A single sign-on (SSO) is a system that allows users to use a single authentication for one session without the need for logging in over and over. A single set of login credentials is used to access multiple applications or different website services.
SSO service is offered by popular platforms such as Google and Facebook. They allow users to access different websites and applications without the need for creating an ID on that platform. Smaller organizations, enterprises, and even individuals can create an SSO system for their platform to mitigate the management of various usernames and passwords.
How Does SSO Work
Single sign-on is a Federated Identity Management (FIM) arrangement. Is uses the framework SAML or OAuth2, which allows an end user’s account information to be used by third-party services, such as Facebook, without exposing the user’s password.
When you try to logon to a website or app with SSO, here’s what happens:
1. The platform checks to see if you’ve been authenticated already by an authentication server. If you have, it gives you access to its functions.
2. If you have not been authenticated, it asks you to log in and checks your credentials against the information stored in the specific database.
3. Once you have logged in, the authentication data keeps track of your sessions. When you move through the different functions of the site, the server verifies that you have been authenticated each time you go to a new page or access a new function.
Benefits of SSO
The biggest benefit is that you don’t need to login over and over. It adds convenience for developers and users. Additional benefits include the following.
- SSO increases workflow and coordination
- It also enhances productivity for users
- SSO also reduces the risk of hacking by minimizing password entry for repeated authentication
- The system can also reduce help desk costs
- SSO offers a great way for new platforms to adopt the promotion of its software. Creating a new ID can take 5 – 10 minutes.
- SSO login through Facebook or Google gets the job done with a single click.
A lot of people are concerned about the security issues that come with SSO. Despite its many benefits, SSO is arguably riskier. Just like you can gain access to multiple platforms and apps with a single login, a hacker can do the same as well.
To mitigate the risk, it is recommended that users enhance security through the use of multifactor authentication. MFA asks you to verify your identity through multiple methods the first time you log in, providing greater security for a session.
Contact us for more information about how to incorporate SSO to your company's technology security.