becomes even more complicated as developers, customers, and even access from other applications all enter the picture. Some organizations require a dedicated IAM solution while others may only need an IAM tool within a portfolio of other security products.We’ll review our picks for the top IAM solutions, their features, pricing, use cases, pros and cons, and more.

Top Identity Access Management Solutions at a Glance

This chart compares some of the most basic features of IAM tools, as well as some less common capabilities like identity orchestration.

MFAPrivilege access managementIdentity orchestration / workflowsSecrets management
CyberArk Workforce Identity 
JumpCloud Platform🟨🟨

✅ = Has feature     🟥= Not offered     🟨 = Unclear    ➕= Available from vendor in another solution

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JumpCloud Best Overall

  • Offers a pre-built application catalog
  • Password manager can store other items like tokens and secrets


  • Not designed for on-premises environments
  • Some features may cost extra

Our rating: 4.5/5

JumpCloud is an identity, access, and device management platform specifically designed for cloud environments. It has options to implement zero-trust policies, use Cloud LDAP to manage users, and to deploy Cloud RADIUS to issue certificates to devices as one form of multi-factor authentication. Through its Cloud Directory tool, JumpCloud provides centralized identity control and lifecycle management. JumpCloud is the most full-featured product on this list, contributing to its high score.

Don’t let all the features intimidate you, though — JumpCloud is still suitable for small businesses.


  • JumpCloud offers a pricing calculator for potential customers to gauge costs. The full JumpCloud platform costs $15/user/month — this includes identity, access, and device. If you’re looking for a full-featured plan, this is the best deal. There’s also a zero-trust plan for $18/user/month, but the Platform package should be sufficient for most teams.
  • Monthly billing is available, but JumpCloud offers discounts for annual billing.
  • JumpCloud is free for the first 10 users and 10 devices.
  • JumpCloud offers special pricing for MSP partners and discounts for educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
  • API services for custom workflow development
  • Incorporated mobile device management (MDM) and management for Windows, macOS, and Linux endpoints
  • Prebuilt HR connectors with Workday, BambooHR, and Namely
  • Patch management for devices
  • Password management add-on
  • Integration with CrowdStrike Falcon

Okta Best for Large Enterprises

  • Okta can be customized using no-code, low-code, or code options
  • Okta offers more than 7,000 established integrations


  • Minimum contract may be too high for very small businesses
  • Advanced features cost extra

Our rating: 4.1/5

Okta has long been a leader in access management, authentication and single sign-on. With a simple SaaS-based approach, Okta offers IAM solutions that enable zero trust principles with reduced complexity.

Okta recently acquired Auth0 to cement its position as the category leader and offer developers coded IAM solutions for customer IAM and applications. Okta also offers partner access management, a good feature for enterprises trying to manage security for their third-party vendors. Okta has plenty of enterprise-grade features, as well as an API and training videos, which contributed to its overall rating. 


  • Workforce IAM Options require a minimum $1,500 annual contract and offer volume discounts for enterprise customers with more than 5,000 users. Okta offers various tiers based upon the desired features and are priced per user per month:
    • Lifecycle Management: $4/user/month
    • Multi-factor Authentication: $3/user/month
    • Identity Governance: $11/user/month for unlimited features
  • Customer IAM Options support and secure customer interactions are available through the Auth0 app for developers. Auth0 is free for up to 7,000 users with unlimited logins. Paid categories depend upon the use case and the number of active users.
  • Okta offers discounts for non-profit organizations.
  • Automated lifecycle management for user provisioning and deprovisioning
  • Passwordless authentication options
  • Endpoint security integration with CrowdStrike through Okta Verify
  • Privileged access management
  • 14 pre-built software design kits (SDKs) with language-specific libraries, offered through Auth0
  • Okta Identity Engine, which allows administrators to customize their instance of Okta

OneLogin Best for Developers

  • More than 6,000 integrations
  • Allows custom branding like colors and logos


  • Prices can add up with multiple a-la-carte options

Our rating: 4.2/5

OneLogin, a division of One Identity (owned by Quest Software), provides a dedicated IAM solution for both workforce and customers. OneLogin also provides support to developers that want to integrate IAM capabilities into their own applications. The Sandbox, part of OneLogin’s developer product, allows devs to test features before finalizing them.

