- Role-based, attribute-based, & just-in-time access to infrastructure
- Connect any person or service to any infrastructure, anywhere
- Logging like you've never seen
Both StrongDM and Teleport are access control solutions designed to provide secure access to databases, servers, clusters, and web apps. While there are some similarities between the two solutions, there are also some key differences.
What Is Teleport?
Teleport provides access management for cloud-native infrastructure. Teleport is an access and authentication proxy for SSH and Kubernetes API access. It's meant as a replacement for sshd and it works with existing OpenSSH clients and servers as-is. It allows administrators to set up access for users and groups to groups of servers, called clusters, and implements role-based access control (RBAC) to allow differing levels of access to different clusters. Individual server credentials are not available to users, reducing the administrative impact of rotating and removing credentials.
What Is StrongDM?
StrongDM is a proxy that combines authentication, authorization, networking, and observability into a single product. The product is designed to unify and simplify privileged access workflows by providing low-friction connectivity to virtually every piece of infrastructure in your stack.
- DevOps: DevOps teams can provision and deprovision access to specific instances, servers, or databases, in a matter of clicks.
- Security & Compliance: Security and compliance teams gain full visibility into “who did what when” on each system, including video playback of what individual users have executed on specific systems. For compliance, full records are kept of “who was in each system and what were they doing” at any given point in time.
- Admins: Access to critical infrastructure can be granted and revoked quickly and easily, greatly simplifying user onboarding and offboarding, provisioning for third parties, and the ability to provide access for a specified period of time. Users, roles, and access are easily managed via an Admin UI (CLI available as well).
StrongDM vs. Teleport: What’s the Difference?
There are several key capabilities that differentiate StrongDM from Teleport as access management solutions.
- Agentless Architecture: StrongDM does not require agents to be installed on end resources. This means fewer administrative headaches in managing the solution and faster time-to-value for the product. With Teleport, you need to deploy an agent on every target resource as well as two different Teleport services (proxy and authentication). The teleport agents run as root in every server you want to audit, creating a new attack vector and a new surface to protect. This also limits user access to critical infrastructure in the event that Teleport goes down. While Teleport does offer an agentless mode, it offers very limited features that do not include role-based access controls or granular auditing.
- Identity Lifecycle Management: StrongDM integrates with identity providers to sync user and group provisioning, this automates joiner, mover, leaver workflows. Teleport simply integrates as an SSO provider.
- Reliability: StrongDM updates daily without any downtime. Whereas, Teleport cloud is unreliable and availability numbers are inaccurate. When Teleport requires an update it results in downtime which means you can lose access to your critical systems for up to 6 hours. When there is a partial outage customers also lose all access to audit data putting compliance at risk.
- Actionable Insights: StrongDM provides Advanced Insights to report on unused privileged access, sensitive access grants, and an overall access review. Teleport does not offer any insights into the implementation of access.
- Enhance your existing security: StrongDM has its own native vault and also integrates with multiple third party vaults. Credentials are securely encrypted and not retrievable after setup, but they can be changed as needed with customers having full control. This allows secure access from anywhere while ensuring that your secrets never leave your control.
- Breadth of support: StrongDM supports all your infrastructure, not just the part of your infrastructure that can be configured to accept an x.509 certificate like with Teleport. This limitation increases your security risk and operational cost by forcing you to operate a certificate authority, or to trust theirs.
- Pricing: StrongDM offers simple pricing, $70/license including to all resource types. Teleport offers licensing by user and by resource making costs add up quickly.
StrongDM or Teleport: Which One is Better for You?
|Completeness of Offering
|Identity Lifecycle Management||✔||✗|
|Ease of Use
|No install on servers||✔||✗|
|Multiple and concurrent vault support||✔||✗|
|Actionable Reporting (unused privileged access, sensitive resource access grants, and access review)||✔||✗|
|Cost/User includes all resource types||✔||✗|
StrongDM is built for an organization's entire technical staff, not just developers. It’s easy to adopt by end users because it seamlessly integrates with existing tools and workflows including identity providers and vault solutions. StrongDM has superior reliability and a more cost effective pricing model. See StrongDM in action, book a demo.
About the Author
Fazila Malik, Product Marketing Manager, an accomplished product marketing manager with over 5 years of experience in the technology industry. She is skilled at developing comprehensive product marketing plans that encompass messaging, positioning, and go-to-market strategies. Throughout her career, Fazila has worked with technology products including software applications and cloud-based solutions. She is constantly seeking to improve her skills and knowledge through ongoing training and professional development. She is a member of the Product Marketing Alliance and is an AWS Cloud Certified Practioner. To contact Fazila, visit her on LinkedIn.