What is Single Sign-On?

Single sign-on (SSO) refers to the utilization of one login credential per individual consisting of one username and password to access many different systems within a network. While SSO has been around for a while, because of its capability for increased security, many companies are just now making the switch.

The migration to remote work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door to endless ongoing cybersecurity breaches. In many cases, SSO has been responsible for thwarting countless attempted attacks on remote workers.

What are the Benefits of SSO?

Boosts Security

Some may think that having just one password makes it easier to breach a system. However, without multiple email addresses or other credentials to memorize, users can focus on creating one strong password that’s more difficult to guess. Additionally, improved identity protection measures, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication (2FA) provide an additional layer of security.

Increases User Satisfaction

No one likes to rummage through a stack of passwords, either physical or virtual, in order to sign into the programs they need to do their job. SSO makes program access easy and generally boosts user satisfaction and efficiency as a result.

Reduces Help Desk Tickets

One of the top reasons for filing a help desk ticket is a forgotten or expired password. In some cases, IT departments spend 25% of their time responding to these kinds of requests. This consumes valuable hours and resources that could be used elsewhere in the department’s cybersecurity strategy.

Increases Productivity

SSO alleviates the inconvenience of having to reset multiple passwords every 60 to 90 days and lifts the burden of resetting a forgotten password. These may seem like minor tasks, but the time spent to remediate these issues can add up, resulting in lost productivity.

Increases Compliance

In industries that are heavily regulated, such as the banking industry, SSO provides proof of access, which simplifies the reporting process during audits or access reviews and helps to ensure compliance.

Do You Have a Case for SSO?

Before implementing an SSO solution, here are some basic tips for determining if SSO is right for your organization.

Review SSO objectives in an IAM program.

It’s important to consider the functionality of SSO now and in the future. Assessing the agility of an IAM solution to evolve over time is an important first step.

Get organized.

How much data is your organization working with? You’ll want to identify all of the users who will need access to your system in addition to specific programs and applications they’ll need access to.

Be sure your architecture supports SSO.

Whether you decide to utilize SSO on-premises or deploy to the cloud, also known as SaaS, or IDaaS, you’ll want to be sure your framework supports SSO.

Review access control requirements.

If your organization is due for a user permissions review or revamp, it’s a great idea to determine who should have access to which programs before implementing SSO.

Determine if your SSO solution is MFA compatible.

Finally, MFA adds an additional layer of security to SSO. With the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape in mind, it makes good sense to ensure compatibility.

Need help determining if SSO is right for you, or interested in learning how SSO can be used with IAM for a more robust solution? We're here to help!
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