Rohit Rai - Jun 22, 2020

3 Benefits of adding SSO to your IAM infrastructure

Identity and Access Management (IAM) technologies have enabled enterprises to tackle security challenges arising from a constantly increasing network perimeter. IAM capabilities such as identity lifecycle management and automation help save valuable time and resources, while tasks such as managing accounts, provisioning and de-provisioning systems and applications are no longer the burden of IT. However, many organizations overlook the benefits of combining IAM with secure single sign-on (SSO). In fact, SSO is that one solution that can put the security versus usability debate to rest, for good.

Here’s how.
Single sign-on acts as a holistic, single login point where users enter one set of authentication credentials that grant access to a suite of other applications, regardless of the platform, technology, or domain used. Hence, it not only helps them address critical access and data security concerns but also helps improves user experience, and by extension, employee productivity.

Benefits of Single Sign-On

The general idea behind how SSO systems work is similar to that of how your Google account gives you access to various G Suite services and various other individual applications such as Slack and others. When combined with the overall enterprise IAM infrastructure, it can give administrators greater control and visibility over login activities to prevent unauthorized access to applications and critical business data. Let’s look at a few key benefits of SSO to understand how that is possible:

1. SSO improves security and ensures stronger passwords

Nothing attracts cybercriminals like weak passwords. And even though employees should ideally use separate passwords for different applications, they usually don’t. SSO reduces the number of attack surfaces because users only log in once each day and only use one set of credentials, thus improving enterprise security. Moreover, SSO serves as an effective solution for meeting regulatory compliance requirements around data access and protecting against threats like viruses.

SSO built into an existing IAM solution utilizes a central directory that controls user access to resources at a more granular level. This allows organizations to comply with regulations that require provisioning users with appropriate permissions. Enterprises can therefore configure SSO with role-based access control (RBAC) or attribute-based access control (ABAC), along with specific security policies for different apps or levels of data. At the same time, existing mechanisms in the IAM solution also take the burden of provisioning and de-provisioning users by automating them.

2. SSO improves user experience and productivity

As more and more applications move to the cloud, the number of applications employees use in the workplace daily has risen drastically. Requiring separate usernames and passwords for each app is an immense burden for employees and often unrealistic. Single sign-on reduces that burden as signing in once saves time in retrieving lost passwords and eventually helps boost their productivity. SSO solutions that are part of an identity and access management system usually have an app portal. Employees can select the app they need to use from the portal. They can also register freshly to use an app through the portal and which is directly enabled with SSO.

3. SSO reduces IT costs

When various apps each require a different username and password for every employee, the chances of employees forgetting passwords are relatively much higher. That means help tickets for password resets accumulate quickly, taking away IT’s time from more high-value tasks. SSO helps organizations save IT costs in the long term by reducing the number of password reset requests from employees, thus also saving the IT team’s time. Since SSO helps assign a single set of credentials for employees to remember, with self-service capabilities for users, employees can reset their passwords themselves, thus reducing IT involvement significantly.

With Unotech’s Single Sign-On solution, you can enable one-click access across all your enterprise apps including OIDC, SAML and CAS enabled offerings, and ensure a highly secured environment – from any location and any device.

Written by Rohit Rai