Small technology improvements can make a big difference in the lives of business owners and their employees. One such improvement is implementing single sign-on (SSO), a convenient account login method that enables organizations to efficiently control access and enhance security for all users. Read on if you want to know more about SSO and how it can help you maximize your operations.
How does SSO work?
SSO operates as an authentication hub that centralizes user authentication and authorization processes. Here’s how it works:
- When a user attempts to access a service or application, they initiate the login process by providing their credentials, typically a username and password. Afterwards, the user’s credentials are sent to the SSO system, which acts as a broker between the user and the target service or application.
- The SSO system verifies the credentials against its own databases to verify the user’s identity.
- Upon successful authentication, the SSO system generates a security token that contains information about the user’s identity and permissions. This security token is passed on to the target application.
- The target service or application validates the security token against its own databases, checking the user’s permissions and grants or denies access accordingly.
- Once the security token is validated, users can access other connected services or applications without needing to enter additional credentials.
Why should businesses implement SSO?
Here are the biggest advantages of implementing SSO:
Improved account security
The worst password habits tend to rear their ugly head when users have to manage passwords for multiple accounts. These include setting weak passwords for different accounts and writing them down on a sticky note.
With an SSO system, organizations only have to remember one master password. While it may seem counterintuitive to rely on a single password to secure all accounts, people are more likely to focus on creating a long and unique password when only one is needed. This reduces the risk of accounts being compromised due to weak passwords and poor password storage practices.
What’s more, SSO is often accompanied by multifactor authentication, which ensures that access to all accounts don’t hinge solely on a single password.
Centralized access management
SSO centralizes user access control, enabling organizations to grant and revoke access privileges with a few clicks. This makes it easier for administrators to manage permissions in bulk by cutting down on the time and effort needed for individual changes across multiple accounts. Centralized access management is particularly useful when an employee leaves the organization or switches roles, then administrators can quickly revoke their access to application and services.
Reduced occurrence of shadow IT
Shadow IT refers to the use of unauthorized or unapproved applications and services by employees. With SSO, employees have convenient access to approved applications, eliminating the need for them to seek alternative, often less secure, solutions. By providing a centralized and user-friendly environment for accessing authorized tools, SSO discourages the use of unauthorized applications, helping organizations maintain better control over their IT landscape and ensuring compliance with security policies and regulations.
SSO boosts productivity by eliminating the hassle of managing several passwords. With a single login, employees can seamlessly access all the applications and tools they need for the day. They don’t have to waste time thinking about new passwords and the frustration of having to recover them if they ever forget them.
It’s also much faster to get employees to adopt new applications and services when SSO is enabled. Employees just have to enter their existing SSO credentials to register for the new service and use it right away.
Lower IT costs
Maintaining numerous user accounts, resetting passwords, and handling support requests related to login issues can be a significant drain on IT resources. Fortunately, SSO reduces those administrative burdens because there are fewer accounts to manage and passwords to reset. This can translate to considerable cost savings for IT departments that are constantly dealing with a deluge of password-related support tickets.
Compliance with security regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS is nonnegotiable for businesses dealing with sensitive customer data. With the granular access control and monitoring capabilities offered by most SSO solutions, IT teams can ensure that only authorized users have access to certain applications and that all activities are tracked and recorded, making it easier to meet compliance requirements.
If your business is tired of dealing with weak passwords, inefficient authentication processes, and cumbersome access management tasks, SSO is the solution you need. Varsity Tech’s comprehensive SSO solutions are designed to fortify your security and improve user experiences. Get in touch with us today so we can help your company deploy SSO.