Readers' Choice Awards 2012

Best of Identity and Access Management 2012

Readers vote on the best Identity and Access Management products in 2012: User identity access privilege and authorization management, single sign-on, user identity provisioning, Web-based access control, federated identity, role-based access management, password management, compliance and reporting.

In this part:

Gold: IBM Security Identity Manager, IBM

Earning high marks across the board, IBM Security Identity Manager was the clear gold medal winner in the identity and access management category. Readers particularly liked its scalability, end-user transparency/ease of use, and vendor service and support. IBM Security Identity Manager also received high scores for integration and compatibility with associated products, directories and other information stores. Readers described the product as "robust," "dependable," "trust worthy," and "well worth the investment."

IBM Security Identity Manager helps automate the creation, modification and termination of user privileges throughout the user lifecycle. It offers request-based provisioning of requesting and approving user access to roles, accounts or fine-grained access entitlements like shared folders. The product's customizable user interface is tailored to specific types of users, such as auditors, managers and administrators. And self-service interfaces allow users to reset passwords, perform password synchronization and modify personal information without having to call the help desk.

Access recertification capabilities check whether user access is still valid and allows for automated access remediation. Managers can recertify a user's roles, accounts and groups in bulk. The software also provides auditing and reporting mechanisms, and can delegate administrative privileges along organizational and geographical boundaries.

Expert's market reflection: "The IAM market is shifting to a service-based orientation (i.e. cloud), addressing scale and user experience concerns, and preparing for wider mobile client use (i.e. tablets, mobile phones."-- Earl Perkins, research vice president, Gartner

Silver: Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager, Microsoft

Following closely on IBM Security Identity Manager's heels, Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager earned the silver medal. The product provides role-based access control, user self-service identity management, automated lifecycle management across heterogeneous platforms, and a policy framework for enforcing corporate security policies and audit capabilities. Administrators can also review access rights continually across the organization. Information Security readers praised Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager for its extensibility, ease of use, scalability, and vendor service and support.

Bronze: Oracle Identity Management Suite, Oracle

Oracle Identity Management Suite trailed behind, receiving a bronze from Information Security readers who noted the difficulty of integration and compatibility with associated products, directories and other user information stores. The product's highest score was for scalability. Oracle Identity Management Suite is a suite of identity management products that are designed to simplify lifecycle management and secure access from any device, both inside and outside the corporate firewall, to enterprise resources.