CIAM Solutions: Key Capabilities and 8 Notable Solutions

What Are Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) Solutions? 

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) solutions are platforms designed to manage and secure customer identities and access rights across various digital channels. These solutions serve a critical role in today’s digital economy, where securing customer information and providing seamless user experiences are basic requirements. CIAM systems not only ensure the safety and privacy of user data but also enhance customer engagement by offering frictionless online experiences.

At the core of CIAM solutions is the ability to authenticate users, manage their identities, control access to resources, and gather insightful data about customer interactions. These platforms are engineered to scale across millions of users, supporting businesses in delivering personalized and secure online services. CIAM solutions are instrumental in enabling businesses to achieve compliance with global privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), by providing robust privacy and consent management features.

In this article:

Key Features of CIAM Solutions

User Registration and Management

CIAM solutions streamline user registration processes. They allow easy onboarding of new customers through user-friendly interfaces. CIAM systems manage user data efficiently, enabling businesses to easily update and maintain customer profiles.

User management extends to handling user data throughout their lifecycle. CIAM solutions provide tools for administrators to manage user profiles, roles, and permissions effectively, ensuring that access levels are correctly assigned and managed.


Authentication is a core feature of CIAM solutions. They support multiple authentication methods, including passwords, biometrics, and multi-factor authentication (MFA), enhancing security while maintaining user convenience.

Advanced CIAM platforms offer adaptive authentication. This method assesses the risk associated with each login attempt and adjusts the authentication strength accordingly. It helps strike a balance between security and user experience.

Learn more in our detailed guide to CIAM authentication 

Multi-Tenant User Management

Multi-tenant user management is important for businesses operating on a global scale or providing B2B services to other organizations. This capability allows a CIAM system to serve users across multiple tenants (clients or customer organizations) separately and securely. Each tenant’s data and user interactions are isolated, ensuring privacy and data integrity.

CIAM solutions with multi-tenant capabilities make it easier to automatically onboard new tenants and manage complex hierarchies of user accounts within each tenant.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

SSO allows users to access multiple applications with one set of credentials. It improves the user experience by eliminating the need to remember and enter different passwords for each service. CIAM allows users to sign in using their existing organizational credentials or social platforms like Google or Facebook.

SSO reduces the risk of password fatigue, leading to stronger password practices. It also simplifies the login process, lowering the barrier to accessing services and applications.

Identity Federation

Identity federation is a key component of CIAM, allowing identities to be shared across different systems and organizations securely. This facilitates a seamless user experience, enabling access to multiple services without repeated logins.

It promotes interoperability between services, improving operational efficiencies. This is vital for organizations that collaborate with partners, suppliers, or third parties, ensuring secure and straightforward access to shared resources.

Privacy Management and Consent

CIAM solutions help businesses adhere to privacy regulations. They provide mechanisms for users to control their personal information and consent to its use.

Through robust privacy and consent management features, businesses can build trust with their customers. They ensure compliance with laws such as GDPR and CCPA, avoiding potential legal and financial repercussions.

Account Recovery and Self-Service

CIAM solutions offer account recovery and self-service options. This empowers users to resolve access issues independently, reducing the support burden on businesses.

Self-service tools allow users to manage their profiles, update passwords, and adjust privacy settings. This enhances the user experience and fosters a sense of control over personal information.

Notable CIAM Solutions 

1. Frontegg

Frontegg’s end-to-end CIAM solution is fully self-served and helps create a frictionless experience for its customers and users. 

Key features include:

  • Smooth login capabilities with multiple customizable parameters.
  • Strong authentication flows with a micro-frontend approach
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can be baked in based on your requirements.
  • Dedicated admin portal, providing granular roles and permissions management with user management capabilities
  • Full multi-tenancy—view, edit, and remove users or tenants with just a few clicks. 
  • Advanced webhook features to further customize your user experience and backend functionality. 
  • Compliance with multiple privacy regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and more.

