What is SSO? | How single sign-on works

What is SSO? | How single sign-on works

What is SSO? | How single sign-on works

As businesses grow and adopt new technology, managing user identities and accessing applications, services, and data becomes increasingly complex. Managing numerous login credentials can be time-consuming and create security risks. That’s where Single sign-on (SSO) comes into play. Many companies are implementing sso solutions to simplify their employees’ access to multiple applications and systems while enhancing security.

What is SSO?

Single sign-on (SSO) is a technology that allows users to authenticate themselves only once and gain access to multiple applications, systems, and services without signing in to each one separately. It aims to simplify the authentication process, reduce the number of credentials users must remember, and improve the user experience.

How does Single Sign-On work?

In traditional authentication systems, users must provide their credentials (username and password) for each application, service, or system they want to access. In contrast, it allows users to sign in once and access all necessary resources without re-entering their credentials. Here’s how it works:

SSO comprises three primary components:

  • Identity Provider (IDP): The IDP is a centralized service that authenticates and verifies user identity. The gatekeeper authorizes resource access based on the user’s identity. The IDP stores the user’s identity information and credentials securely.
  • Service Provider (SP): The SP is a system or application the user wants to access. The SP relies on the IDP to authenticate the user and authorize access to the resource.
  • User: The user is the person who wants to access the resource.

When a user tries to access an application, system, or service, the following steps occur:

Step 1: The user attempts to access an application, service, or system that requires authentication.

Step 2: The application redirects the user to the IDP’s login page.

Step 3: The user provides their credentials (username and password) to the IDP.

Step 4: The IDP authenticates the user’s identity and creates a session token.

Step 5: The IDP sends the session token to the user’s browser.

Step 6: The user’s browser sends the session token to the SP.

Step 7: The SP verifies the session token with the IDP.

Step 8: The SP grants access to the user based on the session token.

Once the user is authenticated, they can access all the resources authorized for their identity without signing in again. SSO ensures that the user’s identity is verified only once, reducing the risk of phishing and other attacks that target login credentials.

Advantages of Single Sign-On

  • Improved User Experience: sso solutions simplifies the login process and improves the user experience. Users only have to remember one set of credentials, making it easier and faster to access resources.
  • Increased Productivity: With SSO, users can access all the resources they need quickly and easily without wasting time logging in to multiple systems.
  • Enhanced Security: It improves security by reducing the number of login credentials that users must remember, decreasing the risk of password reuse, and simplifying the authentication process, reducing the risk of phishing attacks.
  • Cost-Effective: It can reduce the cost of managing user identities. It eliminates the need for multiple accounts, reducing the number of support requests related to password reset and account management.
  • Compliance: It can help businesses comply with regulatory requirements by strictly controlling access to sensitive data and resources.

Single sign-on is a powerful technology that simplifies authentication, improves security, and enhances user experience. With SSO, users can access all the resources they need quickly and easily, while businesses can reduce the cost of managing user identities and comply with regulatory requirements. SSO is becoming increasingly popular among businesses, as it can improve productivity and reduce security risks.