Google provides optionality for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to choose an Identity Provider (IdP) that’s best for their organization. There are several options, some provided by Google, and recommended partners including JumpCloud. This article provides guidance to help IT admins select the appropriate identity and access management (IAM) solution.
Google Sign-In is a user management system for Workspace apps and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). IT admins centrally manage users within their tenant and can add external identities through federation. Federation enables single sign-on (SSO) for third-party web applications through an IdP. JumpCloud, Microsoft, and Okta are examples of IdPs.
Limitations of Google Sign-In
Google Sign-In is a great tool for managing Google Cloud Platform identities and connecting them to GCP resources. It also supports LDAP authentication with Active Directory. SSO for third-party web applications is only made possible by configuring an IdP, but developers can choose to integrate it into apps using OAuth 2.0. It doesn’t include the following IAM functions:
- Unified endpoint management (UEM)
- Conditional access rules
- A password manager
- Lifecycle management
- SSH key management
- Cloud RADIUS
- Cloud LDAP
- Incapable of meeting more stringent compliance requirements
Google Sign-In vs. JumpCloud
Google also hosts an IAM platform called Cloud Identity that offers more advanced features, and that may be a great choice for some organizations. However, Google and JumpCloud have recently partnered, and Google recommends JumpCloud for the SME market segment. Google and JumpCloud work well together, and JumpCloud provides a pre-built integration for Workspace.
JumpCloud’s open directory platform integrates with Google in two ways. The first is our directory integration bridge, which provides user account provisioning, password updates, and metadata changes from our core directory to Workspace.
IT admins can import all of their existing Google data and then any new accounts can be provisioned from JumpCloud. The other is through SAML to create a single sign-on experience to connect users to Google apps. This integration isn’t just about enabling admins to manage Google services — they can already do some of that within Google’s console. The integration provides a single pane of glass to manage all of their resources, both at Google and elsewhere.
Once integrated, Google identities can then be federated to resources at Workspace, but also other cloud service providers, apps, networks (wired and Wi-Fi), Samba and NAS appliances, and can even be used to log in to systems.
Identity lifecycle management is provided through free HR system integrations and dynamic groups that automate memberships, track compliance (coming soon), and apply policies.
JumpCloud’s Open Directory Platform
JumpCloud ensures that every resource has a “best way” to connect to it.
- Servers use SSH keys for server access.
- LDAP authentication for network devices, with built-in multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Cloud RADIUS with integrated MFA to secure Wi-Fi access. Passwordless certificates increase security while reducing friction for users.
- Support for biometrics and other modern authentication
- Web applications use SAML and OIDC for SSO and SCIM for provisioning. A decentralized password manager is built-in for situations where SSO isn’t feasible.
- Conditional access rules provide privileged access management.
JumpCloud unifies identity and device management for Android, Apple, Linux, and Windows endpoints using a combination of agents and mobile device management. IT teams can opt for an agentless approach for Android devices through Enterprise Mobility Management. JumpCloud includes integrated reports and events can be viewed with the platform’s System Insights tool. JumpCloud has unlimited remote assistance through the JumpCloud admin portal without additional costs. Cross-OS browser and patch management are optional features.
The benefits of unifying cross-domain identity and device management with JumpCloud are:
- Reduced costs by eliminating point solutions
- Improved operational efficiencies
- Stronger cybersecurity and compliance
- An alternative to Microsoft 365 by using Google and JumpCloud together
- Reduced the pressure on your IT admins and security teams
Ultimately, Google and JumpCloud are better together.
JumpCloud has no additional charge for integrating with GPC and Workspace. Sign up for a personalized demo today. We also offer a variety of Professional Services to help ease the load your employees face. Learn more or schedule a free 30-minute technical consultation.