Cybersecurity - Prevention Blog

Benefits of Using Single Sign-On and Why It’s Important for Your Business

The use of the cloud is growing with software-as-a-service making it easy for small businesses to adopt technology without managing and maintaining any infrastructure. Plus, in the ever-changing hybrid workplace, cloud apps give your team access to what they need from anywhere.   

The downside is that each additional tool adds a username and password.  Fortunately, there’s a way to simplify how your employees access the growing number of tools they need to do their job. Here’s how your organization can leverage single sign-on to connect the various apps, eliminating frustration by allowing your team to focus on getting the job done rather than dealing with log-in troubles.

Single Sign-On

What is Single Sign-on?

Single sign-on, or ‘SSO’ for short, is an authentication tool that allows users to log in to and access a trusted group of applications, websites, and data with just one set of credentials.

You may be thinking, “I thought I wasn’t supposed to re-use the same password for multiple accounts?”, and you’d be correct! It’s important to distinguish what the difference is when SSO is implemented.

Single sign-on is not re-using the same password for multiple accounts, but rather employees using one account to access everything.

How does single sign-on work? 

When you log in with a username and password, the website or application confirms who you are by checking within itself. With SSO, the website relies on a trusted partner (an SSO provider like Microsoft) to confirm your identity.

For example, Microsoft’s single sign-on service works with thousands of cloud applications so that you can log into everything with your Microsoft 365 account.

Benefits of Using Single Sign-on

Simplification is the key. That’s why single sign-on benefits both you as a business leader and your team.

Improves your IT security.

  • The risk of password theft decreases with single sign-on and good password habits. There’s only one set of credentials that employees have to manage. They are more likely to create stronger passwords and less likely to recycle the same one or write them down with less to remember.
  • Having your organization’s apps connected with one account also helps your IT team enforce security.
  • BONUS: Adding multi-factor authentication with single sign-on creates an even stronger defense against a security breach.

Increases employee productivity.

  • Your employees need to access multiple websites and applications to do their job. Single sign-on allows your team to log into the things they need seamlessly, keeping employees engaged.
  • Plus, with the growing number of applications used, dealing with password changes and resets can be time-consuming. Your organization reduces any time wasted by reducing the number of credentials used.

Common Objections to Using Single Sign-on

While SSO has many benefits, there can be a few challenges to the system as well.

  1. If someone compromises the password to the account used for single sign-on, all linked resources may also be vulnerable. Although, by adding multi-factor authentication and requiring long passphrases, you can easily reduce this risk.  Since that is the only set of credentials used to gain access to all of the applications within your organization, there has to be extra precaution when creating that password.
  2. If your single sign-on provider goes offline, so does your ability to access all connected websites and applications. Choosing a reliable SSO provider like Microsoft 365 (with an uptime of 99%) helps prevent this from being a risk that outweighs the benefit.

Streamline the log-in process with single sign-on.

As with anything else, there are a few precautions to take when implementing single sign-on. Ensuring that your SSO provider is reliable and enforcing strong passwords is key to making it easy for your team to get work done while keeping your resources secure.

Using SSO helps your employees stay efficient in their workday by simplifying the log-in process to access what they need. As a bonus, minimizing the need for multiple passwords reduces the likelihood of an error in the log-in process, adding an extra layer of security to your business.

Give us a call to talk about how your organization can make smart use of technology.