Now that more organizations are moving to the cloud, users expect seamless access to multiple applications from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Likewise, since most large enterprises have dozens of touchpoints under multiple brands, their IT departments can become strained trying to manage them all.
These issues require CIOs to develop efficient access management for their customers and their IT teams. That’s when an SSO strategy comes into play.
SSO stands for Single Sign-On, a holistic, single-point approach to authentication and access. With SSO, users are allowed to access a suite of applications via one single login, irrespective of the platform, technology, or domain used.
Need a translation? This analogy should help.
Imagine that you own a building with separate businesses within it. A good digital example is Google, which owns Gmail, Google Drive, Youtube, and more.
Without SSO, a user would need a separate key (or password) to access each one of these businesses or applications.
However, with single sign-on, you only need one key (set of login credentials) to access all of these separate businesses (multiple applications).
This is precisely how enterprise authentication works. The goal is to simplify sign-in, which in turn, improves Customer Experience (CX). Security is an added benefit, which we’ll discuss in detail later in our “7 Advantages of Single Sign-On” list below.
7 Advantages of SSO That Every Enterprise Should Know
No matter what your role as an end-user might be, you probably don’t like memorizing unique credentials for multiple logins, right? For instance, when a customer calls IT about resetting passwords, an enterprise can lose hours, tech resources, and money.
1. It increases employee and IT productivity.
By contrast, a single point of access will reduce wasted time and resources. Here’s how.
With single sign-on, you can:
- Reduce support calls: Users with just one password to access all their apps won't require assistance as often.
- Improve user experience: Since there’s no need to hop between multiple login URLs, or reset passwords, users save between 5 to 15 seconds per login.
- Mitigate security risks: Employees can use their SSO login credentials on any device, in any web browser, without risking security.
As you can see, the ability to increase the productivity of end-users is one of the greatest benefits of single sign-on.
2. It improves security capabilities.
One misconception about using an SSO solution is that it weakens security. The argument rests on the premise that if a master password is stolen, all related accounts will be compromised.
In theory, this appears to be true, but with common-sense practices, SSO can actually reduce password theft. How?
Since users only need to remember one password for multiple applications, they’re more likely to create a stronger (harder to guess) passphrase, and less likely to write it down. These best practices reduce the risk of password theft.
As explained in the next section, a single sign-on strategy can also be combined with multi-factor authentication (MFA) for extra security.
3. It combines with Risk-Based Authentication (RBA).
Here’s how combining RBA with Single Sign-on provides an extra layer of security.
As mentioned earlier, SSO gives your customer or end-user one “key” to sign in to multiple web properties, mobile apps, and third-party systems using one single identity.
For even more security, you can combine SSO with risk-based authentication (RBA). With RBA, you and your security team can monitor user habits. This way, if you see any unusual user behavior, such as the wrong IP, or multiple login failures, you can demand extra identification verification. If the user fails at this, you can block them from access.
This powerful combination can prevent cybercriminals from stealing data, damaging your site, or draining IT resources.
4. It reduces password fatigue.
To prevent cybercrime, security professionals insist on unique passwords for every single application. This means that the average user must remember dozens of passwords for personal and office use. Unfortunately, this often leads to "password fatigue."
How does password fatigue hurt enterprises? In short, more passwords, more problems. If customers have a hard time signing in, they’ll leave your site or app before you can convert them.
A recent usability study by Baymard Institute proves this point. In this study, Baymard tested existing account users at two e-commerce sites (Amazon and ASOS) and found that 18.75% of users abandon their carts due to forgotten passwords or password reset issues.
The benefit of single sign-on is that it’s only one password for customers to remember, for all of your applications.
5. It streamlines the user experience.
Enhanced user experience is one of the most valuable benefits of SSO. As repeated logins are no longer required, customers can enjoy a modern digital experience. The benefits for enterprises include an increase in customer loyalty and higher conversion rates.
6. It prevents Shadow IT.
Shadow IT is not new to the world of cybersecurity. It refers to unauthorized downloads in the workplace.
In the past, Shadow IT was limited to employees purchasing software at office supply stores. But as cloud-based downloads become more popular, the potential for risk grows.
To solve this issue, IT admins can leverage SSO to monitor what apps employees use. Thus, identity theft risks can be thwarted.
Bonus: With a single platform, a company’s IT or compliance team can ensure that global and local compliance rules are being followed, as well.
7. It increases software adoption rates.
Have you ever given up on a new app because the customer access or sign-up process was a pain? If you have, that’s a “technology fail.”
Technology should make our lives easier, not cause frustration. Making sign-up or login easier with SSO increases the chance that customers will adopt your technology, use your app, and keep returning for more.
To help you achieve this, LoginRadius is 100% committed to providing the latest industry-standard authentication technology.
If SSO sounds like a good choice for your company, here’s how to get started.
3 Steps to Unified Sign-On:
Step 1: Understand and identify your use case.
Step 2: Explain the benefit of SSO to your teams.
Step 3: Choose an ideal provider platform.
See how the LoginRadius platform provides SSO (and more) in one easy-to-use platform. Book a free demo with us today.