Single sign-on is one of those phrases that became part of the business world overnight, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows what it is. Professionals use it a lot in today’s age, but rarely explain it. In fact, you might have used it today and not even noticed.
That’s why we created this guide to single sign-on. We’re going to run through what single sign-on is, why it’s useful, what systems offer it, and how you can evaluate single sign-on providers.
Let’s dive in.
Defining Single Sign-On
Single sign-on (SSO) refers to a system of access control used by multiple related software systems. SSO is only one of the aspects of an access-control system. With SSO, a user logs in with a single user name and password to access multiple connected systems.
Many businesses have only just started using centralized SSO recently, but it’s been around for a while. Active Directory, for example, was released in 1999. It helped users log in only once to Windows-based systems.
In the modern era, most SSO software uses OpenID Connect, an authentication protocol, to enable SSO. OpenID empowers cooperating websites or parties to use a third-party service to authenticate users. This process eliminates the need for each webmaster to create and offer its own login system. Big brands like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft utilize it.
Single Sign-On Benefits
Most web apps offer SSO now, and it’s become a critical factor for businesses who are choosing which web apps to invest in for their employees. SSO is popular with both businesses and users because it:
Enables Managed Access
IT departments love SSO. With SSO, IT managers can control app access from a single, centralized system. They can use it to easily monitor and report on access patterns of employees. Because employees don’t have so many passwords to track with SSO, IT departments are also able to lower the number of password-related help tickets they receive on a daily basis. This streamlines their entire workflow, allowing them to focus on high-level projects.
Most employees don’t practice secure password habits. They record their many passwords on sticky notes in the office or on hackable documents. They choose the simplest passwords they can so they’ll have a chance at remembering them all. With SSO, limits on passwords can increase app security. Because they have fewer passwords to remember, employees might choose more difficult passwords and stop writing them down for quick recall.
Simplifies App Ecosystems
For employees, SSO limits the number of credentials they have to remember and use each day. SSO prevents a lot of lost password requests in the bargain. This simplifies the complex app ecosystems that today’s app-heavy teams like to use. Employees can become more productive when they don’t have to waste time managing their many apps.
Systems That Use Single Sign-On
Today, many web apps use SSO software. Top SSO providers include brands like Okta, OneLogin, and Pass. Some companies, like Google, create and manage their own SSO software in-house.
Most web apps today, both large and small, enable SSO. These include:
If you think back a few days, it’s likely that you have used SSO at least once, if not a few times.
Evaluating Web Apps with Single Sign-On In Mind
Single sign-on is a useful tool for both businesses and employees alike. It enables IT departments to carefully control app access, minimizes cyber security risks, and streamlines app ecosystems for increased productivity.
When evaluating any web apps for your company—like business text messaging platforms—it’s important that the app support SSO. With this feature, your teams can access critical web apps faster than ever before.
Want to use a platform that offers SSO? Try our business SMS platform, complete with SSO, for free today.