Single Sign On: What Is It and How Can It Effect You?
The age we live in is a digital one. The way we work and live our lives is constantly evolving and changing due to technology and the power it has over our lives. This reliance on technology has brought about an increase in the number of IT teams across the globe, and – as we said – because our reliance on tech is so great now, it is essential that they all offer a top-notch service.
Due to our technological reliance, cyber threats are also on the rise. They have made IT teams’ jobs even more difficult – because, regardless of the size of your organisation, you are not safe from cyber threats. Please don’t be under the illusion that cyber criminals are only interested in targeting massive multinational conglomerates as it is, in fact, true that a small local business is arguably more likely to become a victim. With all of these stresses it is no surprise that IT personnel are struggling to perform all their duties as efficiently, and in the timely manner, they are accustomed to.
Single Sign On (SSO) will help alleviate some of that pressure that your IT team are feeling – not only will they be less stressed but they will also have a lot of extra time on their hands, meaning they can spend their time being productive.
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. This makes the process of logging in much easier and quicker whilst also lessening the likelihood of passwords being forgotten (none of us like to admit it but we have all forgotten a password at some point). SSO can help you to manage your time more effectively.
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. It works because the authentication flow follows the same steps. This sounds confusing but, in plain language, the system registers that you got the password right previously on the original site and grants access based on that site’s relationship with the other through SSO.
This sounds like security is being sacrificed for ease, and, as we all know, that is never okay – but once you get to know SSO you will realise this isn’t the case. Let’s explore SSO and find out if there are any effects and whether any security issues arise from using SSO.
Does it make my organisation more – or less – secure?
Firms give their teams access to a wide array of applications at any one time, and alongside these apps are the ones that your team download and sign up to whenever they like. We encourage our teams to not just be robots following orders but instead to use their initiative and do what they feel is right – well, this is not one of those times! Your team should not make decisions about the IT in the organisation without prior approval from your IT team, as the consequences could be disastrous.
The pressures on our IT teams have grown exponentially over recent years, especially with regard to the passwords and variety of other tasks that must be completed. Regardless, there is no room for error – tech is the beating heart of your organisation, and it must be protected.
SSO offers your team the opportunity to manage their own passwords, meaning that your IT team will have time to be more productive. SSO is an enigma; its positives are also its negatives – it is easy to use and grants access fast and easily, but that easy access is also vulnerable to hackers.
You must grant your IT Team 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.
To your employees their day isn’t any different; they sign in, allowing their authentication to pass through the SSO server, which then authorises that person to use the app.
SSO should be used as the cherry on top of an already impressive security stack. Multi or Two-factor authentication will improve how secure your organisation is. Either will force your team to prove their identity to gain access – SSO then steps in and means that they don’t have to log in repeatedly.
Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee our businesses are safe, or that they are running efficiently, but with SSO we do increase our chances of both.
In the following article we will explore how SSO integrates with Microsoft 365 and the possibilities it offers.
Armco IT: IT Support and Managed Services for Businesses Across York, North and East Yorkshire
There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.