OneLogin offers an unusual option to place an application on the desktop of an endpoint computer. This desktop app launches with the login password and enables a completely controlled environment for all connected applications and users. It’s a good choice for both small businesses and large enterprises, with plenty of integrations, including HR, business productivity, and project management tools. 


  • OneLogin’s Professional plan costs $8/user /month and includes MFA, SSO, advanced directory, and identity lifecycle management. For more details, look at OneLogin’s pricing page.
  • OneLogin offers a self-service portal for technically savvy Small Businesses of less than 50 users. It also provides references to certified MSP partners that can assist with deployment, provide day-to-day management, and offer volume pricing discounts.
  • Option for a OneLogin desktop environment where the device login acts as the credentials for all apps
  • Integration with OneLogin SmartFactor Authentication, which uses machine learning to improve authentication security
  • Mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows phones
  • Sandbox feature in OneLogin’s product for developers
  • Integrations with Namely, Workday, and BambooHR

ManageEngine AD360 Best for Teams Seeking Additional Security

  • Array of additional security features for larger organizations
  • Local installations provide full control to the organization


  • Small businesses may be overwhelmed by the non-IAM capabilities that come with the AD360 bundle
  • Somewhat limited knowledge base

Our rating: 4.1/5

ManageEngine’s portfolio of tools includes several related to identity and access management, but the key tool is ManageEngine AD360. Other products can add capabilities for privileged access management, auditing, Active Directory management, and key management.

AD360 offers other features, like application backups and restoration and compliance management. If you’re a larger business looking for a wide range of security features aside from the basics of IAM, consider ManageEngine. It has multiple customer support avenues and a 24/7 option for critical needs, which contributed to its rating on our rubric.


  • ManageEngine provides a 30-day free trial for AD360 and a price calculator to estimate the licensing costs. Customers can choose between the standard or the professional edition.
  • Prices include annual maintenance and support fees.
  • Other add-ons, onboarding, implementation, and training are also available.
  • Designable user provisioning templates
  • Automated identity lifecycle management
  • AI-powered user behavioral analytics
  • Backup for applications like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 through the identity lifecycle management features
  • Password management option

CyberArk Best for Behavioral Analytics

  • Great tool for those that want to easily add privileged and secrets management
  • Self-hosting options for tools


  • Short on training videos
  • Opaque pricing and licensing makes it unclear what licenses may be required to match the capabilities of other IAM products or other pricing details

Our rating: 3.8/5

CyberArk looks at identity as the basis for a security strategy and offers a portfolio of tools for identity management, privileged access, secrets management, endpoint privilege security, cloud privilege security, and both workforce and customer access. The behavior analytics function sets a baseline for users, and CyberArk continuously monitors behavioral signals to make sure users are who they say they are. It can trigger alerts and access changes when anomalous behavior is detected. Consider CyberArk if your team is looking to dig deep into user actions.

If your business decides to implement the workforce access, identity management, and privileged access products, you’ll have a wide range of features at your fingertips. This is a good option for larger enterprises, but smaller teams may only need one product.


  • CyberArk does not list pricing on their website. Instead, the site encourages interested parties to start a trial, contact the company for a quote, or reach out to resale partners for more information.
  • CyberArk’s free trial for Workforce Identity is 30 days.
  • User behavior analytics
  • Integration with Workday, BambooHR, and SAP SuccessFactors
  • API
  • Identity lifecycle management within the portfolio
  • Option for password management

Microsoft Entra ID Best for Governance Needs

  • Basic identity management is included with other Microsoft subscriptions
  • Offers federated integration with other identity providers


  • Requires multiple tools to achieve basic IAM
  • The full suite of tools will be unnecessary for many users

Our rating: 3.8/5

To embrace the expanded needs for modern IAM, Microsoft offers a collection of tools, called Microsoft Entra, that can be used to implement identity and access management for multi-cloud and multi-network needs. While Microsoft’s Active Directory provides the foundation for identity management for many organizations around the world, it doesn’t reach outside of local networks. Launched in May 2022, the Entra suite of tools now also encompasses Azure Active Directory so that it covers the broadest range of IAM needs when used together.

