Why is Single Sign-On (SSO) Important?

 

What Is SSO?

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a software program that allows the user to enter one set of credentials, i.e. username and password, to gain access to multiple applications. 

How is SSO Useful?

The premise is fairly simple, once signed in to one application the rest will automatically be logged into, and signing out of one shuts down the rest as well, saving time and stress both ways. 

In a survey done by DigitalGuardian in 2018, the average person maintains around 90 or more accounts that require passwords. SSO is used by businesses to help employees with the number of passwords they are required to keep track of, as well as help the employers manage multiple users. 

Having to remember multiple passwords creates dangerous habits for employees where they will use similar, if not the same, passwords for multiple sites. This can cause security risks, but with SSO the workplace password risks are far more manageable.

Are There Risks?

If the SSO password is hacked, cracked, or leaked then it would give those with the password access to the multiple accounts logged in. 

This is why SSO applications are created with identity management and access control and multi-factor authentication (MFA). While quick login and security is the main emphasis of SSO, it is still best to require MFA as it heightens restrictions, and therefore heightens security. 

Other Benefits

While productivity and security are reasons enough to use SSO, those are not the only useful factors. 

  • Reduce expenses due to fewer IT desk calls for password related issues.
  • Helps the administrator manage multiple users and their access to all associated systems. 
  • The software is also able to store items, such as service agreements and credentials, and keep the information safe. 
  • Can disable any user accounts that have been terminated thus improving the overall effectiveness of the system. 
  • There are options for additional features such as statistics and analytics of usage, being able to have the most-used application open when launching the software, and customization that allows users to organize what they see.

Case Study

A large academic institution was responsible for student education with a medical school affiliation to a hospital system that cares for patients as well as conducts research used SSO to see if it improved the overall work of its employees and business. They used SSO to provide password authentication to different users all with different permissions. After 2 years they interviewed 54 students and 3 researchers. 

During that time, no password requests were sent and users reported that the use of SSO in the clinical registry simplified user management with ease of use and streamlined work.

The study concluded that SSO “should be used in healthcare to reduce complications such as ‘password hell’, improve usability and user navigation.” And they plan to use SSO with other systems used within the healthcare business. 

Once you’re a subscriber of The Training Arcade®, we’ll be happy to set up your SSO (SSO Integration (SAML & OKTA) & user authentication for your organization or help your IT department to create the most secure environment while using The Training Arcade®. We take data security and privacy very seriously, read more about it here.  

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