Do Small Businesses Need Single Sign On (SSO)?

By Zach DeMeyer Posted March 23, 2019

Although it may seem counter intuitive, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are, on average, targeted more than larger companies by hackers looking to attack their data. In response, many SMBs are evaluating their options surrounding identity management solutions. Many business owners and executives are asking ‘do small businesses need single sign-on (SSO) technology?’ It’s a great question, and one we will answer below.

The Identity Threat Against SMBs

The data breach has become increasingly prevalent in the modern news cycle. As cybercrime continues to rise, small businesses are seeing their effects firsthand. In general, over half of businesses targeted by hackers are SMBs. While small businesses may not have very many resources that bad actors can steal, the repercussions are grave. As many as 60% of small businesses that experienced a breach went under in less than six months. In essence, compromise can be a death knell for small businesses, no matter their growth rate or revenue.

But, why are breaches like these so rampant? Well, Verizon found that over 80% of breaches in 2017 were a result of stolen or compromised credentials. While managing passwords is a task that can be made difficult due to human error, solutions exist that can help SMB IT admins secure their users’ identities. One such solution is single sign-on (SSO) technology.

SMB Identity Management

SSOs and SMBs

SSOs haven’t always been a part of the core identity management scene. In the early days of modern IT, the directory service, usually Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), was the go-to for IT admins. Once non-Windows® systems (Mac® and Linux®) and as-a-Service cloud-based resources (software, infrastructure, and more) hit the market, AD started to struggle. So, vendors introduced SSO solutions to help bridge the gap between AD and cloud apps.

Are SSOs Enough?

Most IT organizations and MSPs have become accustomed to web application single sign-on solutions over the last decade, but for the most part these SSO solutions, or first generation IDaaS platforms, have really focused solely on web applications. In today’s IT landscape, there is a great deal more that small business owners are worried about, including their end user’s laptops/desktops, AWS® servers, file servers, WiFi, and more.

A single sign-on solution that only covers one part of the overall IT infrastructure isn’t that beneficial to small business owners. They are looking for convenience, flexibility, security, and value. Building a suite of identity management solutions to cover these needs for a small business can be prohibitive from a number of perspectives, including time, expertise, and money.

Unified Identity Management for SMBs

The good news is that there is a next generation single sign-on approach that ties together virtually all of an organization’s IT infrastructure. Unlike other SSO tools, however, this rising solution propagates identities from the user’s system on to their apps, cloud servers, networks, and more. We like to call it True Single Sign-On™; that is, with one identity, an end user can access all of their resources, regardless of their choice of provider or platform. And, since this experience is a part of a cloud directory service, it is leverageable completely from the cloud, which enables small businesses to operate anywhere.

So, Do Small Businesses Need SSO?

The short answer is no—small businesses need more than just web application SSO. Of course, it really depends on what your needs are. But, when evaluating SSO solutions (and the overall concept of True SSO), make sure to include JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. Using JumpCloud, small businesses can secure all of their user identities in a centralized, cloud-based directory service. Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) has reimagined Active Directory and single sign-on for the modern, heterogeneous IT environment.

SMB owners and IT admins alike can benefit from JumpCloud DaaS. You can learn more about the product by contacting us with your questions or scheduling a demo. The DaaS product is completely free for ten users forever, so you can also try JumpCloud for yourself. After exploring what JumpCloud can do for you, you can pay for the product as you scale.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

Recent Posts