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3 Things I Wish Everyone Knew about Web Single Sign On

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web single sign onThe holiday season is upon us, and the web is going to begin inundating us with shopping deals and list after list.  In light of that, I’ve put together a list of things that I wish everyone know about Web Single Sign On.

Web Single Sign On is a gift that keeps on giving under the right circumstances.  Unfortunately, SSO is vastly under appreciated.  So, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, this is my gift to readers: 3 things that everyone needs to know about web single sign on, and what makes it such a special gift for your organization.

1 – Web Single Sign On and Attack Surface Reduction

            Single Point of Access is not the same as a Single Point of Failure

In terms of access, opponents of Single Sign-On will often point to the Single Point of Access as a Single Point of Failure. I would like to put the kibosh on that right now.

These two concepts are not one and the same.

While web single sign on does invite the possibility of attacking a single entry point, it also vastly improves the ability to secure that entry without sacrificing usability. Calling SSO a Single Point of Failure is akin to calling the Hoover Dam a waste of stone – it ignores all other facets of purpose in order to point out a fault.

Single Sign-On provides a Single Point of Access in order to provide the strongest level of security without hindering end-users. When there is only one point to defend, it becomes that much easier to secure it to a higher standard, while no longer needing to monitor other avenues of potential attack.

Web single sign on was designed with both security and usability in mind.  The right provider will implement that balance to fit perfectly in any environment.

2 – Significant Return on Investment

            Reduce the strain on Local IT Resources.

One of the most important things that I wish everyone knew about single sign on is how it reduces costs almost immediately. You see, password fatigue is a real thing. We’ve talked about it often, and that’s because it doesn’t go away. End-users from all walks of life hate having to remember so many passwords. One immediate drawback of this pain is a sharp increase in calls to the local IT Help Desk for resets and account unlocks.

These things cost money: real, tangible, could-be-spent-on-Holiday-Gifts-for-the-family money. In many cases, it is not always easy to reduce corporate expenditure.  In terms of reducing costs and strain placed on local IT resources, however, it’s as simple as asking for the right kind of help.

Web single sign on works almost effortlessly to reduce the strain on end-users without breaking the bank for your organization. Reducing password fatigue leads to a smaller amount of incoming requests, and everyone is happy. Couple SSO with Self-Service Password Reset and this stocking stuffer becomes a no-brainer.

            Scalable for a growing and evolving business.

Finally, here’s the kicker for web single sign on and RoI: scalability. Most businesses don’t just stay the same size – they grow and evolve as times change and more profit comes in. Addressing end-user concerns and cost is all well and good, but what happens when you double or even triple in size? Unfortunately, not all solutions are built with scalability in mind.  Thankfully, single sign on is built to grow from the ground up.

Applications need only support one of many different industry standard protocols in order scale alongside web single sign on.  The solution keeps on working in the background with very little additional work required. If you are thinking of expanding, it’s nice to start out with a solution that will easily grow right alongside you from day 1.

3 – Web Single Sign On Enhances End-User Satisfaction

            A happy end-user is a productive end-user.

Regardless of the industry that you are in, end-user satisfaction is always a high priority. End-users have the uncanny ability to make or break just about any system. Keeping those users happy will not only bolster the success of the system as a whole, but work to improving productivity and longevity as well.

            Improved loyalty/trust.

Additionally, a little-known benefit of web single sign on is the ability to convey trust and loyalty. This is in addition to both convenience and security. Inspiring trust in happy end-users goes further than just keeping these users happy, of course.  Trust and loyalty also improve relationships within both your organization and industry. A perfect example is to consider customers or contractors that utilize a login portal for various services or transactions. The process has to feel familiar and secure, otherwise these users are likely to take their business elsewhere. At the very least, users will likely resort to insecure practices in order to get the job done.

By contrast, when a login portal has been integrated with web single sign on, security is built right in.

            Users are more likely to employ secure practices when less logins are required.

Simply put: people do not enjoy overly complicated processes. This holds true for simple things like buying groceries, and online shopping or picking classes. Simplicity and trust go hand in hand with tolerance. When a task becomes too frustrating to complete, users will find a workaround regardless of the cost.  When things are kept simple, end-users are more open to additional security measures.

With Single Sign-On, additional security measures such as Two-Factor Authentication or stricter password policies becomes much simpler to implement, enforce, and tolerate. For end-users, the experience is what defines the worth of a task.  This is a fact that holds true both online and off. One benefit of Single Sign-On that people often forget is its ability to simplify security all around. Threading the needle between security and usability – that is one gift that everyone benefits from.

 

What are your thoughts?  Let me know if there was anything here that you didn’t know! Otherwise, click below to request a demo of our web single sign on solution.  Give us a chance to show you the gift that keeps on giving!

Security and Usability

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Christopher Perry

Author: Christopher Perry

Christopher is a Technical Support Engineer and content generator here at PistolStar, Inc. He has a Master’s Degree in English from SUNY Albany, and enjoys reading and writing about all things: especially poetry, science fiction and fantasy. Christopher’s daily tasks see him using his customer service and IT experience to improve written content for PistolStar, Inc., while working with customers to provide the best experience possible.

One Comment

  1. Hey Christopher,

    Very nice post! It very well explains the myths related to SSO and tells what actually a real SSO offers to world. Before going through this article I personally found this concept is a bit risky but now my thoughts are clear and I would like to include it in my strategies as well. Thanks man for sharing!

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