What is Single sign-on (SSO)?

Single sign-on (SSO) – Definition

Single sign-on (SSO) is a very useful and helpful method for identification that allows users to use only one set of credentials to log in to several applications. That way, it makes the authentication process way easier for users. Moreover, once a user logs in to a particular application, it automatically signs to the rest of the applications that are in a connected group. Besides, the technology and the domain platform are not something that you should be concerned about.

As a result, the management of numerous usernames and passwords for all of the different accounts and services becomes way more uncomplicated and easy. For instance, when your log in to your Google account, your credentials are automatically validated by other related services, like YouTube and Gmail. Additionally, you are not required to sign in to each of them individually.

How does Single sign-on (SSO) work?

If you want to implement a Single sign-on (SSO), you can do it thanks to an identity provider (IdP). It operates with a centralized authentication server which serves for confirming the user’s identity for the collection of applications. The server is capable of authenticating the credentials of a user, plus it can issue tokens for access which are encrypted bits of data that verify the user’s identity and rights. 

At the very first time, a user signs on, its password and username are obtained from the identity provider (IdP) for confirmation. The authentication server compares and reviews the credentials against the directory which holds the user data. Then it creates a Single sign-on (SSO) session on the browser of the user.

So, whenever the user has the need to use and access an app that is one of the many connected in the group, it won’t demand a password. Instead, the service provider is going to need from the identity provider (IdP) the authentication of the identity of the user. Then, the IdP supplies an access token, and the service provider allows the entrance. As a result, the user is able to reach the desired app without even seeing a sign-on page.

Advantages 

Single sign-on (SSO) allows the centralization of the access management by implementing a single authentication server. Therefore, a company could gain a lot of different advantages. 

  • Password Management is way more simple: Thanks to Single sign-on (SSO), the employees of a particular company could utilize just a single set of login credentials. That way, they can get access to all of the needed apps and systems. Users are benefiting from easier management of their information because they have to memorize just one rather than numerous.
  • It improves the security of the passwords: When users have a lot of different passwords that should be remembered, it is very difficult to keep them safe. Some of them could be very weak, and when such a password is used for many apps and services could be extremely risky. Thanks to SSO, a user uses a single password that is unique, strong, and easier to remember.
  • More robust Identity Management: It makes the sign-on and authentication process simple thanks to an individual authentication page. Therefore the company could easily deploy additional advanced authentication solutions, for instance, multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • It is efficient and productive: Imagine how time-consuming it is to memorize all passwords. So SSO eliminates that obligation and limits it just to one credential. That positively affects the security and productivity of the employees.

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