What is single sign-on? How SSO improves security and the user experience

Single sign-on (SSO) is a centralized session and user authentication service in which one set of login credentials can be used to access multiple applications. Its beauty is in its simplicity; the service authenticates you one on one designated platform, enabling you to then use a plethora of services without having to log in and out each time.

Consumers might think of social sign-in through Google, Facebook or Twitter as strong SSO platforms, with each platform enabling access to a variety of third-party services. In the enterprise, an organization might use SSO to allow users to log into proprietary web applications (hosted on an internal server) or cloud hosted ERP systems, for example. 

Implemented correctly, SSO can be great for productivity, IT monitoring and management, and security control. With one security token (a username and password pair), you can enable and disable user access to multiple systems, platforms, apps and other resources. You also reduce the risk of lost, forgotten or weak passwords.

A well thought out and well executed SSO strategy can eliminate password-related reset costs and downtime, mitigate the risk of insider threats, improve user experience and authentication processes, and put the organization firmly in control of user access