The demand for always on, work-from-anywhere solutions continues to increase in the SMB space. This demand often leads to more applications and tools in a small business’s technology stack. This variety of solutions is often accompanied by a handful of challenges, including inefficiency and poor security hygiene. Single Sign-On (SSO) is a helpful tool that businesses can leverage to ensure their employees stay productive and secure.
SSO is an authentication method that allows users to access multiple applications and systems using a single set of credentials, such as a username and password. Instead of remembering multiple login credentials for different platforms, users sign-on once, and SSO takes care of the rest.
SSO works by utilizing a centralized identity provider (IdP), which authenticates users and grants access to various applications and systems. When a user logs in, the IdP, such as Microsoft, verifies their identity and provides secure access to resources without the need to re-enter credentials for each individual application.
Here’s how Single Sign-On works for most small businesses:
• A user attempts to access an application or system.
• The application redirects the user to the IdP for authentication.
• The user enters their credentials on the IdP’s login page.
• Upon successful authentication, the IdP issues a token.
• This token is sent to the application or system, granting the user access.
Why small businesses should use SSO:
Limit Downtime: Password resets are one of the most common issues reported to IT help desks. While they are quick to fix, every minute your staff spends waiting to log in is time spent not doing their jobs. Additionally, time spent managing, locating, and updating passwords for dozens of sites can add up over time.
Compliance: SSO aids in compliance with data protection regulations like by providing better control over user access and data protection.
Improved security: Implementing SSO and reducing the number of passwords employees need to remember immediately improves security. When people are required to have multiple passwords, the complexity of those passwords become increasingly simple. Using only one password reduces the risk of employees writing passwords down, not changing them often enough, or using weak passwords.
Centralized Security Policies: You can enforce consistent security policies, such as password complexity requirements, access controls, and user permissions, across all applications.
Monitoring and Auditing: SSO solutions often provide detailed logs and reports, helping you monitor user activity and track any suspicious behavior.
Flexibility and Scalability: As your business grows, you can easily integrate new applications into your SSO framework. This scalability ensures that your security measures can evolve with your organization.
User Experience: SSO gives your employees the ability to quickly access their tools and work uninterrupted. It is not uncommon for employees to need to switch between multiple applications throughout the day. This single password approach makes that experience significantly less painful. SSO is also extremely beneficial for employees that are work from multiple devices like tablets and phones or those that are dispatched to customer sites.
Single Sign-On is tool that small businesses can easily implement to improve security, productivity, and uptime. If you are interested in learning more about implementing SSO into your environment and reducing the number of passwords you need to remember, reach out to us today!