Single Sign-On (SSO) is a feature of Identity and Access Management (IAM) that allows users to securely authenticate for multiple applications and websites by signing in, only once, with only one set of credentials. Single Sign-On is compatible with any browser or computer, making it simpler for users to use various apps or websites without entering different usernames and passwords, regardless of the technology, software, or domain. If you log out of any program, all your sessions are terminated.
SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) is a widely used standard for the transfer of authorization credentials to service providers (SPs) through identity providers (IdPs). SAML transactions use Extensible Markup Language (XML) to provide IdPs and service providers with standardized communication. SAML is the connecting link between authentication of a user’s identity and authorization to use a service.
Single Sign-On gives users a seamless authentication experience while accessing both the applications and third-party software.
Single Sign-On: The Three Components
1. User: The end-user who logs into the app by supplying credentials.
2. Identity Provider (IdP): This offers an identity to the customer – who is trying to access the app or website. The identity provider sends the service provider authentication data along with the customer’s access rights.
3. Service Provider (SP): It is the app that provides customers with the service. In order to allow access to the user, the app receives authentication information from the identity provider.
How Does Single Sign-On Function?
Single Sign-On makes a seamless experience possible by linking to a central server that all apps trust. When you log in to this central server for the first time, a cookie will be generated. If you try to access a second application, you’ll be routed to the central server. If on the central server, you already have a cookie, a key without login prompts will directly take you to the program, meaning that you have already signed in.
Single Sign-On: Implementation
Some special advantages are provided by the implementation of Single Sign-On. In general, the SAML format is used by most identity providers (IdPs), including ADFS, Shibboleth, OKTA, Ping, and Azure. Custom coding to handle SAML assertions is included in the implementation of PeopleSoft Single Sign-On based on SAML, as PeopleSoft does not have native SAML support. It calls for professional competence. It also needs more hardware too. It also requires spinning up the internal network with an external web server and installing it. The software administration and development teams are overburdened with the increased workload after launch. Constant upkeep is involved in this system.
As such, when custom coding is complete, there is no formal support available. Any activity supporting SAML implementation often needs highly specialized knowledge and skills, well-aware of the custom coding that has been conducted.
Single Sign-On: The Strategic Advantages
SAML based SSO offers the following key advantages:
1. Centralized Identity And Access Management: One user ID registry with a centralized management interface makes it easy to assign and deactivate user identities easily and conveniently.
2. Enhanced Security Posture: Authentication is delegated to SAML IdP; advanced authentication mechanisms ensure greater data security.
3. Single Identity: A safe, enterprise-wide network that can be centrally managed and protected with a standard password and security environment.
4. Reduced IT Costs: Time spent on user identity management, group assignment, and password sharing is significantly reduced.
5. Improved User Interface And Tool Adoption Rate: Easy to use, SSO facilitates quicker adoption of the program.
There are some turnkey solutions available that solve the problems of SAML implementation successfully. These solutions overcome these challenges in the implementation of PeopleSoft SAML SSO by providing a particular layer of SAML integration needed to link PeopleSoft, the identity provider, and Single Sign-On (SSO). Enterprises can leverage such solutions to their advantage.