In the 21st century, we have all the information in the world at our fingertips. Even though there are a wide range of benefits to gain from using the internet, this doesn’t come without risks.
Cyber crime is increasing constantly and both normal users and organizations need to have a powerful security system that will prevent any third party organisations from gaining access to your data. This is especially important for companies that have big data-bases. A security breach can make you lose customers, customer’s trust and can seriously affect your image on the market.
The old way of securing your data would include simple password-based systems, but this option can only offer you basic security.
In order to step up your game when it comes to security, you want to use two-factor authentication (2FA) services. This works as an additional layer of security for your accounts, by allowing you to avoid typing your password twice. After you’ve set the password, every time you want to access the account, all you need to do is generate a unique code. Using that code allows you to log-in just once.
Fortunately, we can now use specialized IDaaS (identity and access management as a service) multi-factor authentication software that will keep your data protected, and also offer a wide range of other useful features.
Top 5 multi-factor authentication tools
Microsoft Azure Active Directory
Microsoft Azure Active Directory is a powerful IDaaS software that allows you to easily manage your company’s authentication process.
This app is used by both corporations and governments across the globe, and has a wide range of very useful features that makes it one of the best IDaaS software option on the market.
One of the best features of Active Directory is the fact that it can be easily integrated with Microsoft’s wide range of cloud services, including Office 365. You can bridge connections between on premises active directory and Azure AD by using AD Connect.
This software allows you to synchronize your passwords, store them in the cloud, and set up custom authentication processes to fit your company’s needs. The synchronization process of your password data is done automatically.
Azure AD can be used with ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) which was used in the past to authenticate external apps. ADFS makes sure that your authentication is done by using the local active directory, providing additional security.
Notable features of Microsoft Azure Active Directory include:
- SSO (single sing-on) – ability to sync passwords between Azure AD and SaaS app
- Azure AD B2C – allows users to authenticate using existing Google or Facebook information
- Ability to automatically or manually create groups based on different attributes
- Multi-factor-authentication – allows users to log-in by using separate hardware to generate tokens
Azure AD comes in different versions that have a different set of features and capabilities :
Azure AD Free
- 500.000 users and groups
- 10 SSO apps per user
- Included with Office 365 licence – no limit for users and groups number
Azure AD Basic – has all the features included in the free version and adds :
- 10 SSO apps per user
- User portal branding
- Group-based SSO
- Ability to automate the creation of SaaS user accounts
- 10 SSO apps per user
- Ability to support apps using Application Proxy
Azure AD Premium – both Pro 1 and Pro 2 versions of the Premium version contain all the features included in the Free and Basic versions and also add:
- No limit SSO apps per user
- Self service
- MFA (multi-factor-authentication capabilities)
- CALs (Client Access Licenses) – to be used with Microsoft Identity Manager, can synchronize data about identities
- Conditional Access
- Intune MDM license
Azure AD Premium Pro 2 has all the features included in Pro 1, and also adds Identity Protection and Privileged Identity Manager. These additions increase the security level of Azure AD.
You can find a big set of great training lessons on Azure AD official site.
— RELATED: 5 best password sync software to try in 2018
Okta Identity Cloud
Okta Identity Cloud is a great cloud-integrated application that allows you and your company to securely connect to your services, and it can also resize itself to fit any company size.
This pack from Okta, includes 2 different apps with specific features. One of the products included in Okta Identity Cloud is called Okta API Products. This app allows you to connect with your customers and partners in a secured way, and customer CIAM (Customer Identity and Access Management).
The second app found in Okta Identity Cloud is Okta for IT. This software offers your employees and contractors a secure way to engage in password data recovery and, among many other features, also secure authentication features.
Key features include:
- SSO to web and mobile apps
- Can customize user experience to fit your company’s needs
- Secure user store with integration to AD/LDAP AD/LDAP and AD/LDAP password reset
- Real-time security reports
- Adaptive authentication
We will now focus our attention on the Adaptive Authentication feature found in Okta Identity Cloud. This feature allows your users two-factor authentication via Okta Verify OTP, even though it has many other useful options:
- API access management
- Universal directory
- Lifecycle management
- Contextual access management – allows you to create new authentication policies based on
- the login information of the client – location, device recognition, netword context, etc.
