Single sign-on (SSO) authentication isn’t new, but it’s only recently gaining momentum as the best practice for organizations across small-to-medium businesses and the enterprise. And that’s no surprise when you’re looking at the increasingly advanced and overwhelmingly present security threats. More intelligent phishing attempts are increasing, ransomware strategies are evolving and newer threats like crypto-jacking, cyber-physical attacks and IoT attacks all coming sharply into focus.
These threats continue to jeopardize businesses in the digital age when data is the highest form of currency. Spear phishing messages connected to ransomware have an engagement rate 6x higher than marketing emails from legitimate business organizations. And according to Comparitech, downtime resulting from Ransomware costs organizations upwards of $64,000.
All the while, ransomware attacks increased by 12% just last year, costing businesses more than $8 billion in total.
SSO is just one way to start building out an IT security strategy to protect your organization. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is Single Sign-On?
SSO is a technology that lets users—both on the internet and specific members of business organizations—access all their tools online via a single username and password without ever compromising security.
Now that we’ve covered what it does, here’s why SSO is on the rise:
1. SSO boosts security.
There’s an all too common misnomer that because SSO only uses one username and password for validation that it’s a less secure option versus separate credentials across applications. The important takeaway is that SSO technology makes it more challenging for a hacker to gain access to any of the associated accounts. So users can have one name, one password and an extra layer of security.
2. Single sign-on increases user satisfaction.
Whether it’s being configured for your team members or your clients—SSO can dramatically increase user satisfaction. Many users expect SSO—they may already use single sign-on authentication on their smartphones and home devices. As a service it’s something customers expect from a technology company—not to mention they appreciate not having to commit multiple passwords and usernames to memory.
3. SSO reduces IT requests.
Your IT department will thank you. Implementing SSO will automatically reduce the number of calls, emails and help desk tickets they receive with login issues and password reset requests. Because password fatigue is real—users have so many accounts that it’s easy to forgot credentials.
4. One sign on increases productivity.
So, how tough is it to log into an internet application? Think about increasingly stricter password requirements and frequent required password changes every 60-90 days. When you access multiple applications daily—with some passwords changing regularly and some remaining intact—it’s easy and basically inevitable to run into challenges. Even worse, after a couple failed attempted logins already frustrated users can be locked out of their accounts—sometimes outside of support hours—putting off priorities until they can regain access.
5. SSO increases user compliance.
Your users are more likely to apply secure practices when fewer logins are required. None of us enjoy complicated process, right? Exactly, simplicity and security go together. Using SSO, additional layers of security including two-factor authentication or stricter password requirements are easier to enforce.
Learn what SSO can do for your organization.
Ready to see how single sign-on can drive positive outcomes across your company? MicroAge can help. Contact your Account Executive, call or email our Solutions desk to get started!