The average employee actively uses approximately 36 cloud services, nine collaboration services, six file-sharing services, and five content sharing services. With so many accounts, it can be a nightmare trying to maintain company credentials. Single sign-on (SSO) is an authentication process designed to make things easier. This technology solution gives users access to multiple applications through only one login. With SSO, a user is only required to enter a single set of credentials rather than reenter them each time they open a new application or website.
Typically, websites maintain an individual database of users and login information. SSO authentication, however, depends on a trusted third party to confirm the user's identity. Have you ever visited a website and chosen to "log in with Google" or "log in with Facebook?" If so, you were using single sign-on. The site you were visiting asked Google or Facebook for your information and then used it to give you access.
SSO is not to be confused with password management (also known as password vaulting). Password management also uses only one set of credentials; however, users must key in each time a user moves to a new site.
There are a variety of benefits to using single sign-on for businesses. SSO can:
- Boost productivity by eliminating multiple logins and decreasing the number of password resets
- Minimize hacking attacks by keeping login details separate from your site
- Help your business remain compliant with IT regulations for protecting user data
- Improve user experience and convenience for employees
- Increase a company's control of access
Overall, SSO is designed to improve company efficiency, security, and transparency, helping not only business owners but their clients too!