Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions (Pros and Cons)

Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions (Pros and Cons). Multi factor Authentication (MFA) and Two Factor Authentication (2FA) solutions enhance online security by applying additional authentication measures. With MFA in place, your organization has an extra level of safety over your accounts. Both, MFA/2FA solutions typically send users a text or email or need a biometric scan, such as a fingerprint or FaceID check.

All in all, multi factor authentication solutions add a layer of protection in addition to passwords and username credentials. By adding a second security verification step, such as a text message code or biometric information such as facial recognition, multifactor authentication (MFA) helps secure online accounts from unauthorized breaches. Therefore, with the right solutions in place, it’s easier to deter malicious access to your accounts.

Shall we start with Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions (Pros and Cons).

What is Multi Factor Authentication (MFA/2FA and How Does it Work?

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MFA/2FA is an authentication method that requires the client to give at least two verification factors to access resources such as an online account, VPN, or application. Hence, MFA is integral to a strong identity and access management (IAM) policy. Instead of just requesting a username and password, MFA requires two or more verification credentials. In turn, this reduces the chances of a successful cyber attack.

Additionally, MFA works by requiring extra verification factors. One common MFA factor is a one time password (OTP). OTPs are 4-8 digit codes you receive through SMS, email, or a mobile application. With OTPs, a new code is created every time users submit an authentication request. 

Most MFA authentication approaches depend on three kinds of additional information:

  • Knowledge – Things you know, such as a pin or password.
  • Possession – Things you have, such as a smartphone or a badge.
  • Inherence – Things you are such as voice recognition or biometrics like facial recognition.

Let’s move on to top 10 of the best open source MFA/2FA solutions.

Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions

1. Gluu Casa

First on our list of Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions is Gluu Casa. Self service multi factor authentication tool to enhance your digital identity. It offers a single point of control for end users that enables them to enroll, remove, and view MFA credentials. Gluu Casa also has software tokens, social login, hardware tokens, mobile, biometrics, and commercial services like Duo.

Extensible and when new authentication technologies emerge, you install the plugins to leverage them in your business with the help of Gluu Casa. Provides a state of the art multi factor authentication such as Location Based Authentication, Adaptive Authentication, and Trusted Browser. Ideally, it is the right option if you use Kubernetes or services like Google GKE, SUSE Rancher, or Amazon EKS. Also supports multiple database backends, including Amazon Aurora, LDAP, Google Spanner, and Couchbase.

Pros of Gluu Casa

  • Supports cloud native deployments.
  • Only a legitimate user on the right device can gain access to resources.
  • Enables you to manage, enrol, and remove password less credentials on your own.
  • Gives you an easy overview of each department, role, and business area.
  • Advanced search capabilities.
  • Highly visual and easy to use, and anyone can build it without any prior IT knowledge.

Cons of Gluu Casa

  • Limited customization options, especially if you want individual adaptations.
  • Its drawing tool is not fully automated.

2. Forgerock OpenAM

Forgerock OpenAM is an identity solution platform that also provides MFA capabilities. An open source digital identity solution that works for any cloud environment. Gives users with the freedom to conduct identity and access actions themselves.

Enhanced user experience and improved productivity without compromising cyber security. Moreover, it reduces your organization’s costs by providing proper access to all users and systems at the right time. This enables users to manage their profiles, privacy settings, and password. 

Forgerock Access Management  solutions varies from NIST 800-63B assurance level requirements to Social Login, frictionless and passwordless options, and the most secure biometrics.

What is more, it allows contextual activity, push authorization, fine grained authentication, adaptive risk, and multi factor authentication at any time during a digital session and the authentication period.

Pros of Forgerock

  • Wide range of flexible options like cloud, on premise, and hybrid deployments.
  • Advanced API security capabilities to help maintain healthy services and protect against cyber attacks.
  • Modular authentication management system that delivers an uninterrupted user experience.
  • Its administrator console runs on the easy to use XUI framework.
  • Easy configuration that saves the user time.
  • The GCA adaptive risk engine contextualizes data to determine the likelihood of an attack.

Cons of Forgerock

  • Requires users to pay a subscription fee for additional services such as support.
  • Lacks a responsive user interface.

