6 Best Books on Authentication and Authorization with OAuth 2.0 [2023]


Security is a vital part of any application and cloud environment and should never be an afterthought. Authentication and authorization form a critical component of identity and access management and cybersecurity in general.

Authentication is basically the process of checking/validating the identity of a person. Authorization is the process of checking whether the user requesting to access a resource or a set of resources is allowed to access the resource or not.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the best books on Authentication and Authorization with OAuth 2.0 through a collection of book reviews. Each book review will highlight the taste of the book, the contents covered, and how it can benefit you.


Why Learn Authentication and Authorization? 

Here are a few reasons why learning Authentication and Authorization is a great investment in your future. 

  • An evergreen industry: With the advent of topics like Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing the permanent stature of Cybersecurity and the magnitude of its importance has been very well set in stone. So if you wish to learn Authentication and Authorization in today’s age, it’s definitely a good idea.

  • Plenty of opportunities: If you want to boost your career opportunities, you can get tons of job opportunities by learning the concepts of Authentication and Authorization.

  • A job that never gets bored: Due to the unpredictable nature of the future, a career in cybersecurity is not and cannot be static and stale. You will be challenged on a regular basis.

  • High Salaries: The world has realized the sheer importance of cybersecurity. Organizations are willing to pay high salaries and provide training and development. There are great opportunities for anyone starting a career in cybersecurity.


What makes the best Authentication and Authorization books?

Here are our criteria for the selection of the books:

  • The book should contain a variety of instructional materials, including exercises, examples, questions, learning activities, and other features that promote a programmer’s engagement and active learning.

  • It must have a structured, clear, and logical progression of topics.

  • Content must be up-to-date and should thoroughly teach and explain the basic concepts of Authentication and Authorization.

  • Use clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language.

  • The book should have a clear layout and must be friendly toward self-taught programmers.


Best Books on Authentication and Authorization

Books make up for the primary mode of learning. With so many books out there to learn about Authentication and Authorization, the readers are left confused deciding which one to buy. Here, we have reviewed a list of six excellent Authentication and Authorization books.

Let's check them out:


1. Best book for hands-on learners: OAuth 2 in Action

OAuth 2 in Action by gg is a comprehensive and thorough treatment of the OAuth 2.0 protocol and many of its surrounding technologies, including OpenID Connect and JOSE/JWT. The book teaches you the practical use and deployment of this HTTP-based protocol from the perspectives of a client, authorization server, and resource server.

Part 1 - First steps

  • Chapter 1 talks about what OAuth 2.0 is 

  • Chapter 2 is about the OAuth dance

Part 2 - Building an OAuth 2 environment

  • Chapter 3 talks about building a simple OAuth client

  • Chapter 4 talks about building a simple OAuth protected resource

  • Chapter 5 talks about building a simple OAuth authorization server

  • Chapter 6 discusses OAuth 2.0 in the real world

Part 3 - OAuth 2 implementation and vulnerabilities

  • Chapter 7 covers common client vulnerabilities

  • Chapter 8 covers common protected resources vulnerabilities

  • Chapter 9 covers common authorization server vulnerabilities

  • Chapter 10 covers common OAuth token vulnerabilities

Part 4 - Taking OAuth further

  • Chapter 11 talks about OAuth tokens

  • Chapter 12 covers Dynamic client registration

  • Chapter 13 covers User authentication with OAuth 2.0

  • Chapter 14 talks about Protocols and profiles using OAuth 2.0

  • Chapter 15 guides you Beyond bearer tokens

  • Chapter 16 is the summary and conclusions

The book has a practical approach with a lot of real world examples. You'll learn how to confidently and securely build and deploy OAuth on both the client and server sides.


2. Best book for completionists: Solving Identity Management in Modern Applications

Solving Identity Management in Modern Applications by Yvonne Wilson gives you what you need to design identity and access management for your applications and to describe it to stakeholders with confidence. You will be able to explain account creation, session and access management, account termination, and more.

This book takes you from account provisioning to authentication to authorization and covers troubleshooting and common problems to avoid. After reading the book, you'll be able to:

  • Understand key identity management concepts

  • Incorporate essential design principles

  • Design authentication and access control for a modern application

  • Know the identity management frameworks and protocols used today (OIDC/ OAuth 2.0, SAML 2.0)

  • Review historical failures and know how to avoid them

The information in this book is laid out in a way that's easy to follow and the chapters all flow together seamlessly. The book is perfect for developers, enterprise or application architects, business application or product owners, and anyone involved in an application's identity management solution.


