Internet services (apps) have become a part of everyday life.
It’s become so noticeable that users have coined the phrase “There’s an App for That” to jokingly explain the phenomenon.
However, nobody is laughing when they have to install and register an app for the 100th time.
With so many accounts to manage, it’s become apparent users don’t like wasting time logging in and out of services just to function.
This is where Single Sign On came in and provided a necessary solution.
What is Single Sign On (SSO)
Single Sign On – or SSO for short – is a login process that allows users to access multiple apps with one set of credentials.
In short, one account for all related apps.
This master-account serves as an identity confirmation for services that recognize its authority.
This leads us to two common ways SSO is set up:
1. Through a secure personal account
Most, if not all popular apps (for example Spotify) require you to register a unique account to use them.
With the average consumer using around 30 unique apps each month, it’s easy to see why creating new accounts can become annoying.
So, to remove this step, app creators give you the option to sign in with other accounts from recognized services.
A direct example of this is a service allowing you to “log in” (confirm your identity) through a social media account – such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
2. Through an SSO platform
This method is more commonly found – and getting more popular – in business areas.
Regardless of if the end-user is your employee or customer, the goal is minimizing the number of unique accounts they need and passwords to remember.
The platform works by locking all apps and resources assigned to one user behind a single gateway.
Once a user logs in, the SSO gateway confirms their identity to data hidden behind it.
Single Sign On platforms help IT and HR departments easily manage accounts, distribute access, follow user activity, and more from one interface.
The benefits of using Single Sign On
The #1 benefit of using SSO is time efficiency.
Having one account saves users time from multiple logins, which increases their overall productivity.
This process may seem like a minor inconvenience to small businesses.
However, larger companies lose millions of minutes (for lack of a better term) this way every year.
Not only that, did you know the most common ticket sent to IT departments is password resets/account locks?
With that in mind, imagine how much time and money you can save on IT by minimizing the number of lost passwords and unique accounts to manage.
Some IT providers will argue SSO is risky because it creates a single point of entry.
However, this is a surface-level way of looking at things.
When you require employees (or consumers) to log in to multiple accounts all the time, they start looking for shortcuts.
For example, passwords get shorter and simpler for each new account or, even worse, users start leaving hard copies in their documents.
If you’re an IT admin, you’ve probably noticed these trends.
Employee behavior research has shown that the fewer accounts they have, the more they pay attention to security measures, such as setting up strong passwords.
To give a practical example, let’s say you’re playing a defend-the-castle type game.
If your castle has only a single point of entry, you can set up all defenses there, instead of spreading out your resources to multiple gateways.
To solidify your SSO “gateway”, accompany it with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
This creates one of the strongest account security combinations while adding just one extra step.
Before setting up SSO, it’s important to have a good Identity Management policy in place.
Single Sign On In Practice
The most common example of Single Sign On in everyday life is Google.
You probably noticed this when you downloaded a new web browser or bought an Android phone.
Once you log in to one Google service such as YouTube, you don’t need to repeat the same process to access related apps like Gmail.
Instead, Google uses a centralized account which, once logged in to one service, serves as a confirmation of identity for related apps.
The same goes for Apple products and iCloud accounts, Microsoft accounts and their software (Outlook, Office 360, OneDrive), etc.
You can adapt this convenience to your business by using an SSO management platform, such as AppsCo.
AppsCo is The Account Management Tool You Need
AppsCo is a modern IT and HR master-management tool designed with maximum security and efficiency in mind
With it, you can do everything we’ve talked about and more using just ONE app
- Create or delete accounts with ease
- Overview account usage and follow trends
- Grant or revoke user access to apps and resources
- Implement and demand additional security, such as 2FA
- Incorporate and enforce company ID policies
- Quickly identify and remove unauthorized devices
- Minimize the risk of credential theft and password fatigue
- Customize the app interface with company branding
AppsCo is completely cloud-based, meaning it can be accessed across all types of devices (mobile, tablet, computer, etc.) with internet access.