What is Single Sign On (SSO)?
Single sign-on (SSO) is a security mechanism that allows an organization to manage its users and their access to resources within multiple web applications. SSO grants users access to all of their workplace applications with one set of credentials, authenticating users across multiple devices as well. Even if an authorized user accesses the same resource or page in multiple applications, only the user associated with the SSO identity will be able to access that resource or page.
Single sign-on is becoming a common practice in modern business because of how easy it makes user authentication and password management. It’s a simple, quick, and easy way to remember and store passwords without having to enter them each time you try to access your account, minimizing workplace anxiety developed from having to remember various passwords.
A recent study summarized that workers lose 32 days a year in workplace productivity by toggling between apps at an average of 10 times an hour.
SSO speeds up access to your business apps by granting access to all necessary applications with one set of credentials per user. If you provide services to customers over multiple properties or have two corporate-owned sites, you can use SSO to create a seamless experience for your clients.
For example, you can keep your customers logged in across different devices (mobile, laptop, smart device). It might be annoying when clients have to log back into their accounts on another device, but with SSO it’s simple; they don’t even need to type their password again.
If employees aren’t constantly having to remember which login information goes where they’ll spend less time trying to remember all their usernames and passwords. Instead, they can focus on performing their jobs instead of wasting valuable time.
Security is always a priority in today’s tech-savvy world, and single sign-on can help protect your business from hackers by creating a safer login experience. Without SSO, you’re likely asking your clients to remember several different passwords across all of their applications. This not only leaves users vulnerable if they forget one but it also increased the likelihood of a data breach. Additionally, companies like yours will have to store an overabundance of passwords as you manage users across your clientele base.
Reduce Password Fatigue
One of the most common complaints from end-users is that they need to remember so many passwords. A Gartner survey states up to 50% of all help desk calls are for password resets, while Forrester Research states that the average help desk labor cost for a single password reset is about $70.
Reinforce Separation Between Personal & Work Accounts
Another benefit to implementing SSO is its ability to reduce friction between work and personal applications. By requiring every employee to use SSO, your IT admins essentially gain control over access across all platforms used within their organization, including personal laptops or mobile devices owned by employees. Requiring end-users to authenticate separately for work versus personal apps slows productivity by introducing yet another barrier.
No matter what industry you operate in or how robust security controls already are within your organization, allowing employees unrestricted access through multiple doors encourages bad behavior at best and invites dangerous mistakes at worst.
Implementing single sign-on (SSO) lets your employees use one login/password combination across all their business-related apps, therefore alleviating some of their frustration and making them more productive.
It may not sound like a big deal now, but as your team grows over time, managing those user accounts can become a huge headache.
Thanks to product and platform advances, SSO is even easier to implement and more accessible than ever before. With increased accessibility comes increased value, which often translates into cost savings.
For example, one study estimates companies using SSO experience an average 54% reduction in help desk tickets compared to companies without.
With so many passwords to keep track of, it’s inevitable that users will forget them—either on purpose or by accident. SSO reduces these errors because there is one username and password combination to remember. It also helps eliminate errors created by typos—for example, when entering passwords into an email login field instead of an online banking field.
By logging in once per day, users can avoid small mistakes that could lead to a breach in security or costly losses from fines and refunds. These kinds of costs add up over time, leading some companies to invest in credential management systems that employ multifactor authentication, or MFA.
These kinds of systems combine unique usernames and passwords with additional information like biometrics (fingerprints, facial recognition) or physical hardware (security keys). The more layers you have protecting your data, the less likely you are to experience serious damage due to minor slip-ups.
Additionally, centralized sign-on makes employee access auditing simpler, since admins can see how many times each person logs in each month. This gives them a better understanding of how often employees need additional training and what types of risk factors they might face during work hours.
Ultimately, single sign on creates a system that is both secure and simple for employees to use without requiring complicated setup processes for new employees or painful training sessions about network permissions and usernames/passwords/PINs/codes/badges.
If every employee uses a singular login no matter which device they’re using or where they connect from, people won’t get confused about what credentials they need to use where—meaning fewer breaches due to confusion around who has permission to do what where.
Using a single login simplifies administration procedures by centralizing identity management capabilities within one system. SSO can significantly boost operational efficiency while simultaneously increasing user engagement rates and creating more effective ways of expanding the digital experience.