Is SSO Authentication Secure?

You may have heard a lot about SSO single sign on . SSO authentication enables users to authenticate multiple applications and websites by logging in only once, using one set of login credentials. Having an SSO service provider is very convenient as users will only need to remember one password. However, before you decide to utilize SSO for your business, it is important to learn more about it. Is SSO secure?

On average, an employee uses at least a dozen platforms, with each one requiring its own passwords. SSO service providers ease the burden of keying login credentials to each system individually. It reduces the time needed for logins so employees can use their time on more important tasks. 

For end-users, SSO makes it possible to transfer user information from a big platform such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter to a smaller website. This makes new account creation and logins easier and faster. 

Security Risks of SSO 

If you are asking about security, SSO, by itself, can be a double-edged sword. Having a single set of login credentials for multiple platforms is convenient. However, if a malicious user gets access to that set of credentials, all other accounts connected to it may also get compromised. 

This is particularly dangerous for businesses because user access cannot be contained. The attacker will have access to all applications and data the compromised user has permissions for. If not deployed properly, SSO can potentially degrade your security.

Another disadvantage of SSO authentication is that it has a centralized server. If the server becomes unavailable, users won’t be able to login to any platform. The SSO server also becomes a very enticing target for malicious attackers. A hacker only needs to penetrate a single point of attack to gain access any other platforms or websites relying on SSO.

Security Benefits of SSO

Although SSO isn’t a security panacea, it contributes to better security. 

  • SSO promotes strong passwords policies

Many security breaches are related to bad password habits. A recent survey revealed that 53 percent of users do not change passwords in at least a year. Meanwhile, 62 percent reuse the same password for work and personal accounts. This is a huge security risk for businesses. Creating strong passwords would be less of a chore if users only need to make one. 

  • SSO systems are secured in encrypted storage 

Because SSO systems are potential attack vectors, they are placed in more secure and encrypted storage. They are also hidden behind multiple firewalls deep inside a company’s IT architecture. This means it would be harder for attackers to access the SSO system. 

  • SSO helps in user monitoring 

SSO helps monitor logins and user accounts. This helps administrators in keeping a lookout for suspicious activities, so they can do promptly actions. SSO also makes it easier to manage and remove accounts of inactive users.

How to Secure SSO single sign on

It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of SSO before deciding to utilize it in your business. For larger organizations, the benefits and convenience of a centralized authentication system far outweigh the risks.

Instead of getting rid of SSO, most organizations try to strengthen the SSO system by filling the security gaps. After all, security is all about layers. You can improve SSO security by:

  • Enforcing stringent password policies and implementing frequent password changes
  • Defining roles and limiting access only to those that are absolutely necessary
  • Integrating a secure login management solution to SSO
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication
  • Utilizing modern authentication protocols

TraitWare, Passwordless MFA, and SSO Solution

Most platforms use SSO single sign on in conjunction with other security solutions such as multi-factor authentication to make it more secure. If you are looking for an excellent user authentication management solution for your business, try TraitWare. TraitWare is more than just an MFA and SSO service provider, it eliminates the weakest link of your login systems—the passwords.  

Instead of passwords, Traitware converts your mobile phone into your security asset. TraitWare offers seamless passwordless authentication from new account enrollments to logins while maintaining the highest multi-factor security standards. It has multi-factor up to four-factor authentication, which is achieved by requiring possession of a location, a biometric, and two knowledge factors. TraitWare also has a powerful admin management system to monitor suspicious user activities such as logins from distant locations or unknown devices. Use TraitWare to unify all your favorite enterprise apps and WordPress websites.