Outsourced Single Sign-On

Written by Rajat Bhargava on December 24, 2015

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Single Sign-On (SSO) is one of the hottest categories in the Identity and Access Management (IAM) space. The benefits of SSO to users are significant, because they can access whatever IT resources they need to access in the easiest manner possible. No longer do users need to remember a multitude of different logins and passwords. Or, worse, opt for security shortcuts and use the same password across many different services. Thanks to SSO, users can access the IT resources they need without unknowingly putting a company at risk.

The Origin of SSO: On-Premise Microsoft Domains

Historically, Single Sign-On focused solely on web applications, and that was, until recently, a problem. However, there is a new generation of Directory-as-a-Service platforms that are outsourcing True Single Sign-on™ that goes beyond web applications and includes systems and networks, too.

Unbeknownst to many, the concept of Single Sign-On dates back many years. The earliest implementations of SSO focused on single credentials to grant a user access to his or her desktop computer. Users would simply log in to the domain through a single login to their machine. Those credentials then gave them access to just about everything on the network, including shared services, applications, and the wired network. Of course, this approach to SSO only worked for Microsoft-centric, on-premises networks.

Fast forward a decade, and fewer networks are exclusively Windows. Mac and Linux devices have made significant inroads. In fact, when you add in mobile devices and tablets, only 1 out of 5 devices in an organization is a Windows device. In addition to the shift in systems, a company’s data center is also moving to the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Compute Engine have eliminated the need for on-premises equipment. When web applications burst onto the scene in the early 2000s, they really took off when Google Apps offered productivity infrastructure in the cloud. These innovative changes have caused a dramatic shift in an organization’s identity management approach.

Outsourced SSO: The New Choice for Modern IT Environments

A Microsoft-centric SSO strategy no longer works. In fact, over the last decade a variety of SSO solutions have emerged that focus on web applications. That, too, is a not enough nowadays. Today’s environments are inclusive of systems, applications, and networks. Each one of these solutions leverages a different platform, protocol, and often location. The last generation of SSO solutions aren’t the choice for this generation’s IT environment. True SSO is not only outsourced as an Identity-as-a-Service platform, but it also manages access to whatever resources a user needs to access. That includes Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, and on-premise and cloud-based applications, as well as WiFi authentication. One set of credentials to access virtually all IT resources – that’s a true Single Sign-On solution.

To learn more about how you can outsource SSO to a Directory-as-a-Service solution, drop us a note. We’ll help you understand all of the IT resources that you can integrate into your SSO strategy.

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