An identity provider (abbreviated IdP) is a system entity that creates, maintains, and manages identity information for principals while providing authentication services to relying applications within a federation or distributed network.
Identity providers offer user authentication as a service. Relying party applications, such as web applications, outsource the user authentication step to a trusted identity provider. Such a relying party application is said to be federated, that is, it consumes federated identity.
An identity provider is “a trusted provider that lets you use single sign-on (SSO) to access other websites.” SSO enhances usability by reducing password fatigue. It also provides better security by decreasing the potential attack surface.
Types of identity providers
SAML identity provider
The Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is a set of profiles for exchanging authentication and authorization data across security domains. In the SAML domain model, an identity provider is a special type of authentication authority. Specifically, a SAML identity provider is a system entity that issues authentication assertions in conjunction with an SSO profile of SAML. A relying party that consumes these authentication assertions is called a SAML service provider.
OpenID Connect (OIDC) is an identity layer on top of OAuth. In the domain model associated with OIDC, an identity provider is a special type of OAuth 2.0 authorization server. Specifically, a system entity called an OpenID Provider issues JSON-formatted identity tokens to OIDC relying parties via a RESTful HTTP API.
Examples of IdPs
- Okta Named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Access Management. Only independent & neutral IAM with FedRAMP Authorization. Single sign on (SSO), Adaptive Multi Factoring Authentication, Provisioning, Secure Server Access (Zero Trust), API Access. Provides highly scalable, Always On for all size organizations.
- OneLogin: Enterprise-class IdP. On-prem, Hybrid and Cloud solutions. Single sign on, Multi-factor authentication, password reset, Provisioning and adaptive authentication
- Hitachi ID Password Manager: On-Prem and Cloud Based IDP (and SP) for Enterprise. IDP is SAMLv2. SP can also do OAuth. Various authentication options/combinations available.
- Ping Identity: On-Prem, Hybrid, and Cloud Based IDP (and SP) for Enterprise, OIDC/SAML/OAuth - Standards based solution.
- SecureAuth Identity: On-Prem and Cloud Based IDP (and SP) for Enterprise, Adaptive Authentication
- Cierge: Open source, provides email-based OIDC passwordless authentication
- Keycloak: Open source, Java-based OIDC/SAML IdP
- Auth0: Commercial OIDC IdP
- Gluu: Commercial OIDC/SAML IdP
- miniOrange: On-Premise and Cloud Based IDP (and SAML SP) for Enterprise, SAML/OAuth
- ForgeRock: On-Prem, Hybrid, and Cloud Based IDP, OIDC/SAML/OAuth/UMA, Intelligent Authentication
- Onegini : On-Premise and Cloud Based IdP, OIDC/SAML/OAuth
- / iWelcome : Cloud Based IDP, OIDC/SAML/OAuth
- SAASPASS: Enterprise-class IdP - On-prem, Hybrid and Cloud solutions. Single sign on (SSO), OIDC/SAML/OAuth, Adaptive Multi Factoring Authentication, Provisioning, Secure Server Access (Zero Trust), API Access. Provides highly scalable, Always On for all size organizations.
- ADFS : On-Prem identity provider included as a part of Windows Server
- IdP (Identity Provider), mit.edu. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Glossary for the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0, 2005, oasis-open.org. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Identity Providers and Service Providers, salesforce.com. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- , 2018, okta.com. Retrieved 15 April 2019.