Limitations include:

  • Product maturity is still a work in progress like in any scaleup SaaS company.
  • Integration with certain third-party tools can sometimes be less seamless than desired.

2. Okta Customer Identity Cloud

The Okta Customer Identity Cloud enables easy access to digital assets, efficiently managing and analyzing user data, and improves security. It simplifies authentication for both consumer and SaaS applications, ensuring a secure, frictionless user experience.

Key features include:

  • Passwordless and adaptive MFA: Simplifies sign-ups and enhances security by adapting authentication based on risk.
  • Enterprise federation: Makes applications enterprise-ready and enables integration with organizational identity management.
  • Generative AI readiness: Prepares businesses for the challenges of Generative AI with dedicated identity solutions.
  • Universal login: Offers a customizable login experience without modifying application code, enhancing user accessibility and personalization.
  • Social login and progressive profiling: Streamlines user onboarding and collects valuable user data without additional friction.
  • Bot detection and suspicious IP throttling: Protects against unauthorized access and potential security threats.

Limitations include: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • Mobile authenticator experience: Users have reported a problematic experience with the mobile authenticator (Okta Verify) on iOS, where a recent change requires an extra step to authenticate, requiring confirmation of identity within the app.
  • Frequent verifications: Some users find the frequency of mandatory verifications for login too high, and would prefer monthly rather than weekly verifications.
  • Sign-in frequency: The need for frequent sign-ins, dictated by business processes, is seen as a limitation by some users, impacting the user experience.
  • Password management issues: There are occasional issues with password management, such as the platform saving incorrect passwords or the annoyance of having to change passwords frequently.

Source: Okta

Learn more in our detailed CIAM Okta guide

3. CyberArk Identity

CyberArk Customer Identity is a CIAM that ensures a convenient and secure digital experience for end users. It allows businesses to open their websites and applications to customers, offering seamless access and strong protection mechanisms. CyberArk emphasizes positive customer experiences through easy integration and intuitive access controls, and supports privacy and consent with identity verification features.

Key features include:

  • Multi-faceted security: Combines privacy, consent, and identity verification in a single platform.
  • Easy deployment: Features pre-built widgets and open APIs to minimize development effort, accelerating the deployment process.
  • Authentication and authorization: Embeds a secure Single Sign-On (SSO) experience and controls access with fine-grained policies, facilitating easy and secure transactions for customers.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Provides risk-aware, password-free authentication.
  • Directory and user management: Simplifies the signup process and identity management for customers.
  • Developer tools: Offers a comprehensive set of resources, guides, and tools to aid developers in integrating the CyberArk identity security platform seamlessly.

Limitations include: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • Complex password management: The password lock feature for server password management is considered complex, leading to a poor user experience, with some users reporting issues with passwords not updating promptly across different time zones.
  • Response delays: As a cloud solution, there can be slight delays in response times when connecting to resources, affecting the efficiency of managing redundancy.
  • Challenging integration: Some organizations find it difficult and complex to integrate CyberArk with other applications and existing IT infrastructure.
  • User interface and reporting: The user interface could be improved to be more user-friendly. Additionally, automated reports could be more presentable and understandable.

Source: CyberArk

4. FusionAuth

FusionAuth is a versatile solution that provides authentication and authorization services and is designed with the development workflow in mind. It is a cloud-native platform, built for scalability, security, and ease of use. FusionAuth takes a developer-centric approach, offering a customizable and scalable solution that can be deployed anywhere and easily integrated with virtually any application, platform, or framework.

Key features include:

  • Authentication and authorization: FusionAuth enables the addition of login, registration, SSO, MFA, and numerous other features to applications in a matter of days.
  • Range of installation options: Offers installation packages for Docker, Linux (Debian, Red Hat), Kubernetes (HELM), macOS (Homebrew), Windows, and provides a Sandbox environment for testing.
  • Quick setup with Docker Compose: Compatible with Linux, macOS, and Unix variants for quick integration and deployment.
  • Universal compatibility: FusionAuth supports Java, Node.js, Typescript, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, GO, .NET Core, React, and Open API.

