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Improve User Experience with Single Sign-On

Vikas Agrawal | Aug 11, 2017 32 views No Comments

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Businesses that manage hundreds to millions of user logins are most vulnerable to the dark forces of the web. Take Yahoo, for example, which lost more than 1 billion accounts in 2013. These businesses cannot afford such a thing to happen in 2017. So, what if they allowed a trusted party to verify those logins instead?

Think of Facebook’s single sign-on system for its partner sites and services. It is quick to see why it benefits end users. They just have to log in via their Facebook account instead of coming up with another set of credentials. Businesses also win here, as they are no longer weighed down by database maintenance. And as far as security measures are concerned, Facebook is still impenetrable.



Of course, there are many other SSO implementations out there. Most of them offer similar benefits to both businesses and end users. Get acquainted with four major benefits below.

Simple and fast rollout

The SSO story of Berklee College of Music, the world’s largest independent contemporary music college based in Boston, serves as a good example. Its network of faculty, staff, students, and alumni can now login via a single portal. Aside from access to the main website, users can explore options such as musical transcripts for students and career manager for alumni.

A solution should have an infrastructure that is easy to execute. Fortunately for Berklee, its decision makers chose one that allows for simple navigation and rapid rollout of projects. One significant result of this choice is a stronger, tighter-knit college and community.

Unified tech tools

Collaboration is one important factor that can affect UX. Internal teams need tight coordination to deliver the best possible solution to customers. Collaboration involves a lot of planning and communicating, so team members are required to use a slew of tech tools. Businesses cannot buy all the tools from one vendor, and that poses a problem, particularly regarding integration. Employees still need to go from one place to another — even virtually — to do work.

SSO brings a satisfying front-end solution to all that. It is a key that can open many doors. Users need only enter one set of login credentials. Then they are able to access different programs and applications without going through the hassle of activating each.

Transparency

Web and mobile applications, in particular, ask permission to access user data such as photos, videos, and contacts prior to download and installation. This process allows users to make risk-based decisions. With a delegated SSO system, they will be able to get and respond to the alerts faster. They can opt out of a specific application should they find it high risk.

Reduced operating costs

Some SSO providers offer an app usage analytics feature. In this case, users receive an accurate report of how much time and money they are spending on particular programs. Whether it is discarding an app from their arsenal or adding to it, they can make decisions based on data. The results also affect them economically. Avatier reports in an article that users can save up to 30% on software-as-a-service costs through this SSO feature.

As with any kind of technology, there are also certain risks attached to SSO implementation. Those related to safety and security are topmost concerns.

Mitigating risks

Accessing multiple resources with one ID and password has one practical effect: no need to remember a dozen or more combination. But it also has one potential major downside. If the set of login credentials is leaked or cracked, the situation makes data vulnerable to abuse by the attackers. While hackers get more sophisticated with their schemes, a simple social engineering ploy can make security breach possible.

Thus, it is important to mitigate security risks. During SSO implementation, the IT team should set up processes such as multifactor authentication and automated password reset. Users should be trained regarding the importance of protecting their identity, privacy, and data.

Monitoring events

Part of the appeal of single sign-on is the ease by which it can be monitored. Event logs will include login failures. The tech team should have set up a prompt in case something out of the ordinary happens. Solidifying the monitoring strategy will help secure and maintain the integrity of the SSO system.

 

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