The 5 Best Identity Management Software for Small Businesses

Your company's enterprise network becomes more vulnerable to hackers every time a new device is connected to it or an employee uses a weak or compromised password. Identity and access management (IAM) software gives you a suite of tools to increase network security. The Blueprint is here to help with your due diligence to make the best choice for your small business based on features, customer support options, and price.

Top Rated

Okta

Improve network security and reduce low-level IT service requests with Okta, an automated identity management solution. We detail its features, pricing, and support in this comprehensive review.

Easiest to Use

LastPass for Business

Every digital device connected to your network is a possible entry point for bad actors. We take a close look at LastPass for business, a robust identity and access management (IAM) solution.

Best Value

OneLogin

Every device connected to your company's enterprise network is a potential entry point for bad actors. Learn about OneLogin's automated identity management features designed to protect your assets.

Best Support

Google Cloud Identity

Hackers are increasingly targeting companies' networks and data, so you must remain one step ahead. Learn how Google Cloud Identity's multiple security tools can protect your small business.

Best for Enterprises

Azure Active Directory

Windows Azure Active Directory is a robust identity and access management solution that helps secure your company's network. Learn about its strengths, weaknesses, and pricing in this in-depth review.

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You don't leave the doors open 24/7 at your business, but many companies do exactly that with their computer networks. Employee-generated passwords such as 123456, reused passwords, and personal devices connected to your enterprise network are an open invitation to hackers to pillage your digital assets.

The best identity management software ensures only authorized personnel log into your network and applications, enforces robust password management policies, and monitors user activity. The question isn't whether you can afford this protection — it's if you can afford not to have it.

Our top picks for the best Identity Management Software:

Top Rated

1. Okta

   
Best Support

2. Google Cloud Identity

   
Best Value

3. OneLogin

   
Easiest to Use

4. LastPass for Business

   
Best for Enterprises

5. Azure Active Directory

   

What The Blueprint looks for in great identity management software

The best IAM software includes a standard set of must-have features, one-on-one customer support, and transparent pricing. You must do your research, however, as the devil is in the details in these three areas.

Features

Any IAM software you use should include these features:

  • Single sign-on (SSO): Users log in once to a single interface to access multiple third-party software applications or websites.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Users provide secondary information such as answers to security questions, OTPs, or biometric information to validate login credentials.
  • Password management: IT admins define and enforce automated policies for password strength, banned passwords, and user-generated passwords.

Other useful features include:

  • Contextual authentication: AI calculates the risk of each login to apply MFA case-by-case.
  • Mobile apps and browser extensions: Users access their SSO portals with apps and/or browser extensions to enhance the user experience.
  • Company and personal password vaults: Allows users to have personal password vaults combined with company vaults to reduce the frequency of reused passwords.

Support

Most IAM software has self-service resources such as a knowledge base, product documentation, and community forums.

The most critical feature, however, is one-on-one technical support. If you have a significant problem with your IAM software, all your employees and customers could be locked out of your network. You won't have time to comb through endless web pages looking for a solution; instead, you need direct live chat or telephone support to get back online ASAP.

Pricing

Accurate pricing is key. Even if your initial price per user looks attractive, that can change quickly based on minimum annual contract costs, necessary add-on features, and different plans with widely varying feature sets.

Customer support can be another significant cost. Windows Azure Active Directory customer support will likely be at least $1,000/month for business-critical environments, while Google Cloud Identity includes 24/7 telephone and live chat support in its price per user.


How your business can benefit from using identity management software

Beyond its baseline cost, IAM software can require significant upfront work from your IT department to implement, and users must jump through extra hoops to securely log into your network. These initial costs and inconvenience will be worth it, however, as you achieve multiple, far-reaching benefits.

Better security

After your products and services, your most valuable assets are digital: business records, financial information, and customer data. Compromised passwords result in 81% of hacking breaches, but MFA blocks 99.9% of these attacks.

Overarching benefits include streamlined incident response protocols, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and the production of a granular network diagram. If you have a dedicated network security operations center (SOC), IAM user, login, and activity reports contribute directly to your identity management processes.

Lower costs

The cost of data breaches varies by country and industry, but in 2019, the average cost globally was $3.9 million per breach, which works out to $150 per compromised record. Avoiding even a single data breach can cover your IAM costs for several years.

SSO saves money by reducing the time employees require each day to log into multiple applications. Sure, this isn't that much on any given day, but recent statistics show it works out to 12.5 hours saved per employee per year. If you have 500 employees with an average salary of $50,000, you'll save over $155,000 annually.

This amount further increases when factoring in another time-saving feature: password self-management features that don't require IT department intervention. Each password reset performed by your IT department, for example, costs $7 to $10.

Improved IT department productivity

Greater IT department efficiency is another benefit. Okta says its automated IAM tools reduce routine IT department help requests by 50%. This doesn't mean your IT techs have more time to sit around debating the relative merits of Star Wars versus Star Trek. (FYI: Star Trek is the best.) Instead, they can put more effort into higher-level activities that maintain and protect your IT infrastructure.


Frequently asked questions for identity management software

Why do I need identity management software?

Your company's network footprint is continually increasing as more employees, devices, and applications connect to it. Every employee password, piece of hardware, and login screen is a potential entry point for hackers. The average cost per data record breached in 2019 was $150, which equals $3.9 million per hack.

Most of these breaches resulted from compromised login credentials, so the real question is this: Can you afford not to have robust access identity management?

How much does it cost?

Basic IAM tools and feature packages range from $2/month per user to $15/month per user. Some plans, such as Okta, have a minimum annual contract amount or demand a minimum number of users. Exercise due diligence to determine your true cost for the exact features you need. Standalone IAM providers, such as OneLogin and LastPass, rarely steer users toward tangential add-on features as Microsoft and Google do.

Customer support costs can vary widely. If you use Windows Azure Active Directory, you'll likely pay $1,000/month for 24/7 telephone support, while Google includes 24/7 live chat and telephone support in its $6/month per user subscription price. What's right for you depends on your business's anticipated support needs and your IT department's expertise.

What kind of support can I expect?

All IAM providers have a common set of self-service resources: knowledge bases, product documentation, and community forums. With a couple of exceptions, however, you'll pay more — sometimes significantly more — to access one-on-one chat, email, and telephone support.

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