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:
Synchronized password changes
Many times, applications require end users to change their passwords every month or so. To comply with this, some SSO solutions can generate a new password and store it for the end user, or if they prefer the user can create a new one manually. This allows users to easily comply with the password change requirements of all applications as needed.
Ability to use access card or PIN
While the use of a single password is convenient, it can be made even more so by further replacing the single password with an access card or a PIN code. This will allow employees to enter or swipe either their card or their PIN code and automatically gain access to their systems and applications. The use of a PIN or access card also has several additional features, including allowing only certain card types or numbers to be registered by an employee. Cards also have the ability to be linked to the HRM system allowing them to be automatically be disabled when an employee leaves the company.
SSO for cloud applications
Many times employees work remotely and are outside of the company’s network. These employees also have several applications to access and would benefit from SSO. Many SSO vendors now offer the ability for cloud SSO, allowing users the ability to access all of their company’s applications in the cloud with a single password.
When an employee is sick or away on vacation, someone needs to gain access to their applications to perform their jobs. This entails setting up access rights, which are often neglected or not revoked when they need to be, causing a security risk. Some SSO applications allow the ability to delegate specific rights of the absent employee to another end user for only a specific period of time, so that once the period is over, the rights are automatically revoked.
Multiple user accounts
Often one employee will have several accounts for a single application. For instance, a manager might have a regular account and an admin account in an application. An SSO solution allows the user to choose which username or environment they want to use by showing them an extra window listing their accounts. This allows users with multiple accounts to still benefit from single sign on.
Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever, a global provider of identity and access management solutions.