Let’s be honest—single sign-on (SSO) authentication has been around for quite some time. That said, only in recent years has the technology started to gain much traction. The good news, though? While it took a good while to catch on, SSO is now a hot commodity for businesses.
Let’s back up for a minute, though—before getting too far ahead of ourselves, what exactly is SSO? Basically, SSO is a relatively new technology that allows both general Internet users and business employees to access a host of Internet tools with a single username and password.
For example, how hard is it to remember one username and password, let alone 10 to 15 of them? As a rookie workaround, many simply use the same username and password, no matter the application they’re using—needless to say, this is great for memorization, but horrible for safety.
No worries, though—this is where SSO technology comes back into focus, granting people the ability to use a single username and password set, while not compromising personal security. There’s a reason Google, Facebook and PayPal use SSO technology—it works like a champ.
And you know it does—when you use your Gmail account to also access Google+, YouTube and Blogger, you’re using SSO to your advantage. Furthermore, when Medium requests that you use your Twitter login to create an account, yet again, you’re the beneficiary of SSO technology.
But enough about big-name Internet brands and individual users—how do smaller, up-and-coming businesses stand to benefit from all that SSO has to offer? Easy—below, you’ll find four reasons all online businesses should start using SSO authentication as soon as possible:
1) SSO Strengthens Security
There’s this idea that, seeing as how SSO calls for a single username and password, it’s a less secure option for Internet users. In the minds of those who subscribe to this mentality, should a hacker discover a person’s login information, access to multiple platforms would be granted.
This makes sense. The important, though commonly forgotten portion of this argument, however, is that SSO technology makes it much harder for a hacker to accomplish such a feat. SSO allows users to have their cake and eat it, too—one username and password with enhanced security.
Additionally, according to Steven Tran of Avatier, higher-end SSO solutions provide “Biometric authentication with facial recognition, voice detection and fingerprint identification.” While this is hardly something a casual Internet user would consider, for businesses, it’s a viable option.
2) SSO Improves Productivity
Seriously, how hard is it to log into an Internet application? Well, harder than you’d think. At businesses with strict password requirements, employees are asked to use long, highly complex passwords to access important, Internet-based tools—this can quickly become a nightmare.
You know the routine—at the office, you’ve got an important task to complete, and little time to do it. While logging into a program, you’re asked to enter your password. After pouring over your list of passwords, you continually enter the wrong information—we’ve all been there.
Making matters worse, after two or three mishaps, you’re momentarily booted from the system. You might try the help desk for some timely assistance, but if they’re busy, you’re fresh out of luck. This entire dilemma? It’s commonplace. Thanks to SSO, though, it’s no longer necessary.
3) SSO Tightens B2B Collaboration
Bet you didn’t expect to see this one on this list, right? Think about it, though—in a roundabout way, SSO plays a key role in bringing about B2B collaboration. Things like phones, computers and cars are all items built through a collaborative effort between partnering enterprises.
In this kind of working environment, the name of the game is “Interoperability.” Because of this, the sharing of data, digital tools and interactive programs through extranets is key to building a more measurable output and consumer confidence—time is of the essence; SSO is key.
4) SSO Drives Down Help Desk Costs
Yup, you guessed it—this final point has a great deal to do with the second item presented on this list. Those help desks of which were previously made mention—do you know how frequently their internal inquiries have to do with password problems? Shockingly, 50 percent of them.
That’s right—research conducted by Gartner estimated that upwards of 50 percent of all internal help desk calls deal with problematic passwords. Equally as impressive, a Forrester study found that—depending on a company’s rate of support—password resets can cost nearly $70 per fix.
Hold the phone, though—the madness is about to increase. In an effort to build out a more secure platform, larger, more established companies often implement longer, more complex passwords to counter cyber-hacking efforts. Unbeknownst to them, they add to the problem.
Is SSO the end-all of online security measures? Of course not. Still, for the time being, if your intent is to strengthen security, improve productivity, tighten B2B collaboration and drive down help desk costs at the corporate level, SSO is a timely and effective solution to a sizable issue.
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