By Zach DeMeyer Posted September 24, 2019
Single sign-on has become a critical part of the average IT stack in the modern landscape. As such, the market is flooded with vendors, each proffering their single sign-on tool as the top. With many options available on the market for Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), aka single sign-on (SSO) tools, deciding which one is the top for an organization can be a daunting task. To help with your decision, we’ve analyzed and identified the characteristics of the top single sign-on solutions of 2019 and created a guide to help you with your search.
The concept of a single sign-on solution came about due a major need in the identity management space: propagating on-prem identities to the cloud. The traditional identity management tool of choice for IT admins, Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), has struggled extending its identities to applications that are housed in the cloud. In spite of this, web-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-delivered applications have continued to make waves in the workplace, revolutionizing how modern work is done.
As a result, IT admins with AD-backed organizations needed a tool that could take their on-prem identities and propagate them to cloud applications. Enter single sign-on.
A Growing Market
Vendors sprung at the opportunity, rising to meet the need of an increasingly SaaS-forward landscape with Identity-as-a-Service solutions. While the IDaaS scene was small at first, it has exploded over the last several years. The influx of SSO solutions brings benefits both admins and end users alike. SSO has greatly simplified the login process, and beyond that, helps IT admins maintain their AD instances in light of cloud innovations. Of course, with such a flourishing SSO market, IT admins now need to choose their top SSO solution.
Characteristics of the Top SSO Solutions
Let’s take a high-level look at the prominent features of the top SSO solutions of the year in regards to how it will function for your organization’s needs. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” as they say, so what truly matters is that you evaluate available solutions fully to find the option works best for your organization. A critical step in this evaluation is to look hard internally and document your requirements and needs.
The first consideration when finding the top SSO solution is the state of your current infrastructure. Do you have an existing identity provider (IdP) like Active Directory or no IdP at all? There are solutions that offer both directory-level identity management as well as SSO. If you already have identity management in the form of AD, your best bet may be an SSO solution to extend its on-prem identities to the cloud. On the other hand, many IT organizations are using the need for single sign-on to migrate away from AD to a cloud identity management platform.
Beyond your directory service, you also need to consider what your SSO identities to extend to. Does your organization use a number of cloud apps and IaaS tools? Are you mostly on-prem? Are you application-centric, or more concerned about your systems first? Ensuring that any IDaaS solutions covers the majority of your applications is, of course, an important requirement. All of these are excellent questions to keep in mind when considering SSO.
The third major consideration is the security of your identities. Most SSO solutions will go to great lengths to ensure the security of the identities they leverage, but some have more security features than others. You’ll also want to talk to their security team or get more information about their security practices and history.
One popular security feature is multi-factor authentication (MFA). Using MFA is an excellent way to prevent identity compromise. Some SSO solutions offer MFA as an add-on service, while others have it as a standard feature. Your budgetary and time constraints will dictate whether you should go for the former or the latter.
For most IT organizations, a single sign-on solution can be a critical aid to increasing productivity and security. But, every organization is unique and these three key requirements may be just a few of the many that an IT organization may want to consider when thinking about the best SSO solution for their organization.
If you are looking for additional information regarding the features of top SSO products, please contact us. As experts in the SSO/identity management space, we’d be happy to help find the top SSO solutions for your organization.