Entra ID is a good choice for businesses with existing Microsoft infrastructures, but it’s still a strong option for other organizations. Consider Entra ID if you’re particularly interested in identity governance and workflow capabilities.


  • Microsoft Entra ID has a free version with partially included features like MFA and conditional access.
  • Entra ID P1 costs $6.00/user/month and offers features like event logging and reporting.
  • Entra ID P2 costs $9.00/user/month, and according to Microsoft, is the most comprehensive plan.
  • Entra ID Governance costs $7.00/user/month and offers governance capabilities for businesses.
  • Privileged identity management
  • Lifecycle workflows available with Entra ID Governance licenses
  • Conditional access
  • SIEM integrations
  • Password management option

Also read: A PowerShell Script to Mitigate Active Directory Security Risks

5 Key Features of IAM Software

When you’re shopping for an IAM tool, look for products that have the following features. While feature sets will differ somewhat among platforms, these are important for best managing identities and access. Not every tool has all these features, so make sure the product you choose at least has options for the features that are most important to you.

1. Multi-factor authentication

It’s becoming more common to require multiple methods of authentication because credentials can be stolen. If an attacker gains access to an account owner’s password, they can easily infiltrate an enterprise system. Requiring another means of authentication — like entering a passcode sent to a user’s phone — reduces attackers’ opportunities to access the application, making MFA a very important feature of IAM tools.

2. Single sign-on

SSO reduces the number of logins a user has to complete on their workstation. By logging into the IAM interface, users can access all integrated applications. This is not only more efficient but also more secure — there’s a reduced danger of password compromise because users won’t be writing passwords in insecure locations.

3. Identity lifecycle management

Managing user identity lifecycles is important for long-term security — it’s not enough to only set up someone’s access; it has to be properly maintained as their role changes. This can include de-provisioning of identities when a user leaves the company or privilege elevation when someone’s role changes.

4. Automated Workflows

The ability to use or customize automated workflows will reduce the long-term burden on IT and security teams. Workflows can manage users’ identities and access controls — when a certain step occurs, it triggers a set of sequential actions.

5. Privileged access management

Privileged access features specifically focus on highly privileged roles and accounts. These could include financial managers, executives, IT leaders, and users responsible for sensitive data management. Controls for PAM are especially important because of the abilities those accounts are typically granted and the amount of sensitive information they can access. Privileged access management is the feature most likely to cost you extra — or require an additional product — but the importance of these accounts merits additional security.

See the Best Privileged Access Management (PAM) Software

How to Choose the Best IAM Solution for Your Business

Each organization will need to verify that an IAM tool’s capabilities meet their needs, and they’ll need to estimate their accompanying resources and return on investment (ROI). Many tools provide trial periods for testing, but keep in mind that integrations can be time-consuming and should be reserved for finalists. Consider the following key factors when your team is shopping for and analyzing IAM products.

Integration capabilities

If you have a critical application, a superior IAM tool that does not integrate with or support that critical app will be useless. Actual usability is more important than potential capabilities. Before shopping, determine the apps for which you need secure access first. Once you have a shortlist, you can find IAM tools that support those apps.

User experience

How much hassle is introduced or reduced by implementing IAM? Many tools introduce self-service application requests, automated approvals, and single sign-on (SSO) capabilities that reduce friction for users to obtain and use internet-based resources.

Security needs

Organizations with advanced security requirements will need to deploy MFA options, execute granular control over access, and track and report on access by asset or by user. If your business has those advanced security needs, look for features like privileged access management and integrations with other security vendors.

Resources needed

Some products will be resource-light SaaS solutions, while others will require local system deployments. The cost of any required resources to run the tool will also need to be added to the potential personnel costs of installation, configuration, maintenance, and use.

