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SSO: What is Single Sign On and How Does It Work?

Dr. Abdulrahman Kaitoua
May 15, 2019

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With the rise of software as a service (SaaS) in recent years, the average user has to remember an overwhelming number of log-in details. In fact, in the US there are 130 different accounts associated with every email address.

Forgotten passwords can cause a lot more than frustration too. Single sign-on (SSO) solutions eliminate the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.

But, how does SSO work? And why should you consider implementing it at your company or organization? Keep reading to find out.

How Does SSO Work?

In simplified terms, with SSO a user can access many applications using one single login. The process uses a third-party to secure the login credentials and verify authenticity via tokens. Individual applications check with the third party SSO instead of the user entering login information for each.

Single sign-on solutions work with both a local LAN and remote cloud-based applications. It’s common practice to set up a central login portal. Users then access all approved websites and applications through it.

Benefits of SSO

Cloud applications allow for greater options, but they create their own set of obstacles as well. One of those is access management.

SSO protocols tackle many of the problems related to the control and management of user access head on. Here are a few of the ways it helps.

User Experience

The right SSO protocols make it easy for users to gain access to the applications they need without the hassle of multiple logins. This eliminates complicated login management and confusion, which leads us to our next benefit.

Eliminates Downtime and Profit Loss

Income loss related to password resets adds up. When figuring the costs, take into consideration downtime and IT wages.

According to research, manual password resets cost companies $420 per employee every year. Now that’s something to think about.

Central Access Control

Using SSO puts the control of authentication in one central location, making compliance easier to manage.

Better Security

Centralized control of login information reduces security breaches because of poor password hygiene. Using the same password at many different locations makes it easier for hackers to break into security systems.

Keeping a handle on security is especially important when you have employees working off-site and from devices that your IT department has no control over. With SSO, users can work wherever they are, on the device of their choice, without compromise.

What’s the Bottom Line?

With cloud computing, the need for security and control will remain a critical concern going forward as SaaS use keeps growing. How does SSO work within your company? It’s something every business should consider.

Interested in implementing an identity protection platform for your business? Check out our security products. We’d love to help you get started.

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