Security solutions that authenticate and manage user access to systems have never been more important. Increasingly organizations are relying on cloud applications like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and many more for critical business functions. Securing access to these systems with user authentication tools is key to protecting against data loss and security breaches.
User authentication tools verify that only authorized users can access cloud applications and company accounts. These systems are designed to ensure that only the right people can access the right business systems, and they offer a range of features which help to enhance basic username and password account security.
Authentication systems provide IT teams with a host of security controls and policies, such as enforcing multi-factor authentication so that if a set of credentials are compromised in a phishing attack, there are extra layers of security place to deny access to malicious actors. Some systems will allow admins to implement passwordless authentication, providing users with single sign-on capabilities.
Gartner have predicted that in 2023, 60% of large and global enterprises and 80% of SMBs will be using enterprise-wide multi-factor authentication (MFA) to manage user authentication, backed up by an access management platform.
In this article we’ll compare the top ten User Authentication and Access Management platforms. We’ll explore key features including MFA options, adaptive authentication, flexibility, level of visibility, user experience and pricing.
What is User Authentication and Why Is It Important?
Put simply, User Authentication covers any form of security system that verifies users identity when logging into accounts. User authentication solutions typically involve implementing multi-factor authentication to ensure users are authorised to access accounts and services, and reduce the risk of a data breach.
Multi-factor authentication requires users to have extra piece of additional knowledge rather than just relying on a password. This is often something simple, such as a pin-code from an authenticator app (something you have) or a fingerprint read (something you are). There are a wide range of authentication methods that can be used for varying levels of security, including biometrics, hardware keys and FIDO authentication tokens which remove the password altogether.
The benefit of adding user authentication is that accounts become much more secure. Passwords can often be easily guessed or stolen, and continuous user authentication means that attackers are far less likely to be able to access an account if they are able to successfully compromise a password in a phishing attack or data breach. Admins can also often configure access policies governing which resources users should have access to, and what level of security control is applied to accounts, to help organizations achieve a Zero Trust security policy.