Single Sign-On For Easy Web Authentication

Hey, friends! Good morning! Oh, you have just started your computer system and now it’s time to open websites to complete your daily tasks. I know each day you have to interact with number of applications and websites. Some of the applications are already installed on your computer while some of them are on servers that is managed by either your organization or by vendors. You have to authenticate yourself for most of the applications so that the application can permit you to access the information that belongs to you. For an example, you can only read your emails, not of your co-workers because you need to authenticate yourself to the mail server by entering your email address and password.

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This is just a small example where you are dealing with your emails but in reality, we all have dozens of web applications to deal with. For that, we need to use different sign-ins for different applications. That simply leads to tons of usernames and passwords to remember. Remembering passwords is itself a very big task. We already have many passwords to remember apart from our core work. It is natural, remembering all passwords is not possible.

Web single sign-on or WSSO is a solution that can save us. There are many definitions of single sign-on but the one that perfectly defines it is, “Web single sign-on solution is the property of one application (identity provider) to tell another application (service provider), about your identity, who you are.

Here identity provider is a system that contains users data or digital identity, for example social media networks and service provider is a system users are working on to perform a specific task. With a single sign-on solution, the user does not need to log on directly to the service provider, instead of that the user can log on to identity provider. The identity provider then tells service provider about who you are. So, WSSO is not only about creating user accounts using the same username and password but also about service providers to accept what the identity provider explains about a user.

Why you need SSO?

Single sign-on is a package that comes with many benefits. As stated, a user can get the permission to access all the resources that are linked to the same identity provider that means using single ID credentials for multiple resources. In this, you need to log on to one of the applications and you will be automatically logged in to other resources as well without entering your username and password again.

The solution makes password management simpler for IT administrators. Suppose an employee is going to leave the organization and he/she has many credentials that the IT team has to decommission access. If authentication to that resources is set with the same identity provider using SSO then IT administrator only needs to decommission employee’s identity provider’s account, not all the accounts independently.  Without identity provider account, the employee is can no longer login to websites that are linked with that identity provider.

From a business point of view, the solution is very helpful in driving safe and reliable first-party users data. The success in business depends on how well it knows about its users and customers. So, this first-party data will help businesses in making strategies that benefits customers.

But every coin has two faces. There are countless benefits of single sign-on yet there are some disadvantages associated with it. One of the disadvantages of SSO is that if identity provider’s account is hacked then the hacker can access all the linked applications and services. IT researches are trying their best to fix this issue and I hope soon they will come with an alternative.

Therefore, if you wish to offer easy web authentication, keep users credentials secure and great user experience then do not hesitate in implementing a single sign-on solution. It definitely helps you in generating leads, sales and most importantly boosting profit.

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