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How Does Single Sign On Improve Security and the User Experience?

How Does Single Sign On Improve Security and the User Experience
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The world of technology and cybersecurity is changing quickly. There have been numerous advances in the world of cybersecurity that have been implemented to protect businesses against the latest threats. One of the major rules of security is that the more layers there are, the more secure a business is. This is the principle behind multifactor authentication; however, these extra layers can also come at a price. They could slow people down and harm the productivity of businesses. This is where the idea of Single Sign-On can be helpful. Often shortened to SSO, Single Sign-On is a technological tool that can help employees access more of their information more quickly without having to sacrifice security. When it comes to SSO, there are a few important points that everyone should keep in mind.

What Is Single Sign-On?

For those who might not know, Single Sign-On (SSO) is an important tool in the world of access control and identity management. This tool can be used to help users log in and access all of their tools in one fell swoop, thus the name. By logging in once, with one set of credentials, employees can access all of their applications. The Single Sign-On system relies on a strong third-party application to make sure that people are who they say they are.

The reality is that nobody likes to remember their credentials. There is even a saying that passwords are dead purely because people write them down and store them in their phones or on a piece of paper, which slightly defeats the purpose of having a username or password in the first place. As a result, Single Sign-On is a powerful tool that can help people handle these issues easily.

The world of IT is complicated and people may still be a bit confused regarding what Single Sign-On is and how it works. Therefore, it is helpful to look at an analogy. Think about going to a store where the customers have to register before they can buy something; however, every time they want to buy something in the future, they still have to verify who they are despite registering the first time. It is easy to see how this might become a bit annoying after a while. People get frustrated and they will probably stop going to that store. This is where Single Sign-On can be helpful.

Sadly, the analogy above is what happens when people use the internet. People have to authenticate who they are each time they log in to the system. While this is a powerful security measure, it also harms the productivity of companies. Therefore, Single Sign-On has been created to help people get around this issue. Even with Single Sign-On, people still have to log in once. Then, they have access to everything. When there are multiple websites that are all a part of the same organization, Single Sign-On can help people access all of these applications without harming their security measures.

What Happens When Single Sign-On Is Not Available to the User?

In order to look at the power of SSO, it is helpful to analyze what happens when it isn’t available. When someone tries to log in to an application or website that doesn’t have Single Sign-On available, the following steps begin to unfold:

  • First, the website will check to see if the individual has already been verified and authenticated. If this is the case, it provides that person with access to the website.
  • If the person has not been verified, then it asks the person to log in with their username and password. It then verifies this information against its database.
  • Once logging in, the site passes this information to the page; however, it asks the user to verify his or her credentials every time that person heads to a new page, which can lead to frustrations.

It is easy to see how this can get annoying. To prevent this problem, the website uses something called cookies or tokens to track the individual and process verification data faster to prevent this process from unfolding.

When Single Sign-On is used properly, this can be a powerful tool that will increase productivity while also providing new options for both productivity and IT management. This is also a great tool for security control. With a single set of credentials, it is easy to both enable and disable someone’s ability to access multiple platforms, apps, systems, and numerous other resources. This also reduces the chances of someone losing their username or password or creating a weak set of credentials. For this reason, Single Sign-On is a powerful tool in the modern business world.

An SSO strategy that has been executed well can eliminate the problem of numerous password reset requests, as people are less likely to forget their passwords. In turn, this reduces downtime, mitigates numerous security threats, and improves the experience of users throughout the system. It is easier to authenticate employees and ensures the organization has complete control over its system because it is so easy to handle access control and internal security. For these reasons, all organizations need to consider the power of Single Sign-On. It has the potential to change how companies handle their security measures, particularly in the virtual world.

Why Do Companies Use Single Sign-On in the First Place?

The rise of Single Sign-On has been seen with numerous other trends that have unfolded in the business world. Some of the biggest shifts that people have noticed in the world of IT include password fatigue (as people get tired of having to make and remember so many new passwords), the increase of cloud computing (which has only expanded the capabilities of numerous networks), and increased mobility of enterprise-level organizations. All of this has contributed to the rise of Single Sign-On.

As so many people are starting to make the shift to cloud applications, there have been both realized opportunities and evident challenges. Based on research that was reported recently, many organizations use dozens of cloud applications on a regular basis in an effort to support their IT operations. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that both identity and access management have become major issues. With so many applications being used on the cloud, companies feel like they have less control than they used to. They store a lot of information on the cloud and much of this can be accessed remotely. They are worried that their data might get leaked somehow, placing them and their customers at risk. Therefore, companies have been looking for ways to reduce this risk while also increasing their security measures. This led to the birth of Single Sign-On.

The biggest reason why companies wanted to move to a Single Sign-On system is that it cuts down on the numerous usernames and passwords that people have to remember. With so many usernames and passwords, including different sets for each cloud application and different sets of password requirements for each, employees simply couldn’t remember their credentials, leading to numerous password reset requests. This was a result of the rapid rise of cloud-based applications that use SaaS.

The second reason why so many companies have moved to a Single Sign-On system is that it improves security. Many people ended up writing down their passwords and storing them somewhere. This led to more breaches in security, compromising sensitive company data. The result is that password hygiene becomes worse, people start to use the same password for multiple systems, and it is easier for credentials to be compromised in this manner. Therefore, companies wanted to take steps to make this process easier, leading to the growth of Single Sign-On.

How Does Single Sign-On Work?

SSO stands for Single Sign-On. This is a holistic, single tool that is used to make it easier to authenticate and verify employees. This means that employees are able to access multiple applications with a single set of credentials, making it easier to access the rest of the system. This is the power of SSO. As long as the apps and platforms are joined together under a single system, Single Sign-On will work.

