Single sign-on (SSO) solutions benefit system end users, allowing them to quickly log on to their accounts by entering only one set of credentials and thereafter automatically logging them into all their systems and applications. In addition to this benefit, SSO provides other features that can further help end users and system admins throughout any organization.
Additional advantages of SSO, that are often not discussed, include:
Reduction in calls to the helpdesk
Often, since end users are required to remember several different sets of log in credentials, many of which are complicated and require special characters, they have trouble remembering each combination of user name and password. This leads to them calling the helpdesk to reset their passwords. With an SSO solution, end users only need to remember one set of credentials, which drastically reduces calls to the helpdesk and allows them to focus on more important tasks.
Integrates with other solutions
SSO is often able to integrate with other beneficial software, such as self-service password resetting and user provisioning. This allows organizations the ability to easily integrate SSO with solutions they might already have in place or with new software. For password resets, applications that require a new password every month or so, SSO can automatically generate a new password. With user provisioning, SSO can automatically provision a password for a new user.
Another additional feature that can be added to SSO is the principle of “follow me.” This allows end users that need to work on different computers, such as doctors in the hospital setting, to easily do so by being able to log in on one computer and then quickly log out and continue their work on another computer. With “follow me,” users can quickly move to different work stations and do not have to open all applications that they were previously working on.
Fast user switching
In situations where users need to log in and out quickly, SSO can be very beneficial. Fast user switching allows users to quickly log on and have all of their applications started and logged in to on public computers. This can further be simplified by allowing the user to quickly swipe a pass card and have the same actions take place. Once they remove the card they are automatically signed out of all applications and the computer.
SSO allows organizations to easily fulfill compliance and regulations. One way in which this is true is that an SSO solution can allow system admins to easily revoke access for a user in a single action, instead of having to go through each application. A report can also easily be generated to show which users have access to what applications to ensure that no users have access to information or applications that they shouldn’t. Lastly, SSO solutions can provide an additional check before the user logins to any critical application by requiring them to enter an additional PIN code or smart card.
Reduction of risks
A SSO solution not only makes the log on process more convenient and faster for the end user, it also makes the company’s information and applications more secure. When employees need to remember several different credentials they often write them down and keep them by their computers, which increases risk of someone unauthorized logging in. With and SSO solution the user only has to remember one set of credentials, reducing the chance that they will write them down.
Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever, a global provider of identity and access management solutions.