Last week I wrote a post explaining the details of single sign-on, commonly referred to as SSO. I discussed what it is, what it means, how it’s used and why it’s valuable. But today, why don’t we look at the opposite side of the spectrum - what life would be like without SSO. It’s an interesting question to consider because so many companies now utilize SSO, but it wasn’t too long ago that this was our reality.
In a world without single sign-on (SSO) authentication, privacy is at risk at every corner. From large-scale inefficiency to help desk overflow, not having SSO in place makes organizations and users more vulnerable than ever.
The most noticeable difference when SSO is removed is the sudden and immediate need for multiple passwords. While SSO enables users to log in with a single, secure password, non-SSO means that a user is required to log into each individual account that they are using each time they want to access it. In order to maintain a level of relative security, users will need to have different passwords for each account and be sure to manually log out of each account once they’re done. Often, because of the complexity of these passwords, employees may keep their login information in an unsecured location, such as on a physical piece of paper or on a web document, which, if discovered, could become an entryway for attack.
The time implications of trying to manually lock down important accounts reduces important productivity potential as well. This is especially true on IT’s end. When account logins are lost or forgotten, the manual reset process may take hours or sometimes even days, especially as these forgotten password instances add up throughout the organization. For users, multiple passwords and the complex password policies required to secure them all can create longer-than-usual login times. A single incorrect keystroke can mean extra minutes added onto an already time-consuming login process.
Additionally, SSO allows for identity confirmation across devices. This holistic login means that users can bring their own devices without bringing along the security holes that come along with them. They also save time from having to login to each of these devices separately. In a non-SSO world, that saved time vanishes.
It’s clear that SSO has made life easier, and more secure, for both users and IT staffs. It’s an important security and efficiency technology within organizations that should be valued. If you’re suffering from a non-SSO world and are interested in learning how to add SSO to your organization, contact us today.