How Does Single Sign-on Work?

Rohan Mathew

What is single sign-on, and why have you been hearing so much about it? Have you been wondering how it works but you’re not sure how to ask?

We get it. It’s easy to feel behind the times when something unfamiliar pops up, but we want to help you understand so you’re in the loop. 

Keep reading to learn all about single sign-on (or SSO, for short) so you can keep up!

What Is Single Sign-On?

Single sign-on is a kind of technology that groups together several sign-in screens on applications or websites into one main screen. 

This means that people only need to sign in once rather than signing in for every application that they want to access. This allows people to not search through every password that they own to find the right one for each site.

They authenticate themselves once and are free to roam through all of the applications in that area. 

How Does It Work?

SSOs work with other systems to form trust relationships with service providers. In this case, the single sign-on program is considered an identity provider. 

The user will go to a website that they want to access with the SSO. That website (or in this case, service provider) will “contact” the identity provider to authenticate the user. They’ll use some form of identification information like the email address or name. This information consists of “tokens”. 

The identity provider then needs to authenticate the information, letting the service provider know that the person trying to access the website or application is who they say they are. 

This all happens in moments, and when it’s complete, the user is able to access the application. If they haven’t logged in yet, they’ll be prompted to do so. If they have logged in at least once, they will be able to access the information. 

Why Should We Use It? 

Some people worry about SSO due to potential security risks. After all, if all of the information is accessible via one password, isn’t it less safe? 

In reality, having one password allows people or businesses to create more complicated passwords as they don’t have several to remember.

Enterprise password management systems encourage the use of SSOs for password security and safety. 

While having only one password can be risky, these systems can allow you to use an automatic password change so that if that single password is hacked, a cybercriminal won’t be able to access your sensitive information. 

Your business can also use SSO to increase productivity and cut down on wasted time. SSO means that there’s less time devoted to password recovery and that users won’t be weaving in and out of different locked websites, stopping to re-enter passwords and usernames every time. 

So, for safety from cybercriminals and enhanced productivity, SSO can be useful. 

Single Sign-On: How Will You Use It?

Single sign-on can be complicated, but it’s a great way to keep your business or accounts secure without having to remember dozens of passwords. 

You can rest assured that your privacy is protected despite the single-password system, and you’ll never run the risk of forgetting your password again. 

For more answers to your burning questions, visit the rest of our site.