Delivered value

Ideally, tools don’t just deliver features; they should deliver benefits too. The value of additional security and control may be difficult to quantify, but time savings compared to manual execution of IAM tasks has led to Return on Investment (ROI) estimates around 500%. Will it take time for these benefits to show? Sometimes. But consider the long-term benefits for your organization — including the fines, recovery costs and data loss you can avoid by better protecting your data and accounts.

See the Top Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Solutions

How We Evaluated IAM Solutions

To create the pool of candidates for this year’s top IAM solutions, we initially consulted a variety of sources such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Access Management, the Forrester Wave for Identity as a Service (IDaas), the Identity Management Institute, and customer reviews on websites such as G2. We then reviewed each product’s capabilities and features.

To remain under consideration, the tool needed to deliver robust capabilities for both identity management as well as access management. Some otherwise capable tools did not make the cut because they might only deliver some of those capabilities.

We evaluated these IAM solutions using a product scoring rubric. In our rubric, we weighted criteria and features according to the percentages listed for each below, and that weighting factors into the total score for each product. The six products that scored highest in the rubric made our list. However, that doesn’t mean that one of these is automatically the best pick for you and that a good option can’t be found outside this list.

Note that the score each product receives is only based on whether it meets the criteria we set for the analysis rubric. All these products are successful in this category, and their score here is not an overall measure of their value. Rather, it analyzes how well they met our specific criteria.

Pricing Transparency & Trials | 10 Percent

We evaluated whether the vendor was transparent about pricing and whether the product had a free trial, including how long the trial lasted.

Core Features | 35 Percent

We evaluated each IAM tool’s most important features, like MFA, identity lifecycle management, and integrations with directory tools.

Additional Features | 20 Percent

We evaluated nice-to-have features like sandboxes, user permission templates, and integrations with HR management systems.

Functionality & Management | 20 Percent

We evaluated ease of use and management, availability of knowledge bases and training videos, and whether the product offers a native API.

Customer Support | 15 Percent

We evaluated phone and email availability, product demo availability, and whether technical support teams offered a 24/7 option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following questions emphasize the importance of IAM tools in enterprise environments and the ways they work with other solutions.

Why Are IAM Tools So Popular?

Identity and access management mitigates some of the inherent risk of users accessing customer and proprietary data. It’s more organized than usernames and passwords for every account, especially when single sign-on allows users to input one password for all connected applications.

Because IAM tools help businesses manage employee access to data, they also help companies stay compliant with regulatory standards. Most data protection standards have access requirements, such as auditing which employees can access specific information. Using IAM tools helps businesses meet those requirements.

What Is The Difference Between IAM And Active Directory?

A directory service like Active Directory is only one component of an identity and access management platform. It records user data and stores it for IAM solutions to use. Many IAM tools integrate with AD because it’s one of the most popular directories.

AD is useful, but it’s not a substitute for an IAM solution. Directories don’t provide the level of access and policy management that many IAM tools do, and they won’t be able to protect applications and data on their own.

What Is An IAM Workflow?

Security teams design workflows to automate IAM processes like provisioning users and assigning roles and permissions. Workflows are useful because they reduce some of the manual burden on security teams. One action triggers a set of actions, which perform roles like automatic permission assignments.

Bottom Line: Developing the IAM Ecosystem

Selecting an identity and access management solution can dramatically improve security and control over SaaS and cloud resources. For organizations seeking to further improve security, there are many adjacent technologies that compliment and strengthen an IAM solution.

For example, privileged access management (PAM) provides specialized tools to manage administrator and other elevated and dangerous access levels. Active Directory security, machine identity security, password managers, and encryption key management also address key factors of identity and permissions security that could pose enormous risk to a breached organization.

Although it may seem that there will always be another tool needed to fully secure an organization, implementing broad, fundamental security layers will always be the first important steps to take, for network, cloud and application security. For today’s distributed IT environments, adopting an effective IAM tool should be one of those first steps.

Read next: 34 Most Common Types of Network Security Solutions

This updates a Jan. 26, 2023 article by Chad Kime

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