Limitations include: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • Complex Getting Started Process: The initial setup and configuration of FusionAuth can be overwhelming due to the multiple configuration options available, such as self-installation or cloud-based deployment. Users suggest that a more streamlined “Getting Started” guide specifically for cloud-based instances would be beneficial.
  • Theme Template Engine: While customization is a strong feature, the theme template engine used by FusionAuth is described as cumbersome, requiring a learning curve and some trial and error to master.
  • Requires Extensive Configuration: FusionAuth demands considerable configuration effort to fully set up, which might deter higher-level executives or managers preferring more out-of-the-box solutions, despite being appreciated by implementation teams for its customization options.
  • Limited Admin Dashboard for Troubleshooting: The admin dashboard lacks comprehensive tools for troubleshooting and monitoring user activity, making it less efficient for detailed user session and token tracking.

Source: FusionAuth

5. OneLogin

OneLogin provides a Trusted Experience Platform that offers an easy and secure customer login experience. It aims to improve security while ensuring a positive user experience. OneLogin focuses on user security and authentication and enables easy migration and administration.

Key features include:

  • Secure, customizable authentication flows: Supports policy-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) and adaptable APIs for enhanced security.
  • Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication: Uses SmartFactor Authentication, providing real-time insights into login attempts to quickly identify and mitigate high-risk activities.
  • Positive user experience across devices: Ensures a consistent and frictionless experience across all devices and applications.
  • Easy migration and administration: Facilitates a hassle-free transition from legacy or homegrown CIAM solutions, minimizing disruptions and maintaining continuity.
  • Passwordless authentication and social registration: Allows easy access for customers through advanced authentication methods, removing the need for passwords.

Limitations of OneLogin: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • Slow support response: Users report that the support team can be slow to address queries, which could delay resolution of critical issues.
  • Limited features: Some users see OneLogin as having fewer features compared to market leaders, limiting its utility for certain CIAM use cases.
  • MFA app issues: The OneLogin Protect app for multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be buggy, affecting the reliability of this security feature.
  • Integration challenges: Occasional integration failures with the Google Authentication app have been reported, indicating potential compatibility issues.
  • Offboarding process: The offboarding cycle within OneLogin is not highly rated by users, with room for improvement in how users are removed or deactivated.

Source: OneLogin

6. Google Cloud Identity

Google Cloud Identity Platform offers a CIAM solution that allows applications to make use of Google’s broad experience in security and global-scale infrastructure. It enables identity and access management for both web and mobile applications. The platform delivers a user-friendly authentication experience that can be customized to fit the unique needs of applications, with robust protection against account takeover.

Key features include:

  • Google-grade authentication: Simplifies the addition of a customizable, widely adopted authentication service to web and mobile apps.
  • Advanced user security: Offers multi-factor authentication (MFA) and leverages Google’s intelligent account protection to prevent account takeovers.
  • Global-scale infrastructure: Built on Google Cloud’s global infrastructure, ensuring scalability, high performance, and reliability with enterprise-grade support.
  • Authentication as a Service: Provides a customizable authentication service for user sign-up and sign-in, supported by a variety of app SDKs (including Android, iOS, and web) and admin SDKs (Node.js, Java, Python, and more).
  • Broad protocol support: Supports multiple authentication methods, including SAML, OIDC, email/password, social, phone, and custom auth.

Limitations include: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • Cost concerns: Some tools within Google Cloud Identity are more expensive compared to those offered by its competitors.
  • Limited wildcard subdomain and SSL management: There are specific limitations around managing wildcard subdomains and SSL certificates, which can be a constraint for businesses requiring extensive domain and security management.
  • Dependence on Google: The platform is not cloud-agnostic, meaning that users are fully reliant on Google’s infrastructure and services, less suitable for organizations pursuing a multi-cloud strategy.
  • Limited customization: The platform offers limited customization options, making it challenging to tailor the service according to specific company policies or preferences.

