In an era where multiple interconnected applications and devices continuously surround us, authentication is swiftly becoming the cornerstone of cybersecurity.
Admit it: We have to go through a series of authentication and authorization processes to prove our identities on any platform before we can access resources or request a service. Whether we talk about booking a hotel online or shopping for our favorite stuff, we can’t bypass authentication.
However, when we see things from a vendor’s perspective, adding multiple layers of authentication for security reasons doesn’t work for today’s users.
Users already interact with established brands like Amazon, Apple and Google. Hence, they’re familiar with a secure and seamless experience. And that is what they expect from every platform they interact with.
On the other hand, asking your customer to reauthenticate, even if they switch interconnected apps or platforms, hampers their overall experience and leads to password fatigue.
So, how do vendors create a seamless experience and reinforce authentication security by avoiding password fatigue? Single sign-on (SSO) comes to the rescue!
Single sign-on ensures users need not re-authenticate on multiple interconnected or individual platforms and offers a flawless experience.
Let’s understand how SSO paves the way for a smooth authentication experience that improves overall business performance.
When discussing authentication, a typical user juggles multiple accounts requiring unique credentials. Also, remembering various passwords increases when the number of accounts increases.
What’s worrisome is that users often prefer simple passwords or the same passwords for multiple accounts, jeopardizing their identity security since most users don’t wish to use complex passwords. This leads to password fatigue and compromised safety.
Enter SSO; a one-stop solution to password fatigue
SSO can be a game-changer in streamlining the user authentication experience since it offers a compelling alternative to the traditional username and password authentication method.
With SSO, users need to authenticate once and they can stay established for multiple authentications.
Here’s a real-life example. Suppose you’re in a shopping mall and you’re asked to register at each store before making a purchase. And then you have to prove who you are to make a purchase. Isn’t that annoying?
Unfortunately, this is what every online user faces when browsing multiple websites or interconnected applications; they have to log in and authenticate every time.
Whether we talk about signing into your email, social media or corporate platform, SSO simplifies the overall process by centralizing authentication.
Till now, we’ve learned about SSO and why it’s crucial for removing the hurdles of password fatigue. Let’s understand why every business must leverage the true potential of single sign-on.
When we talk about a good user experience, we’re not just talking about how a customer interacts with the platform. Rather, we’re talking about usability, accessibility, inclusivity and simplicity.
With SSO, users initially don’t need to remember complex passwords for multiple interconnected platforms, apps or websites. Hence, it builds trust in customers and potential customers.
With SSO, users no longer need to remember passwords for multiple accounts. Thus, the risks associated with password compromise are reduced significantly.
Apart from this, SSO coupled with multifactor authentication (MFA) helps reinforce security so that even if one layer of protection is compromised, another stringent layer of security safeguards customer identities.
Some modern identity solutions also offer SSO with adaptive authentication. Adaptive authentication improves security up to a great level. It automatically senses high-risk situations and an unusual login attempt and then adds more layers of authentication.
For instance, if a customer’s credentials are compromised. Later, if a one-time password (OTP) is acquired by any means, its account could be exploited. However, adaptive authentication adds another layer of verification whenever a new device, location, or login pattern is detected. And hence reinforcing overall authentication security.
Shadow IT is perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of the cybersecurity landscape. Shadow IT refers to the unauthorized or restricted downloads of the resources in the workplace.
These downloads may contain malware and impact the entire organization, leading to financial and reputational losses in the long run.
To solve the issues about shadow IT, CISOs and IT heads could leverage the true potential of SSO. Single sign-on systems allow users to monitor every download, which gives real-time analyses of any security risk for the organization.
As the global threat landscape evolves, various countries/states rework compliance requirements, making them more stringent. SSO could be a good option for organizations serving citizens of different countries/states.
Apart from the security and user experience benefits, organizations can reap the benefits of meeting the compliance and regulatory requirements for various countries/states.
Whether it’s the EU’s GDPR or California’s CCPA, SSO implementation can benefit in meeting the compliance requirements regarding customer identity security, privacy management, and data protection during storage, transit, and management.
Organizations leveraging SSO have to face fewer challenges when compared to enterprises relying on contemporary password-based login.
Users who rely on passwords for several accounts will likely forget their credentials. And thus require IT support to reset their passwords.
Also, with SSO in place, businesses can reduce the chances of data breaches through attacks like ransomware that are intended for financial gain.
Whether it’s reduced help desk calls to reset passwords or ransomware attacks, SSO integration helps you reduce your overall costs.
The future of authentication undeniably lies in innovative solutions. Single sign-on remains a fundamental building block that alleviates password fatigue and enhances security.
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