What Is Single Sign On, and How Can It Improve Efficiency?

Posted February 3, 2022

We live in an age of digital evolution which changes at a rate we could never have anticipated – this has created an influx of IT teams across the globe, and along with it are great pressures to deliver a complete service. Stress is present in every business around the world, but now added problems regarding the utilisation of digital tools have reached new heights. A rapid rise in cyber threats is making the lives of IT teams more difficult – unfortunately, they are becoming common occurrences no matter the size of your organisation, so it is not surprising that IT personnel are struggling to perform all their duties as efficiently and timely as they once did. Single Sign On (SSO) will take some of the strain off of your internal IT team, freeing up a lot of their time for them to concentrate better on their more important tasks.

 

Single Sign On – What is it?

Single Sign On (SSO) allows users to log into any software that is related to system software with a single username and password. The process of logging in becomes much easier, whilst simultaneously lessening the likelihood of passwords being forgotten (well, we’ve all done it) and making a real difference to the way you effectively manage your time.

How does it work?

Upon accessing a website using SSO, the user has access to another website that has the same ‘relationship’ with the SSO solution. The authentication flow follows the same steps. In similar terms, the system knows you got the password right a moment ago on the original site and instantly allows access to save time.

It is understandable that this can make people feel uncomfortable and it does sound like security is being sacrificed for ease, so let’s explore SSO and find out if there are any effects and whetherany surrounding security issues may result.

Does it make my organisation more – or less – secure?

On average a firm allows their staff access to an average of 15 applications at any one time. Alongside these applications come the thousands of other web apps available that your employees can sign up to and use whenever they like. You want your team to use their initiative of course, but not in this instance – a member of your workforce making decisions on behalf of the team, without your IT team’s knowledge, could be dangerous.

With the rapid increase in apps which have evolved to improve working on the market, further challenges have arisen for IT teams across all industry sectors, especially with regard to the passwords and variety of other tasks that must be completed. An unenviable task to say the least, but there still is no room for error, because the lifeblood of your entire organisation must be protected at all costs. Giving employees a way of using just one sign on (SSO) solves the IT problem of having to manage too many passwords.

SSO’s positives are also its negatives, as the ease of use it gives your employees is also accessible to hackers. Your IT Team must have full identity governance to be sure that SSO is as secure as possible. Most organisations tackle this issue by adopting a centralised identity authenticator on special servers, which act as the gatekeeper for the entire system. Your employee does nothing different; they sign in, their authentication passes through the SSO server which then authorises that person to use the app.

There are many other ways of making your systems more secure. Multi or two-factor authentication will improve the levels of security of your organisation considerably. Both will require your team to prove their identity through one or more additional factors, but having done this once they can then use their SSO login.

Having these defences in place makes the task of a cyber criminal that bit harder.

 

 

Your business IT support partner

Uptech is the leading IT support company in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. We are passionate about the support we offer businesses like yours. We provide Enterprise-level tools, Cyber Security Solutions, and IT hardware to businesses in need of a helping hand. Established in 1994, Uptech offers High-end IT Services to Businesses with 5-200 staff, with multiple locations (including WFH), which enables them all to remain connected. We have helped our clients to progress and improve their IT, and so to become more profitable and productive. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

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