Source: Google

7. Ping Identity

Ping Identity provides a CIAM solution designed to deliver secure user experiences across various identity and business needs. This platform supports a wide range of use cases, making it adaptable for both customer and workforce identity management. Its low-code orchestration and out-of-the-box templates enable faster deployment.

Key features include:

  • Lifecycle management: This feature ensures that users receive the appropriate level of access precisely when needed. By automating the provisioning and de-provisioning processes, it helps maintain security and compliance while reducing administrative overhead.
  • Relationship management: Ping Identity effectively manages and oversees complex user relationships, ensuring that the correct permissions and access levels are maintained across various user groups and roles within an organization.
  • Digital credentials: The platform offers secure digital identity credentials, allowing users to authenticate themselves using digital forms of identification. This helps in maintaining high security standards and simplifying the authentication process.
  • Single Sign-On (SSO): SSO simplifies the user experience by allowing users to access multiple applications with a single set of credentials. This reduces the need for multiple passwords and improves both security and user convenience.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Ping Identity offers multiple authentication methods, including MFA and passwordless options. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification steps, while passwordless authentication eliminates the need for traditional passwords.

Limitations include: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • Complex interfaces: Tools like Ping Authorize and Ping Directory have been described as having complex interfaces, which can hinder usability and efficiency.
  • Integration challenges: Integrating Ping Identity into complex IT environments and with other products poses significant challenges for some users.
  • Synchronization issues: Users have encountered inconsistencies with synchronization processes, noting that they sometimes fail to work as expected.
  • Console user experience and documentation: The admin console’s user experience could be enhanced, and the documentation could be more comprehensive and accurate, especially regarding examples and syntax.

Source: Ping Identity

8. IBM Security Verify

IBM Security Verify is an identity and access management (IAM) solution for both consumer and workforce identities. It uses deep context and intelligence to make dynamic access decisions for organizational data and applications, both on-premises or in the cloud. IBM Security Verify is cloud-native and geared towards minimizing user friction. It supports a gradual transition from legacy systems to the cloud, allowing organizations to modernize IAM processes at their own pace.

Key features include:

  • Single Sign-On (SSO): Centralizes access control for both cloud and on-premises applications.
  • Advanced authentication, including passwordless: Enhances security with layers such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) or entirely passwordless access, facilitating faster and more secure entry to data and applications.
  • Adaptive access: Utilizes machine learning to continuously evaluate user risk, enhancing the accuracy of access controls and security measures.
  • Consent management: Provides templates and tools for managing user consent in compliance with privacy laws, including detailed requirements for self-service environments.
  • Lifecycle management: Integrates application access with business governance workflows, ensuring that access rights are aligned with user roles and responsibilities.

Limitations include: (reported by users on the G2 platform)

  • User interface challenges: The UI is noted for needing improvement. Users describe it as less user-friendly or modern compared to newer tools in the market, with cumbersome navigation.
  • Integration difficulties: Integrating IBM Security Verify with third-party applications can be challenging, limiting its seamless adoption in diverse IT environments.
  • Inadequate reporting features: The platform’s reporting capabilities require enhancement for better understanding and monitoring of user experiences and security, requiring external monitoring systems.

Source: IBM


Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) solutions play an important role in ensuring secure, efficient, and user-friendly access to digital services. By managing user identities and access rights, CIAM platforms enhance security and foster trust, while enabling businesses to comply with global privacy regulations. 

With organizations aiming to offer seamless digital experiences and safeguard sensitive customer data, the importance of robust CIAM solutions continues to grow. In particular, the ability to support multi-tenant architectures and self-service is crucial for organizations managing and scaling B2B SaaS applications.

Learn more about Frontegg: A multi-tenant CIAM solution

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