SSO (Single Sign on) is an authentication technique that allows users to authenticate multiple applications using one set of credentials. SSO technology will enable you to merge different login screens into one. It eliminates the requirement for users to login into other software systems. Single Sign on technology overcomes the challenge of maintaining multiple credentials for various applications by streamlining signing in without the need to re-entering login credentials. Most organizations leverage a Single sign on for easing the management of numerous usernames and passwords.
Eventually, users only need to enter their username and password once to access an application with SSO. These days, Single sign on is popularly used by businesses to enable IT teams, to manage their applications and software systems effectively. Furthermore, remote teams can also log in and access applications with SSO.
Let’s take an example to understand SSO better. We are automatically authenticated to Youtube, Google Analytics, and Google Apps after logging into our Gmail account. This is called Single Login. Similarly, we are automatically logged out of all these applications once we log out of our Gmail account. This is called Single Logout.
Undoubtedly, SSO offers a seamless experience to your users while accessing multiple applications and software. Users can access a full suite of applications by logging in once rather than logging separately for each application.
Whenever users visit a domain requiring authentication, they are redirected to the login domain before accessing an application. If the user is already logged into the same authentication domain, they will be redirected immediately to the original domain without signing in again.
However, SSO plays an essential role in Identity and Access Management (IAM). The verification of user identity is crucial for establishing and knowing what permissions each user should have.
How does SSO Login work?
SSO login works based on a trust relationship developed between an application (also called the service provider) and an identity provider. However, a trust relationship depends on the certificate that is exchanged between a service provider and the identity provider. Further, this certificate is used to authenticate the identity information sent from the identity provider to the service provider. In SSO, users’ identity data appears in the form of tokens consisting of bits of user information such as email addresses or usernames.
Let’s have a look at SSO Login Flow:
- A user visits a website or an application they want to access, known as a service provider
- The service provider provides a token consisting of user information like an email address or usernames to the SSO system, called identity provider, as part of their user authentication process
- The identity provider will first check if a user has already been authenticated. If yes, the process skips to step 5
- If the user is not authenticated, he will be asked to enter his login credentials like username or password needed by an identity provider
- Once an identity provider validates the provided credentials, it confirms the user authentication by sending the token back to a service provider
- The token is then sent to a service provider through the user’s browser
- The token is received by a service provider, which is validated based on the trust certificate established between an identity provider and service provider
- Finally, a user is provided with access to the service provider
What are Different Types of SSO?
- Security Access Markup Language (SAML)
- Open Authorization (OAuth)
- Open ID Connect (OIDC)
- Smart Card Authentication
Security Access Markup Language (SAML):
SAML is an authentication standard that passes the login credentials from the identity provider to the service provider. In simple words, it facilitates secure communication between multiple applications and software, enabling users to gain access with a single set of credentials.
SAML entirely changes the way users sign in to their applications. It is intended to simplify user authentication and authorization across identity providers, service providers, and users. SAML is one of the core standards of a Single sign on. It is used to facilitate safe authentication requests to end-users.
Open Authorization (OAuth):
OAuth is an open standard authorization framework for transferring user identity information between applications and software by encrypting it into machine code. This allows users to grant application access to their data in other applications without manually validating the identity. Furthermore, OAuth 2.0 provides web application authorization for desktop applications and mobile applications.
Open ID Connect (OIDC):
OIDC is a framework that sits on top of the OAuth 2.0 authorization protocol. OAuth provides authorization through access tokens. In contrast, OIDC provides authentication through a new token, called ID token. This ID token adds more structure to enable different applications to communicate, share authentication status and user information. It allows a single login session for multiple applications.
Smart Card Authentication:
Smart card authentication refers to a two-step authentication process that utilizes a smart card. Undoubtedly, smart card stores user credentials such as public key and personal identification number (PIN). These credentials authenticate the user to the smart card.
Smart cards are incredibly secure and require a PIN to function. However, they carry a risk of being lost and highly expensive to operate.
What are the benefits of investing in an LMS with SSO Integration?
One of the most effective tools of streamlining employee performance and business operations is to invest in an LMS with SSO features. This will allow your workforce to access the entire suite of applications with a single click. LMS with Single sign on benefits your organization in the following ways:
Enhanced Data Security:
LMS with SSO offers advanced data security standards to prevent malware attacks or data breaches through multi-factor authentication protocols. A single username and password minimize the risk of data breaches as employees log in only once a day. Therefore, cyber attackers do not have many opportunities to hack user information and access confidential business data. Similarly, any terminated employee’s login credentials are quickly removed from the system to block his access to every IT application.
Improved Employee Satisfaction:
Employees appreciate that they don’t have to remember and manage different login credentials for each application. Particularly when you have a vast software infrastructure. An LMS with SSO doesn’t let your employees deal with security issues and login issues that lower their job productivity and performance. This results in enhanced employee satisfaction and helps you in retaining top talent in your organization. An LMS with SSO significantly impacts your business processes, employee performance, and employee retention rates.
Seamless Learning Experience:
SSO allows your employees to switch between multiple applications and software seamlessly. As a result, their learning experience becomes smoother and consistent. Entering login credentials endlessly can break the flow of learning. An LMS with SSO ensures your learners progress through different learning modules seamlessly.
Quick Access to Application Suite:
An LMS with SSO offers your employees full access to the entire application suite with one username and password. Your employees need not worry about forgetting their login credentials and spending their valuable time recovering them. For instance, Okta lets you manage user identification information and authorization to allow your employees to access the complete application suite.
With SSO, you can access multiple applications and software platforms with a single set of login credentials. It overcomes the challenge of maintaining numerous usernames and passwords for multiple applications. Down the line, SSO is a reliable and secure way of accessing your applications in the most convenient and user-friendly manner.
An LMS with SSO is one of the most crucial LMS integration checklists to invest in. SSO enables you to ease the accessibility issues by making it stress-free for your employees to access the reports for building valuable insights. Furthermore, it offers an opportunity to manage essential business operations even without leaving the platform effectively.
KloudLearn LMS allows you to deliver seamless and secure enterprise training with its Single Sign On (SSO) feature. Employees can quickly access their KloudLearn accounts by signing into their G-Suite account.
KloudLearn’s SSO feature simplifies your workload and saves your time in the following ways:
- Increase your employee’s productivity by eliminating re-entering of login credentials into different applications
- Reduces password fatigue
- Strengthens your data security by offering multi-factor authentication
- Save IT costs by eliminating the process of password recovery.
To learn more about KloudLearn’s SSO feature, Contact Us Today.