This is a good example for those who would like more information. Google owns Google Drive, Gmail, and YouTube. With Single Sign-On, users can access all of these platforms with one set of credentials. This is why people sometimes notice that they are signed in to all of these at the same time even though they did not log in to them separately. In contrast, if there was no Single Sign-On available, people would need to log in to each of these platforms separately, leading to more credentials, poor password hygiene, and more password reset requests. This is the major advantage of Single Sign-On. This same principle can be applied to the business world as well.

Now, it is time to take a closer look at some of the advantages of Single Sign-On for businesses.

The Major Advantages of Single Sign-On That Every Company Must Note

Regardless of what the process is, nobody likes to remember multiple sets of credentials for log in purposes. This is where Single Sign-On can be helpful. There are a few major benefits of Single Sign-On that everyone should note.

Productivity: The first major benefit of Single Sign-On is that it leads to better employee productivity. When Single Sign-On is used, the number of support calls is going to drop. Users only have to remember one set of credentials. This means that it is easier to remember them, reducing the number of support calls, saving time and money. Furthermore, users are going to be much happier. This is no need to jump between multiple URLs and credentials, cutting down about ten seconds per each login request. Finally, this is also going to cut down on security risks, reducing downtime. Users are able to use their Single Sign-On credentials to access any device at any time. This means there are fewer ways to breach security, protecting sensitive data.

Security: Speaking of improved security, there is a common misconception that Single Sign-On actually harms security is some way. This argument rests on the fact that if a single set of credentials is stolen, the entire system is compromised. While it is true, users only have to remember one password when it comes to Single Sign-On. This means that they are going to make their password harder to guess. They are also less likely to write it down and store it somewhere. Therefore, Single Sign-On can actually be improved with multifactor authentication to reduce risks, protecting the vital assets of the business.

Extra Layers: This is where Single Sign-On can combine with MFA to provide an extra layer of security. First, remember that Single Sign-On provides customers with a single key that is used to access the entire system and all of its applications. Single Sign-On can be combined with something called risk-based authentication.  The security team is able to monitor for the presence of any unusual behaviors, such as multiple login failures or numerous IP addresses. If this is noticed, then they can demand extra verification from the user. If the user fails, then their access is blocked. This is how Single Sign-On can be combined with RBA, blocking criminals from stealing data, or trying to drain IT resources. This is a powerful tool in the arsenal of Single Sign-On that can make a real difference.

No Password Fatigue: One of the biggest benefits of Single Sign-On is that users are not going to suffer from password fatigue. Password fatigue happens when users simply get tired of having to create multiple passwords that they need to remember. When users suffer from password fatigue, they start to make weak passwords or write them down somewhere because they simply cannot remember all of them and do not want to have to request numerous password resets. Obviously, this compromises the safety and security of the organization because these passwords are easy to break and could be discovered.

With Single Sign-On, this is no longer an issue. Users will only have to remember one set of credentials. Therefore, they are going to make them stronger and will not be tempted to write them down. This is how Single Sign-On reduces the password fatigue of the user.

Improved User Experience: Another major benefit of the world of Single Sign-On is that it streamlines the experiences of the user. There is nothing worse than having to log in to various applications repeatedly only to be faced with another login screen. With Single Sign-On, the user experience is streamlined, leading to a modern digital experience. This will lead to an increase in customer loyalty, which translates into higher conversion rates. The end result is that the business is going to enjoy more revenue.

No Shadow IT: Shadow IT is not exactly new in the digital world; however, it is becoming more prevalent. For those who might not know, Shadow IT is the term used to describe unauthorized downloads that might take place in the workplace. These downloads make it easier for companies to have their data stolen. In the past, Shadow IT was purely limited to employees who might be purchasing various types of software at an office supply store. Now that the cloud is a thing, the potential for Shadow IT is much greater.

Single Sign-On helps to solve this issue. Administrators in the world of IT can use Single Sign-On to track what applications users and employees might have open. As a result, they can keep their eyes open for anything that looks like identity theft and keep these risks at bay. With one platform the IT compliance team can make sure that their systems are kept safe from the threats of Shadow IT. They can do this by making sure that any compliance rules are being followed closely.

Higher Software Adoption Rates: Finally, Single Sign-On will also lead to higher software adoption rates. Many people end up forgoing new apps and software programs purely because the process of signing up is too hard. This is called a failure of technology. The goal of tech is to make people’s lives easier. It should not lead to more frustration; however, this is what happens from time to time. The goal of Single Sign-On is to reverse this trend. With Single Sign-On, it is more likely that customers are going to use an app, return for more purchases, and put new technology to work. This is the power of Single Sign-On.

These are a few of the biggest benefits of Single Sign-On. Anyone who is interested in learning more about Single Sign-On should be sure to work with a strong technology partner that understands how this technology works. This tool can be used to increase productivity, improve security, and streamline numerous business processes. In the end, Single Sign-On can be used to improve the experiences of users everywhere. As a result, employees are happier, customers are satisfied, and this translates into an improved bottom line for the business. This is why SSO has become so popular in the era of cloud computing.

Rely on the Trained Team of Professionals at Secur01

This is a brief overview of Single Sign On (SSO) and the results it can provide. It is critical for every organization to take steps to protect their data as well as the information of its customers. SSO can help with this. If you are looking for trained professionals who can help you with your cybersecurity measures, trust the team at Secur01. At Secur01, we are a professional IT and cybersecurity firm serving the local area. In addition to the latest security measures, we can assist with cloud migration, maintenance plans, and other essential IT issues. We place the needs of our clients first to ensure that we deliver the best results possible. If you would like to protect your information and maintain an edge on your competition, leverage the power of the latest technological advances with Secur01. Contact us today! We would be honored to help you with all of your IT and cybersecurity needs!

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