Top 5 WordPress SSO Plugins (Active Directory/Azure AD)
Securing yourself in the digital world is one of the essential steps to take for a safer time online, especially when it comes to WordPress. There has been a global rise in cybersecurity attacks, and while many of them target large corporations and enterprises, individual users get deeply affected as well. Therefore, while making, modifying, and running WordPress has become very easy, securing them is equally important. Enabling WordPress SSO allows your users to authenticate securely using your identity provider (Active Directory or Azure AD/Office365).
All kinds of technology enterprises recognize the urgent need for stable and easily manageable security features. The most prominent example of this is the popular website builder WordPress and the security plugins it supports. A user can integrate multiple safety procedures within their WordPress websites, like two-level authentication and even SSO. The latter, in particular, can be implemented using several easy-to-operate add-ons.
This article goes through the top five SSO plugins for WordPress. It will look into the ones that mainly use Active Directory authentication to ensure security, as it is a popular option. General security concerns of WordPress and a brief explanation of Active Directory are also discussed.
SSO Security In WordPress Websites
A majority of new website owners globally trust WordPress with their first website. Its system is made for any novice to set up their website and quickly get it running. WordPress supports various websites, whether it is an eCommerce initiative, a professional website for an enterprise, or a personal blog. Apart from the open-source WordPress.org that houses all of its documentation, there is also WordPress.com that can make you a website as you want.
The primary selling point of WordPress is its easy-to-configure nature. Every website consists of two main parts: the front-end interface (which the user faces) and the back-end (the website’s inner workings). You can customize the front-end for a WordPress website through the thousands of Themes available or a personalized Theme. The back-end workings of a WordPress website can be implemented by easily integrating the Plugins.
Each plugin brings a specific application to a WordPress website. For example, an eCommerce website could integrate analytics plugins to monitor user analytics and SEO plugins to ensure the website is topping search results. Similarly, security plugins help manifest robust security measures without diving into technicalities. The most popular type of security WordPress users like in their websites is single sign-on (SSO).
Through SSO, users don’t have to create entirely new credentials for a website, and can use pre-existing credentials associated with some other website. SSO authenticates a user by communicating with the other website and verifying the credentials. In WordPress, SSO can significantly help with the UX of the website and supports authentication from popular options like Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
Understanding Active Directory And How It Works
In the world of security measures, one of the most popular authentication technologies is Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD). It is used by the Windows Server operating system, which is used to monitor and maintain computer networks. It serves as a system to authenticate users and allow them access to the network’s resources. Interestingly, SSO is a fundamental part of AD, as users automatically log in after authenticating once.
Setting up AD for an enterprise involves entering all kinds of users and devices into its database. All of the users in the database are given a place within certain hierarchies so that there are restrictions over what information about other users they can access. The hierarchy also ensures whether the uses can access specific resources automatically or need permissions and authentications.
AD offers several advantages which make it a popular choice among developers and network administrators. It offers a centralized monitoring and control system for the network and its users and comes in various forms like AD Federation Services or Azure AD for the cloud. It also supports functionality to implement global policies on password and system behavior.
Top 5 Active Directory / Azure AD WordPress SSO Plugins
WordPress Single Sign On
with WP Cloud SSO
While a WordPress website can be hosted on a server of your choice, there are also options for setting up WordPress for Windows Server and other popular cloud services. Regardless of where your WordPress website is hosted, you can easily set up SSO for it. Implementing SSO through Active Directory is also a popular option and made possible through a variety of plugins.
Discussed below are the five most popular SSO plugins for WordPress SSO that utilize Active Directory and Azure AD:
1.) Active Directory / Azure AD / LDAP integration by WP Cloud SSO : This plugin allows you to integrate any SAML identity provider including AD and Azure AD. Other options include, syncing users to WordPress, auto redirect to IDP, Role mapping, SCIM automatic user sync from AD and much more. The free version allows unlimited authentications, basic attribute mappings and auto redirect.
2.) Active Directory Integration / LDAP Integration by miniOrange: Another SSO plugin for WordPress that involves the AD mechanism. The plugin can be used in its basic form and can be upgraded to involve other features as well. Along with enabling users to log in using AD and automatically log in afterward with SSO, it also supports test connections with demo credentials.
Premium features for the plugin include multiple username attributes and failed logon notifications. Functionalities like integration of third-party plugin user-profiles and password sync with AD are available with add-ons.
3.) Azure AD and Office365 SSO by WPO365: From Microsoft based single sign-on to a highly configurable WordPress Gutenberg block for displaying documents in SharePoint and from synchronizing users from Azure AD to sending WordPress email using Microsoft Graph, we make the integration of WordPress and Microsoft 365 services as easy as possible
4.) Next Active Directory Integration by active-directory-wp: This is yet another plugin to offer SSO through Microsoft’s AD. It can authenticate users against multiple AD servers, map AD security groups to WordPress roles, and embed custom AD attributes in user profiles, to name a few of its features. The plugin’s premium extensions will get you access to AD forests and profile pictures without a third-party plugin.
5.) OneLogin SAML SSO by OneLogin: This extension offers SSO needs in the cloud and authenticates against the AD or even an LDAP server. It is open-source and can also add to the browser’s security. For increasing security, it utilizes YubiKeys and VeriSign VIP access.
The above are solid options to integrate into your WordPress websites and ensure a robust SSO implementation backed by the AD mechanism.
However, they require that you already have your WordPress website hosted and configured. Many resources can help answer the common question of how to install a WordPress server.
Securing users with Active Directory and Single Sign On
Having SSO within your WordPress website is a wonderful addition to its security without adding any extra hassle for the users. Support from the AD mechanism ensures that you can have a higher level of control over the data flow and user hierarchy in the AD and the WordPress website. Using any of the above plugins will take care of any issues that may have come if you set out to implement AD-backed SSO by yourself.