3. PrivacyIDEA

PrivacyIDEA provides a wide range of authentication technologies, including MFA. Contains a robust and flexible policy structure according to your needs.Integrates with identity and authentication solutions like simpleSAML, FreeRadius, Shibboleth, and Keycloak.

Additionally, the event handler module allows you to apply PrivacyIDEA to existing workflows or generate new workflows. PrivacyIDEA’s automatic deployment boosts the speed and increases the ease with which your business responds to global demand for services. It reduces the challenges that come with adhering to geographical requirements. 

Pros of PrivacyIDEA

  • Helps secure your organization’s cloud data by preventing unauthorized access.
  • Designed with a deployment framework for ease of maintenance and scalability.
  • Integrates seamlessly with multiple types of enterprise environments.
  • Has an advanced policy module that enables a fine grained system configuration.
  • Configurable enrolment wizard to welcome first time users to make enrolment as easy as possible.
  • Allows you to manage your tokens through the WebUI.
  • Has a systems audit and logging method that supports simple log files and complex central logging systems like Splunk or Logstash.

Cons of PrivacyIDEA

  • Does not work properly on Android devices.
  • Not a very intuitive tool; the ease of use depends on the user’s experience.

4. Go Authentik

Go Authentik is an open source identity platform that offers MFA capabilities. Certainly, it mainly focuses on versatility and flexibility. Implement sign up/recovery/ and add support for new protocols even in an existing environment. Its features include a proxy to use in a cluster to add authentication to things such as passwordless dashboards.

Authentik’s flexibility allows you to adapt easily to changing business needs. It streamlines the login process, removes the need for multiple passwords, and improves user experience.

Pros of Go Authentik

  • Effective for securing on premise and public cloud data.
  • Easy to use management interface for administrators and users.
  • Supports LDAP, SAML, Oauth, and OpenID.
  • Contains a proxy provider which uses the Nginx with the auth_request to boost the security of applications. 
  • Supports LDAP providers without needing you to set up the LDAP server.
  • Allows you to implement centralized auth on all of your services.

Cons of Go Authentik

  • Much more complicated integration compared to other solutions.
  • Authentik is a heavy software that requires a large RAM space to function.

5. Aerobase

Aerobase is an open source multifactor authentication and authorization platform for web, mobile, and legacy applications. It is easy to install and configure, and is designed for Unix, Linux, and Windows systems. Besides, Aerobase also helps with Single Sign On (SSO) and Identity Management. Whether you are using cloud services, on-premise servers, or a hybrid setup, Aerobase is deployment ready.

Aerobase provides multiplatform support. It provides a single API and UI to deliver OAuth2 across platforms such as Windows, Android, Java, Python, and C#. Also, it provides SDKs for all major cross platform development environments such as Spring Security, React Native, Angular, and more. With Aerobase, you secure an unlimited number of applications without incurring costs.

Pros of Aerobase

  • Provides support for the entire LDAP syntax.
  • Encrypts and signs data in a user friendly way.
  • Requires basic configuration to set up and use.
  • Has 24/7 unlimited support.

Cons of Aerobase

  • Requires deep vulnerability assessment to ensure it’s properly configured.
  • Has limited documentation which may prove challenging to for inexperienced users.

6. dynalogin

dynalogin is an open source authentication that provides enterprise grade security and reliability. It uses open standards such as TOTP and HOTP for one time passwords. Also, it uses OpenID for single sign on across applications. dynalogin also uses the PAM module for LDAP known as pam_ldap to perform account management and authenticate clients.

Dynalogin stores user accounts using modern cryptographic standards such that tokens cannot be guessed. It allows users to easily configure access rights and roles across any number of installed applications. This makes it a robust solution for securing business systems.

Pros of dynalogin

  • It can compute token code without network connectivity.
  • Works seamlessly alongside Google Authenticator on Android systems.
  • Using open standards such as TOTP and HOTP eliminates vendor lock in.
  • Has a modular data storage mechanism to fit both public and private use cases.

Cons of dynalogin

  • Has very limited documentation.
  • Does not provide user support.

7. LinOTP

LinOTP is an open source enterprise level,  two factor authentication solution licensed under AGPLv3 and GPLv2. It has a modular design concept allows for integration into your IT systems. Unlike most open source authentication platforms, LinOTP has an extensive policy framework for defining token properties, authentication rules, and administrative roles. It has APIs for audit logging, self service, user ID resolver, authentication and validation, and management.