3. Best book for beginners: OAuth 2.0 Simplified

OAuth 2.0 Simplified by Aaron Parecki is a guide to building an OAuth 2.0 server. Through high-level overviews, step-by-step instructions, and real-world examples, you will learn how to take advantage of the OAuth 2.0 framework while building a secure API.

It is simple and clear enough for beginners, yet thorough enough to be a useful reference for experienced developers keeping their skills up to date.

The book is divided into twenty-five chapters and includes the following topics.

  • Getting Ready

  • Accessing Data in an OAuth Server

  • Signing in with Google

  • Server-Side Apps

  • Single-Page Apps

  • Mobile and Native Apps

  • Making Authenticated Requests

  • Client Registration

  • Authorization

  • Scope

  • Redirect URLs

  • Access Tokens

  • Listing Authorizations

  • The Resource Server

  • OAuth for Native Apps

  • OAuth for Browserless and Input-Constrained Devices

  • Protecting Mobile Apps with PKCE

  • Token Introspection Endpoint

  • Creating Documentation

  • Terminology Reference

  • Differences Between OAuth 1 and 2

  • OpenID Connect

  • IndieAuth

  • Map of OAuth 2.0 Specs

In the long run, this book will save you a lot of time and make complex things simple and easy to understand.


Other books you may like:


4. Best book for serious learners: Advanced API Security: OAuth 2.0 and Beyond

Advanced API Security: OAuth 2.0 and Beyond by Prabath Siriwardena teaches you about TLS Token Binding, User-Managed Access (UMA) 2.0, Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), Incremental Authorization, Proof Key for Code Exchange (PKCE), and Token Exchange. The book shows you how to apply OAuth 2.0 to your own situation in order to secure and protect your enterprise APIs from exploitation and attack.

This book gets right to the point but makes the information interesting and relevant. After reading the book, you will be able to…

  • Securely design, develop, and deploy enterprise APIs

  • Pick security standards and protocols to match business needs

  • Mitigate security exploits by understanding the OAuth 2.0 threat landscape

  • Federate identities to expand business APIs beyond the corporate firewall

  • Protect microservices at the edge by securing their APIs

  • Develop native mobile applications to access APIs securely

  • Integrate applications with SaaS APIs protected with OAuth 2.0


5. Best book for system engineers and software developers: Securing the Perimeter

Securing the Perimeter: Deploying Identity and Access Management with Free Open Source Software by Michael Schwartz provides the key concepts and patterns to help administrators and developers leverage a central security infrastructure.

The book documents a recipe to take advantage of open standards to build an enterprise-class IAM service using free open-source software. The book is divided into ten chapters

  • Chapter 1 gives you the Introduction

  • Chapter 2 covers LDAP

  • Chapter 3 talks about SAML

  • Chapter 4 covers OAuth

  • Chapter 5 covers OpenID Connect

  • Chapter 6 covers Proxy

  • Chapter 7 talks about Strong Authentication

  • Chapter 8 talks about User-Managed Access

  • Chapter 9 covers Identity dentity Management

  • Chapter 10 talks about Multiparty Federation

Here's what you will get from the book:

  • Understand why you should deploy a centralized authentication and policy management infrastructure

  • Use the SAML or Open ID Standards for web or single sign-on, and OAuth for API Access Management

  • Synchronize data from existing identity repositories such as Active Directory

  • Deploy two-factor authentication services

This book is perfect for Security architects (CISO, CSO), system engineers/ administrators, and software developers.


6. Best book for the visual learner: OAuth 2.0: Getting Started in API Security

OAuth 2.0: Getting Started in API Security by Matthias Biehl offers an introduction to API security with OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect. You will gain an overview of the capabilities of OAuth and learn the core concepts of OAuth.

This book is a complete reference and is easy to follow. It includes examples that help to make the concepts clear. This book uses many illustrations and sequence diagrams.

The book presents the challenges and benefits of OAuth followed by an explanation of the technical concepts of OAuth. The different OAuth flows are visualized graphically using sequence diagrams.

This book provides all the necessary information to get started with OAuth in less than 50 pages.


More Ways to Learn Authentication

The books on Authentication and Authorization featured in this post will help anyone looking to gain insight into the growing field.

Going with the current trend, taking an online course from the comfort of your home is a great and convenient way to pitch into this smokey hot field.

If you're looking for free online resources, I have compiled over 70 coding resources to help you in your technical career. Thank you so much for reading this article to the end, and I will see you in the next one.

Miranda Limonczenko

Miranda is the founder of Books on Code, with a mission to bring book-lover culture to programmers. Learn more by checking out Miranda on LinkedIn.


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