- Self-service MFA
- Flexible authentication – includes a variety of login options including 1-click authentication
- Can create detailed reports with easy integration with security tools
PingID from Ping Identity
Ping ID is a great IDaaS software that has a wide range of capabilities when it comes to securing your company using multi-factor authentication. This software can work either by authenticating your against an already existing Active Directory environment and can also get support from Google Apps.
Even though PingID is not as powerful as other software presented in this article like Azure Active Directory or Okta Identity Management, this software still has a good range of helpful features. Also, PingID might seem more useful to some, because of the fact that all the data is not stored in the cloud.
Key features include:
- User provisioning – no names or attributes are stored and also allows you to maintain a list of groups
- SAML authentication standard
- MFA – multi-factor-authentication capabilities
- Federated Identity Management and Federated Access Management
- Single sign-on anywhere
- You can manage millions of identities
Can capture & manage customer profiles easily
We will now focus on the MFA features of PingID. MFA can be activated in relation to specific applications or groups of users, allowing you to streamline the authentication process. PingID doesn’t have the ability to filter your data by both group and IP address, making it less productive than other software options presented in this article.
The MFA features of PingID can be used with another device, like a phone or tablet. This second device will allow you to use the multi-authentication features of PingID by confirming your identity using different ways. You can confirm your identity through the app itself, you can request a SMS or voice message to be sent to your phone, or by using a YubiKey USB security device.
You can find a great source of specific training for PingID on the Ping Identity website.
Authy is a really light weight multi-factor authentication software that doesn’t have the same power as the above mentioned options do.
Is still offers good protection from different online scammers using 2FA (two-factor authentication), and it’s free.
This app is designed to work seamlessly with QR codes from Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. , and it can also provide access to tokens on any device – phone, tablet, desktop. You can also use Authy to authenticate any new devices with SMS, voice or approval of an already confirmed device.
Authy provides different security features that come in very handy, like TouchID, PIN protection, and passwords. You have the ability to generate tokens directly to the device you’re using, without the need to be connected to the internet.
In Authy there are also backup features that are designed to protect you from locking yourself out of the account if you lose your phone. In this unfortunate case, you can use Authy’s backup feature to remotely encrypt your data. The backups created in this app are encrypted and stored in the cloud.
You can find a wide range of guides to help you get started using Authy, on the official site.
RSA SecurID Access
RSA SecurID Access is a great multi-factor authentication software that has some very powerful features under the hood.
This software can be used as a SaaS application both in the cloud or within your company. SecurID Access, also offers protection using different authentication methods and risk driven decisions, to both software-as-a-service applications and also for traditional means.
Key features of RSA SecurID Access include:
- Multi-factor authentication – push notifications, SMS, biometric data, etc.
- Support for multiple platforms – Windows, Android, iOS, etc.
- Secure access and single sign-on for SaaS apps using SAML, password vaulting, etc.
- Can add REST-based authentication API
- Identity assurance – examins a wide range of factors before considering access
There are 3 different versions of SecurID available:
SecurID Base Edition
- Allows on-premises applications
- Cloud/SaaS applications
- Authentication methods
- RSA SecurID Tokens
- Push Notification
- Single Sign On (SSO)
- Deployment options
- Cloud hosted (AWS)
SecurID Enterprise Edition contains all the features found in the Base Edition and adds :
- Enterprise scalability
- 1 Primary + 15 Replica
- Bulk provisioning
SecurID Premium Edition has all the features of Base and Enterprise Editions and also adds :
- Advanced Risk Analytics
- Behavior Analytics
- Machine Learning
- Geo Fencing
In this article, we took a look at some of the best multi-factor authentication software options on the market for 2020, that allows you peace of mind regarding possible online cyber-threats.
Home users, companies and corporations, all benefit from the use of multi-factor security software, and in this top 5 you can find surely find the perfect match for your needs.
You can choose to jump right into big powerful software like Azure Active Directory or Okta Identity, or, if you’re not sure how effective this type of software is, maybe try light-weight options like PingID and Authy.
Use the comment section below to tell us which software option you chose and why.
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