Who hasn’t fallen prey to password fatigue from time to time? The plethora of passwords we have to memorise and re-create for applications and resources, such as data centres, cloud applications and social networking sites has exploded over the last few years. This has not only led to frustration and wasted hours, but also serious security risks. The sheer volume of passwords as well as requirements to make them increasingly complex and randomised has made it impossible for people to create a unique and strong password every time. The result? Most people use a simple obvious password for every service – which leaves their accounts vulnerable to hacking – or even worse, they write their secret codes down and leave them near their computer…

Single sign-on (SSO) authentication allows users to sign into a system only once and still access third party services It is a cost-effective and safe way to provide customers, suppliers and employees complete access to data and application functionality across multiple related, yet independent software systems.

A growth market

With the rise in cloud technology, mobile, and social media, the global SSO market is expanding fast and is predicted to almost double in size to $1.6 billion by 2021. Although it is spread across the globe, North America accounts for most of the share, and major growth is expected in the Asia-Pacific region with the increasing adoption of single sign-on solutions across India, China, Japan, and Australia. Single sign-on solutions have especially high demand in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors (with centralised session management), but are also widely used in retail, IT and telecom, education, healthcare and life sciences, communications media & services, as well as the travel and hospitality industries.

How does it work?

It couldn’t be easier… When an employee tries to log in to an internal or external company program, the form asks for the company name. When the user provides the details, the service checks if the they are allowed to use the application – the third-party Active Directory (AD) then checks the user’s access rights. The user only needs to enter their credentials once.

The key benefits of SSO

One password to rule them all!

Your users will only have to manage one password to access their whole solution environment. By logging in once to your company environment, they will automatically be connected to each solution to which they have access rights. This is far easier than trying to memorise multiple passwords or writing them down on paper or in a file on your desktop – both of these can be stolen.

Managing your users’ password policy

As your company handles the single password linked to your account, they can define strong password policies for all accesses through that gateway. This is a distinct advantage over the major web solution providers who often demand that users create passwords that are at least eight characters long – don’t contain your user name, real name, or company name – don’t contain a complete word – are significantly different from previous passwords – don’t contain uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, or symbols, etc. etc. etc.

These requirements are all designed to prevent hackers or bots from guessing your password. When your company uses SSO, they can easily be set on your AD. And by using only one password, your company will apply these policies to all their solutions making the access to any solution considerably safer.

Control users’ accesses to any solution

As long as the solution provides an SSO login system, most ADs can control user access to the range of company solutions. This not only facilitates the management of your company’s employee access rights; it is also useful for centralising the control of your user login details – it removes the need to delete user access on all solutions manually.

This is a huge timesaver if you need to remove an employee’s access to several third-party tools simultaneously – for example if they leave the company. Without SSO, when an employee who has had access to confidential data leaves, IT needs to systematically remove their access rights to each tool. This is risky and can leave holes in a company’s security. SSO is quick and failproof way to cover all the bases when staff leave.

Safer login with strong known secured protocol

Although SSO allows you to have global access to various third-party tools, it requires state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that there are no leaks, and that your users’ logins and credentials can’t be easily hacked. AT Internet’s SAML 2.0 (Security Assertion Markup Language) and OpenID lead the tech market for login authentication systems. As part of the Analytics Suite, SAML and OpenID’s access rights system provides an SSO login framework that helps you build an easier and safer access to its solutions.

Stay secure and remain competitive!

Adopting a clear strategy for distributed identity management is key to guaranteeing a secure workplace and staying competitive. A federated identity solution is important for any company trying to manage access to external services by internal users – and provide access to its internal systems by external users. It allows secure access to a range of applications, as well as centralising their management, and improving the monitoring and auditing of security credentials. It also cuts down on admin costs and the associated headaches…

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