Having too many passwords is an issue that plagues most everyone in the modern digital age. Password fatigue and user frustration are common complaints in every, and Single Sign-on is one method that addresses these problems at the source: by providing a smooth, manageable balance between security and usability. After all, if you have 12 passwords – you have too many passwords. Single Sign on provides one set of credentials that can get you access to any applications you might need.
When I last wrote about Single Sign-on, I introduced a character in the form of a new Citizen to what I call the City. In part I of the story, How does Single Sign on Work, we watched our citizen establish a strong, central identity that can be used anywhere in the city. In part II, Identity Management, our citizen got a taste of how that identity was managed and leveraged for any service throughout. In closing, our new citizen returns to his old home for one last goodbye and learns the true benefits of balancing convenience and security all in one.
How Does Single Sign-on Work?
Part III – Appreciating Convenience – A New Age of Security and Usability
The village isn’t like the city. It’s not just the small, clustered buildings and domiciles, or the requirements to constantly verify who you are that mark the differences from the City – it is the people. The village – indeed, its very essence – strives from conflict. Theft and invasion have lain bare the gates and resources that the people cling to for life, and the people here have been molded by that turmoil.
The residents of the City hustle and bustle to wherever they need to be because of a sense of security – a notion of safety that is wildly out of place here in this small world. When asked to prove their identity, the villagers smile and nod, producing the correct verification before moving to the next station. A routine that has become so ingrained in their culture that the frustration has become placid defeat – and they are all the weaker for it.
When I first returned to the village, Baldur remained silent. There was nothing for him to connect to, no ability to confirm or deny my access and I was reduced to filing in with the rest of the villagers. Trying to remember everything that I needed in order to prove that I belong– various forms of paperwork, key phrases, identity checks about a past I hardly recalled – it was a nightmare.
Before I could return to the City and take my place as a permanent resident, I needed to package my belongings and prepare them for shipment – a process which involved communicating with the head of my domicile, verifying that communication with the shipping and trades corporation, and visiting the village leader to have everything checked, and rechecked and verified before transport.
Everyone smiled and laughed as I shuffled along – frustrated at how many times I had been asked my name, my home, and additional personal information. Baldur spoke up often, but the villagers only laughed and waved him away – accepting nothing but their form of proof to get things moving along.
I didn’t even look back as I stepped through the village gates and began my trip back to the City. Anger clouded my judgment, but even still – I know there was no going back.
I had been gone from the city for three weeks – the necessary arrangements having taken me much longer than anticipated due to the constant holdups throughout the process – and as the giant gates grew on the horizon, I grew anxious about registration once again.
“After weeks of constant badgering, I was hoping this break would last a bit longer,” I said out loud.
“I suppose I’ll have to answer some more questions once we get there.”
A quiet ping alerted me to some activity from Baldur, who had remained peaceful throughout the return trip. He spoke now, as if waiting for my comment all this time.
“Not at all!” He announced, louder than usual.”
“That is what I am here for. You need only approach the gate as you normally would, and your journey is complete.”
Despite his cautions, I proceeded with caution – eyeing the gates with misplaced apprehension. I grew up in a set-back village where marvels such as the City were nothing but a pipe-dream. Convenience?
Never heard of it.
The machinations began as soon as I was within earshot of the terminal and guard from my initial visit, and I did not even need to halt in my stride before I was provided access to the wealth and utility of the City.
“Excuse me,” Baldur announced once again. “I have marked out a path to the shipping and receiving center for you, that you might pick up your things and being unpacking.
This time, I didn’t try to stifle the grin that spread out across my face. The troubles of the village were long gone, and the security, safety and convenience of the city was waiting just ahead of me.
“Let’s go, Baldur!”
Too Many Passwords – A Common Password for a Less Sophisticated Time
There are plenty of other issues aside from having too many passwords that Single Sign-on helps to address – taking a look at how it works is just one step towards understanding the true benefits this process offers for end-users today. Addressing problems with having too many passwords to remember, leveraging a single identity through industry standard protocols and increasing both security and convenience are only some of the features that make single sign-on a must have in any industry today.
Just as our citizen had no idea of how things worked in the new City, jumping right into single sign-on can be daunting. If you have any questions, check out our resources or reach out to the experts and we will be more than happy to help.
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