Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is the gold standard for federated identity – identity that can be transported and used across domains or business boundaries.
Federated identity benefits organizations and end-users by providing a seamless cross-domain browsing experience through a single sign-on (SSO).
SAML version 2.0 offers a standards-based mechanism for SSO, and this is a primary reason organizations use SAML 2.0. SSO solutions have been common at the intranet level, but extending SSO outward hasn’t always gone smoothly, and has resulted in a proliferation of proprietary technologies that don’t always communicate well with each other. When your IT service management solution integrates with an SSO/SAML partner, your organization benefits in many ways.
SSO/SAML Helps You Contain IT Service Costs
With an IT service desk and IT asset management system that are integrated with SSO, you can actually reduce help desk costs. A huge number of help tickets are password resets, and SSO means users have fewer passwords to memorize. Plus, organizations today insist on strong passwords containing upper case and lower case letters, non-alphanumeric characters, and numbers, which makes passwords that much more difficult to remember. If an end-user needs different passwords for five or ten different apps, it’s only natural that he’s going to forget one or more of them eventually. SSO as part of your IT service management strategy means end-users cut down on the number of passwords they have to create and remember, and this means fewer service desk tickets for resetting passwords.
Result: Happier, More Productive End-Users
SSO is ultimately designed to make the end-user experience better by making authentication quick and painless. The less time end-users spend typing in authentication information, the more time they have to be productive. When your IT service management solution integrates with SSO/SAML, you don’t have to worry as much about end-users writing down passwords, or about clumsy typists typing their password wrong three times and getting locked out. End-users don’t have to retry passwords as much, and experience fewer failed logins. That means they can spend more time doing actual work rather than proving their identity to business applications.
Better security with fewer passwords means more productive end-users.
Result: Enhanced Security and Compliance
It’s a myth that SSO, by reducing keys to IT assets to one password per user, weakens security. This makes sense on the surface: if a password is stolen, multiple applications could be vulnerable. However, because SSO requires end-users to remember only a single password, it’s easier to convince them to use a strong password. SSO also helps security by making it easier to use secure applications, like secure file transfer applications. This is particularly critical in industries governed by strong privacy regulations, like the medical industry is with HIPAA. The fact is, if end-users find a secure tool too cumbersome to use, they’ll try to find a way to work around it, causing a big security risk. SSO gives end-users one less reason to circumvent secure apps.
Result: Simpler and More Secure Partnerships
If your organization partners with other organizations, collaboration requires strong security. If your organization allows partners to access some of your data, or some of your apps, you naturally want to keep that data and those apps secure. This can result in partners having to go through multiple logins for security reasons. But with SSO/SAML integration, your organization can centralize authentication management, allowing users to login one time to gain access to apps shared with partners. Without SSO/SAML integration, authorization of partner end-users becomes more complicated, and productivity can be affected. By allowing smoother collaboration, SSO/SAML integration makes partnerships simpler and more secure.
Samanage understands the increase in use of SSO integration, and is committed to providing value and convenience to customers. Samanage provides SAML integration in partnership with SSO/SAML provider OneLogin, so your IT service management solution enhances security and makes life easier for end-users and IT service desk workers alike. And our leading edge features and capabilities make sure that your IT team can provide IT services efficiently and securely, with easy tracking, analytics, and reporting.
About Matt Shanklin
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