What is Single Sign-on (SSO)?
Sometimes we get asked about our single sign-on capabilities so we thought we’d cover it and some of it’s advantages in an article.
So What is Single Sign-on or SSO?
SSO means that when a user logs in to one application he will be “automatically” signed in to every other application, regardless of the platform, technology and domain.
A good example of SSO at work is Google’s ability to keep you logged into various services such as Gmail, Calendar, Youtube, Drive and other Google services. The first time you access a Google service such as Gmail, you login. Now, when you visit YouTube, view your Google calendar or access your Google Docs, you won’t be prompted to sign in again. Google “knows” who you are and give you access to the services without prompting you to log into each service individually.
The way this works is by means of a “central service”. When you login for the first time a cookie gets created on this central service. Then, when you try to access the second application, you get redirected to the central service, but since you already have a cookie, you get automatically redirected to the app without being prompted to sign into the second application.
Enterprise-Grade Single Sign-on Solutions
Generally speaking, the value of SSO to the corporation is multi-faceted.
1. Fewer But Stronger Passwords
With SSO, users typically only need to remember one login credential. Because users only have one set of credentials, users can be encouraged (or required) to choose a much stronger password.
2. Time-Saving Convenience
With an SSO solution, a user only has to sign on once in order to access multiple services. This is a huge timesaver especially if a company provides multiple services. Using Google as an example again, if the user only has to sign on once using just one password, they’ll save time if they tend to go back and forth between multiple services such as Google docs, Calendar, Gmail and other services that use Google SSO. The user also only has to remember one password, instead of different, possibly insecure passwords, for multiple services.
3. Reduced Technical Support
An SSO solution can greatly reduce the amount of help desk manpower needed as users only need to recover a single account. While not a security concern, this is a very tangible benefit to companies.
4. Easier Automation
Automating user activations and deactivation ultimately means that users who should not have access to corporate assets after they are terminated can be locked out more efficiently, since the IT department only needs to disable one login.
We’re Passionate About Security
When looking to implement SSO, IT departments have a wide variety of choices. However two of them, Shibboleth and Kerberos (such as Active Directory) seem to be popular among our clients. While we may not be able to accommodate every type of single sign-on out there, we haven’t had to say “no” to any of our clients yet. Give us a few minutes and we’ll show you why LearnerWeb Enterprise LMS is the best value, full-featured LMS available. Contact us today at (800) 868-8039 and we’ll show you how you can improve communication and strengthen your training initiative.