Single Sign On – what is it and what can it do for you?

Single Sign On – what is it and what can it do for you?

The modern digital age we live in has led IT teams to become incredibly stressed of late. This increased level of strain has risen due to the rapid rate that technology has advanced over recent years. With terms like ‘cyber threat’ and ‘cyber criminal’ becoming normal language to hear in the workplace, it is no wonder that they simply cannot keep up with their duties any more. Single Sign On can take some of that strain off the shoulders of your IT team and allow them to concentrate on the more important tasks.


What is Single Sign On?

Single Sign On allows your users to log in to any related software system with a single username and password. This makes the process of logging in much easier, and the eventuality of forgotten passwords has become less common.


How does it work?

Once having already accessed a website using SSO, the user can then use a different website that has the same – or similar – relationship with the SSO solution, allowing the authentication flow to follow the same steps.


A big question regarding SSO is, “Will it make my organisation more secure?” So, let’s explore this.


Does it make my organisation more secure?

Most of the large organisations around the world give employees access to an average of 15 applications, along with the thousands of different web apps that are available (QuickBooks, Twitter, and Salesforce, for example). Employees can sign up for these apps as and when they like – predominantly without the IT Team’s knowledge. The sheer volume of apps that are available is a challenge for IT teams, especially when you take into account all of their passwords and the variety of other tasks that they have to complete. An IT team’s job is not an enviable task – they must guarantee protection over the network and all of the sensitive data that resides on it, with no exceptions. Giving employees a way of using just one sign on (SSO) solves the IT problem of having to manage too many passwords.


Unfortunately, the same improved ease and functionality that SSO brings are the same things that make it very dangerous. The ease of use it gives your employees (by allowing them to access apps with just one log-in) can also be passed to hackers. It is essential that IT departments ensure some form of identity governance to make SSO as secure as it can be. To help with this, a lot of companies centralise identity authentication on special servers in order for them to act as SSO gatekeepers. So, when an employee signs in, their authentication passes through the SSO server which, in turn, passes on the credentials for authorising that person to use the app.


One having implemented SSO you will need to make it as secure as possible – many implement 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as both of these improve levels of security considerably. Both require your users to prove who they are through one or more additional authentication factors – and this is all before your SSO login.


By having these forms of authentication, you put your system in good stead to be protected in the eventuality of a hacker getting hold of your SSO login. If, somehow, they get hold of your SSO login they would still need to get one of the other forms of authentication in order to gain access.


Security guaranteed

At P2 Technologies, we’re helping professional service organisations just like yours to get ahead of their cyber concerns, meet compliance objectives and be one step ahead in this digital age. Concerns around communication, collaboration, productivity, and – above all else – security are very common,  especially when making the transition to a remote work setting. Contact our team today for a free, no obligation discovery call – during which we will learn about you and your business and allow us to provide tailored advice on the best path forward towards a secure and prosperous future for your organisation.