Ease the Pain of Passwords with Single Sign On
Although we live in an age that is at the height of technology, there are still a few pain points most of us face on a regular basis that we’d rather do without. Sometimes, these things are just minor grievances. They may even be worth chuckling at in spite of ourselves. Other times, these pain points could become serious problems.
Using passwords is a good example of this. The importance of a password and the security it provides is not going anywhere. However, they can come with a level of inconvenience that actually makes them fairly dangerous as far as cybersecurity goes. Let’s explore why and what can be done about this.
When Passwords Become Unpleasant
Chances are, for most of your life, you really only needed one password. Throughout high school and possibly through most of college, you only needed one to get into your private email. Maybe another one got added in college, three at most. For the majority of our lives, though, passwords seemed like a simple, yet powerful way for keeping outsiders far from our private information.
Nowadays, though, it’s almost laughable to think we ever made it with just a single password. We have one for our private email and one for our company email. There’s a password for every social media platform we use—which could easily be half a dozen—and there is going to be one for each device we rely on to make it through the day.
When Inconvenience Becomes Dangerous
With all those sites, it is no surprise that people tend to recycle their password across the internet, which causes a huge threat to the cyber-security of any organization. All a malicious party needs is just one password. Even if it’s the password for the lowest employee on the corporate ladder, an experienced hacker will know how to leverage that until they get access to every corner of the company’s digital landscape.
Sadly, it may not even take them a lot of work to accomplish this goal. As we elaborated on above, using passwords can be fairly inconvenient to say the least. A new employee may stick to the rules for choosing one, not writing any of them down, etc. but eventually, they’ll most likely break.
This is what the savvy hacker is waiting on. The low-hanging fruit of the hacker world is using a phishing scam to trick an employee into handing over their password. If that password is the same one the employee used for multiple systems, game over.
Lousy passwords leave your company vulnerable a number of other ways too. Even if you eliminate the threat of phishing scams, hackers can find their way to that one weak password and it will definitely be worth their time.
SSO: The Solution to Password Pain
The good news is that you don’t have to lose much sleep over this problem. You also don’t need to create more rules or send out more memos reminding your employees of what the rules are regarding passwords. Instead, just start using SSO.
Single sign-on is exactly what it sounds like. Imagine if you could go back to a time when one password was all it took. What if one password was enough to gain all the functionality you currently desire from countless different systems?
What if you could provide each and every one of your employees with this same type of functionality, without having to worry that doing so put your company’s cybersecurity squarely in the crosshairs of a hacker?
The Basics of SSO
As we mentioned above, SSO are pretty simple. Imagine a car lot. Each vehicle has its own unique key, but workers don’t walk around with all of them jingling from their belt loops. That would be uncomfortable, inconvenient and, eventually, ineffective.Instead, workers have one key they use to open a box where all the other keys are kept. SSO essentially gives you that one single box that, in turn, gives you access to all your applications.
This type of software has actually been around for quite some time, though most people associate it with Web 2.0. It’s just that the ever-increasing number of sign-ins most companies have to deal with has finally made Web 2.0 a no-brainer.
SSO Increases a Company’s Effectiveness
If you had to sacrifice some functionality and/or effectiveness in order to use SSO, it probably wouldn’t be worth it. The good news, then, is that SSO doesn’t ask you to do this. In fact, it will produce just the opposite result.
We’ve covered that SSO makes for better security and we’ve talked about why.
However, think about how much time your employees will save by using one of these platforms.
Talk to your IT people and you’ll probably find that a lot of their resources go to helpdesk operations, working tickets for people who need their passwords reset. That’s not just a strain on them, though; any employee who needs a reset can’t fulfill their obligations until that process is carried out.
Of course, sometimes, your IT team doesn’t even have the power to reset a password. An employee could wait days, maybe even weeks before they finally regain their access to a central platform essential to their job.
Even if all goes well, though, constantly jumping from one title to another can be unnecessarily time-consuming for your employees when it demands that they punch in another lengthy password. Over time, this constant operation can really add up in terms of time and, as you probably know, that equals wasted money.
Also, don’t forget about the time that employees will need to spend on resetting their password. Usually, most platforms will prompt a worker to reset their password every month or so. To do this, they’ll need to take a lot of time coming up with an idea that will satisfy security demands and be easy to remember.
If they have SSO, the need to remember is no longer necessary. They can pick the most complicated option that comes to mind—and, thus, one that will be nearly impossible to crack—and get right back to work.
Using passwords the old fashioned way is definitely inconvenient, to say the least. At worst, this approach is how companies get compromised. With SSO, your organization can enjoy the utmost in security and optimize the time their employees are clocked in.