Why is Single Sign On (SSO) important? And the top 3 misconceptions, why you don't need Single Sign On!

Why is Single Sign On (SSO) important? And the top 3 misconceptions, why you don’t need Single Sign On!

The functionality of Single Sign On, or logging in once and staying logged in, can be implemented very easily today via standards such as OAuth2.0 and OpenID Connect. But there are still few companies that doubt the advantages of Single Sign On for customers, partners, or their own employees. This is also due to the reason that the importance of Single Sign On and its advantages are not always recognized, although this is a fundamental feature of modern Identity & Access Management.

Therefore, we would like to address two questions in this blog:

  • Why is Single Sign On (SSO) underestimated?
  • What are the added values of Single Sign On (SSO)?

Why is Single Sign On (SSO) underestimated?

For this, we first analyze the arguments most frequently put forward in recent years as to why Single Sign On (SSO) is not necessary and subsequently describe the respective impacts.

By far the most common argument is the low cost-benefit ratio, or as we like to call it at cidaas, the “password-remember-misjudgment”. In principle, this argument can be easily summarized: the added value for users to remember only one password and to log in only once and then stay logged in instead of logging in to different applications with different passwords, is not considered to be particularly high and does not justify the costs for a Single Sign On system or an Identity & Access Management solution. It is often said that with only 3-4 applications, colleagues can also remember the passwords or “then the customer needs two different passwords for the website and the shop system, not an issue”.

What is ignored in this line of argument are the hidden costs that are saved with Single Sign On. How often does it happen, for example, that users forget the correct password for this application when they have different passwords and need to have a new one issued or even lock themselves out due to too many incorrect entries? In companies, applications are usually set up in such a way that regular logins are necessary after a period of inactivity. Different user accounts also lead to security problems because access data is stored on the desk, on notes, for example, or it is almost impossible to implement consistent multi-factor authentication on all applications.

Taking a look at the customers, it is in the meantime difficult to convey that they have to register with the same company several times. The hurdle of registering again is resulting in a loss of potential.

After the “password-memory-misjudgment” comes the “size-paradox”.

The “size-paradox” describes the fact that many companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, consider a Single Sign On solution “too big” or “too extensive” or their own company “too small” to introduce a Single Sign On or Identity & Access Management.

A few years ago, this was an understandable argument because the traditional identity management systems are cumbersome, expensive, and complicated to integrate. However, the world has moved on. If you look at a modern cloud identity & access management solution, such as cidaas, they are easy to integrate due to the standards, OAuth2.0 and OpenID Connect or even SAML 2.0, among others; and the costs are transparent and scalable for every company size. This means, for example, that in the field of workforce identity management, i.e., Single Sign On for employees, the price is based on the number of users; in the customer environment, so customer identity & access management, further quotas, such as the applications to be integrated, are considered, so that the price scales with the added value. Thus, in the age of the cloud, high costs for software licenses and the operation of solutions are a thing of the past.

To complete the top 3 misconceptions about Single Sign On, there is still the “Luser Fear” or the fear of the “most stupid user”. This misconception underestimates the capabilities of the users. Sentences like “this is too complicated for our staff” or our “users/customers don’t understand this” often come up. But modern Identity & Access Management with intuitive functions and processes is more understandable for users than the situation that prevails today. The users are familiar with Single Sign On from the large e-commerce platforms, streaming services or social networks and appreciate the added value of modern identity & access management functions such as Single Sign On.

Illustration of Single Sign On with the Cloud Identity & Access Management cidaas in Workforce and Customer Identity Management

What are the added values of Single Sign On (SSO)?

Now that we had a look at the top 3 misconceptions, let’s focus on the added value we can create with Single Sign On (SSO).

The most important argument in favour of Single Sign-On is that it forms the basis of uniform identity and access management, both for your own employees and for customers. There are many advantages to this, let’s take a look at Single Sign-On in Workforce Identity Management.

  • The onboarding and offboarding of employees are considerably easier and also more secure, the removal of employees who have left is now possible with a single identity across all channels with one click
  • Access to the various applications becomes more convenient and faster, which takes pressure and unnecessary strain off the staff
  • Important functions relating to identity management can be used easily and are often already available in modern cloud identity & access management solutions
    • For example, multi-factor authentication, with which access to certain applications can be better secured or authentication for admins is made more secure.
    • Or consistent and uniform identity-related processes such as resetting the password or changing master data, e.g., for a new address.

If we look at the customer’s point of view, there are similar advantages:

  • The hurdle for the customer to use different applications is reduced, as only one registration is necessary for all applications
  • The increased comfort ensures a better customer experience, which has a positive impact on the business relationship
  • And new functions can be utilised and integrated quickly and easily
    • Self-management of own data by the customer himself for all applications
    • Convenient new authentication methods, such as passwordless authentication with a modern Cloud Identity & Access Management like cidaas
    • A comprehensive consent management system to track consents to terms and conditions, data privacy statement and more
    • Optionally a multi-factor to improve security

The list of added values and advantages of Single Sign-On and Identity & Access Management can be continued almost indefinitely. However, the aim of the blog was to highlight the importance of Single Sign-On and to clear up the biggest misconceptions, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises.

We would be happy to show you how cidaas as the leading European Cloud Identity & Access Management can best be used in your company, whether for customers, partners, or employees.

More about Single Sign On with cidaas: Link to SSO Feature Page

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