Choosing an SSSD Alternative

System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) has been a staple open-source tool for Unix and Linux system authentication. However, its significant limitations make it inadequate for enterprise deployments, potentially compromising security, and productivity.

BeyondTrust Active Directory (AD) Bridge overcomes SSSD limitations and streamlines identity management via centralization of authentication for UNIX and Linux environments by extending Microsoft Active Directory's Kerberos authentication and single sign-on capabilities to these platforms. By extending Group Policy to these non-Windows platforms BeyondTrust provides centralized configuration management, reducing the risk and complexity of managing a heterogeneous environment.

To lay the groundwork for the adoption of a solution like PAM, you need an enterprise-level vision and a capable engineering team that can set aside the old way of doing things when something better comes along. With the right mindset, anything is possible. But your security team needs to focus on three key elements: reducing risk, improving the user experience, and driving operational efficiencies (bang for your buck). BeyondTrust offers all of the above."

Jeff Lundberg, Principal Consultant, Fortune 100 Financial Services Company

Key Differences Between SSSD and BeyondTrust Active Directory (AD)

When comparing System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) and BeyondTrust Active Directory Bridge, several key differences emerge:


In the realm of authentication, BeyondTrust Active Directory (AD) Bridge provides a seamless solution, eliminating the need for additional orchestration tools. AD Bridge effortlessly handles authentication, offering centralized control directly from Windows Active Directory. In contrast, an SSSD requires supplementary tools for effective deployment across multiple systems.

Authentication using Entra ID

When it comes to authentication using Entra ID (formerly called Azure Active Directory), BeyondTrust AD Bridge shows clear superiority in modern environments by supporting cloud-focused organizations. The product unifies user authentication seamlessly between on-premises and cloud environments.

Complex Multi-Platform Environments

Navigating complex multi-platform environments is more efficient with AD Bridge. The BeyondTrust AD bridging solution empowers administrators by enabling the variablization of values per-platform or per-organizational-unit, ensuring faster and more centralized control. On the other hand, SSSD limits to local variablization on each endpoint.

Management via Group Policy

AD Bridge outshines SSSD in management via Group Policy. Unlike SSSD, which supports authentication alone, AD Bridge takes a comprehensive approach. BeyondTrust Active Directory Bridge manages Linux systems through AD group policies, providing versatile control over deployments.

PKI Lifecycle Management

In the critical area of PKI lifecycle management, AD Bridge takes a proactive stance by seamlessly integrating with Group Policy. This ensures automatic Certificate Autoenrollment, effectively reducing the workload and downtime. In contrast, SSSD lacks automated PKI lifecycle management.

Comprehensive Integrations

AD Bridge provides comprehensive integrations, seamlessly connecting with BeyondTrust Privilege Management for Unix and Linux, as well as Elasticsearch. These integrations empower administrators to manage privileged user actions and centralize audit data in a secure, centralized location. Conversely, SSSD offers minimal integration capabilities.

Starting with AD Bridge made all the difference in speeding up the execution of our zero trust strategy at Investec."

Brandon Haberfield, Global Head of Platform Security, Investec

Feature Comparison List

Feature Active Directory Bridge SSSD
Enterprise-scale deployment Yes Requires additional tools
Support for multiple forests Yes No
Support for endpoint management in Active Directory Yes No
Support for smart cards Yes No
PKI Lifecycle Automation Yes No
Supports creation of files, directories, and links across a Linux deployment Yes No
Supports scheduling tasks from a centralized management console on startup or via cron Yes No
Centralized identity management Yes Requires creating custom Windows Console
Complex overlapping identity management Yes No
Centralized audit collection Yes Requires custom tooling
Elasticsearch integration Yes No
BeyondTrust Privilege Management for Unix & Linux integration Yes No

"BeyondTrust enables us to rise to the occasion, meet regulatory standards of our customers and work towards true Zero Trust."

Mahmood Haq, CISO, Myvest

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