Why SSO is Relevant
By Megha Patel
September 17, 2021
If you have more than a few passwords, then I’m sure you have had to click that “Forgot Password?” message recently. And, unfortunately, you probably had to go through all your email accounts to locate the one linked for this specific platform, scan through your spam, and log back into your account with a new password you might forget once again. Single sign-ons (SSOs) aim to limit this password fatigue by providing an efficient alternative: users can log into one application and are able to sign into other applications automatically. For instance, if you log into Gmail, other services might be automatically authenticated, like YouTube and Google Drive. More importantly, SSOs are not only convenient but also prioritize clear password authentication, which can prevent spoofing along with other cybersecurity threats.
How to Break It Down
There are several different ways to break down SSO uses. Here are three main categories with which to approach different uses of SSO: local sessions (sustained by the application), identity provider sessions (users must choose to login through an identity provider like Facebook or Snapchat), or an authorization server session (SSO must be enabled beforehand).
Companies should also consider two different approaches when implementing SSO: inbound SSO and outbound SSO. Inbound SSO uses a provider, like Auth0 or humanID, such that when a user logs in, the application allows users to view external identity providers (Google, Facebook, etc.). The user can then select an identity provider and authenticate his/her identity to return to the application. In outbound SSO, the third-party identity provider is the SSO provider. When a user logs in, the application would redirect the user to an identity provider (Instagram or Snapchat) while the third-party identity provider authenticates the user, allowing him/her to return to the application.
App SSO. SSO can facilitate transactions between apps like Venmo or Zelle and a bank service. If SSO is implemented, then you can log into one app and open the second app automatically, without having to sign in again. By sharing the same identity service, tracking and executing financial transactions is made much simpler.
Desktop-Based SSO. Also known as enterprise SSO, this approach requires a local installation on a specific server or computer. Businesses can administer this approach on a company computer so that new employees only need to sign in once to authenticate their access to other platforms via this computer. This approach can protect sensitive company data and limit access while employing an efficient authentication method. The only downside is that an administrator must install and maintain the SSO software on each desktop.
Web-Based SSO. This approach is used for cloud-based software that is accessed through web servers. A very common example of this is logging into Gmail on any device and being able to access other google-authenticated platforms.
Professional. Many businesses implement SSO to allow other business partners and employees to easily authenticate themselves while restricting access to specific data. By partnering up with humanID, Okta, or other organizations, businesses can truly protect the privacy of their data through an efficient password authentication method. However, it is important to research potential vulnerabilities and complications associated with different providers.
Personal. Users can also choose to implement SSO well through extensions offered on specific devices, such as Apple Macbooks or desktops. These SSO applications and systems aim to improve password authentication while improving the execution of password management.
In order to save time and protect your personal information, it is crucial to consider implementing SSO authentication services. humanID provides a secure, convenient SSO login experience that aims to protect the security of businesses as well as individuals. Prioritizing the safety of our users, we hope to give everyone an efficient and safe password authentication method.