Pros of LinOTP

  • Impressive self service system where users can request token easily.
  • Offers cryptographic keys such as AES encryption or Yubikeys to improve the security of web applications or server environments.
  • Its API gives your applications full access to all its capabilities.
  • Supports major database backends such as Oracle, MariaDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL.
  • Has an SQL Audit module designed to help users meet PCI-DSS requirements.
  • Allows management via native client (GTK), web interface or CLI.

Cons of LinOTP

  • Users must have network connectivity to access their data and manage their authentication keys.
  • Requires some technical expertise when installing and configuring.

8. FreeIPA

FreeIPA is a security information management solution combining MIT Kerberos, Linux Fedora, NTP, DNS, Dogtag, and 389 Directory servers. Comprises a web interface as well as command line administration tools. This tool is an identity and authentication solution for UNIX/Linux network environments. A FreeIPA server unifies the processes of authorization, authentication, and account information by storing data about hosts, users, groups, and other things you need to manage the security of your network.

FreeIPA is made up of standard protocols and popular open source elements. Configure several FreeIPA servers within a FreeIPA Domain in order to provide scalability and redundancy. The 389 Directory Server is the core data store and offers a complete multi master LDAPv3 directory framework. It also provides you with single sign on (SSO) authentication through the MIT Kerberos KDC. 

Pros of FreeIPA

  • Extendable management interfaces and Python SDK.
  • Ease of management.
  • Automatic installation and configuration of tasks.
  • Cost effective as its code is open source.
  • Scalable cross realms and Kerberos realms which user can easily enrol in.
  • Unifies identity stores for authentication and single sign on.
  • The platform has simple DNS domains.

Cons of FreeIPA

  • FreeIPA is a complex software. 
  • Can only be configured on the server side through scripts which are bulky.

9. Ory

Ory is the most prominent open source MFA community in cloud software application security. It manages and authenticates users. It also sets and checks permissions while protecting your APIs, data, applications, and more. Ory contains an ecosystem of services with definite boundaries that solve authorization and authentication.

Pros of Ory

  • Written in GO, making it secure, high performing, and developer friendly.
  • Has multiple small services, so select what you require.
  • The code is developer friendly and readable.
  • Easily integrates with its other products.

Cons of Ory

  • The documentation is not easy to understand for beginners.
  • The microservices method increases overhead significantly if you are deploying it yourself.

10. Duo Security

Last tool on our list of Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions is Duo Security. Different MFA tool that secures staff access to enterprise accounts. Its access management solution helps your business reduce credential based security vulnerabilities and adhere to regulations. Duo’s solution is available through five plans, from a light version for smaller organizations to an extended commercial grade version for bigger businesses. Helps enterprises of any size to monitor and secure their account access.

Duo Security’s zero trust MFA allows users to authenticate their identities through the duo mobile application, enabling users to approve or deny login attempts. Integrates with FIDO supported hardware tokens, universal second factor authentication tokens, mobile passcodes, U2F USB devices, and biometric controls. Integrated SSO ensures that users only have to verify their credentials at the beginning of their session.

The management console enables administrators to configure adaptive authentication policies that depend on factors like user location, role, and device. Since Duo is cloud based, it integrates natively with existing apps. 

Pros of Duo Security

  • Simple multifactor authentication process.
  • Very comprehensive documentation.
  • The application has greater stability compared to rival solutions.
  • The integration with AWS cloud and Azure Active Directory is fantastic.
  • The speed is also great.

Cons of Duo Security

  • The password reset function gets buggy.
  • Challenging to integrate Duo with Microsoft products.

Thank you for reading Top 10 Best Open Source MFA / 2FA Solutions. We shall conclude this article blog now. 

Top 10 Best Open-Source MFA/2FA Solutions (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

Implementing MFA/2FA solutions is ideal for securing online accounts from malicious hackers. With their advanced encryption protocols, these open source options ensure that only those who are authorized have access to sensitive data. Additionally, ensure you regularly update passwords and keep up with the latest security trends to provide an extra layer of protection against potential threats. Choose the most appropriate tool that helps you in managing authentication.

Avatar for Dennis Muvaa
Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is an expert content writer and SEO strategist in cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. He's also experienced in cybersecurity, big data, and AI.

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