The average desk worker uses 11 applications to perform their job function, according to Gartner. The burden of passwords and usernames for all these applications — plus additional logins for laptops or other devices — saps employee productivity and weakens security. Many employees cope with password overload by reusing passwords, leaving their organizations and themselves more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Enter single sign-on (SSO) authentication, an approach to identity access management that eliminates these pain points, improving efficiency, security and productivity across your entire organization. With the help of a qualified independent software vendor (ISV) partner, implementing SSO solutions is relatively straightforward. And its versatility means it can be an effective strategy for organizations across multiple industries, including healthcare, manufacturing and education.

 

What is SSO authentication?

 

SSO enables a user to sign into multiple applications, devices or systems with one set of credentials. When a user logs in, their credentials are authenticated through a centralized server, which then passes confirmation of the user’s identity to any other systems, applications or endpoints that the user tries to access. This enables users to navigate between services seamlessly, streamlining workflows and boosting productivity.

 

What are the benefits of SSO authentication?

 

 SSO authentication

By shifting away from passwords and PINs that are easily lost, forgotten, stolen or compromised, passwordless SSO significantly improves your organization’s security. It also boosts employee productivity. In healthcare, for example, employees log into systems an average of 70 times a day, which means adopting passwordless SSO could save as much as 45 minutes per employee per shift.

Storing credentials on a centralized server makes access management simpler and removes the burden on an organization’s help desk to answer constant password reset requests. SSO also supports compliance with standards such as FIDO2 and HIPAA. For example, rf IDEAS’ phishing-resistant ConvergeIDTM passwordless platform easily converts your organization’s existing credentials into FIDO2 encrypted security keys. Overall, passwordless SSO offers many benefits over traditional, hackable password- and PIN-based security systems.

 

SSO authentication use cases

 

SSO can enable access to multiple types of resources, networks and endpoints across an organization. While precise deployments might vary from industry to industry and company to company, the benefits are consistent: improved security and compliance along with more efficient, streamlined workflows.

 

Access to devices

 

Instead of typing in a password to access their laptop or other device, an employee using SSO can use their fingerprint, ID badge, passkey or mobile credential to log in. This streamlines and simplifies device access, saving employees time throughout the workday.

Passwordless SSO for device access can be particularly beneficial in healthcare, where each second a clinician spends logging in or managing passwords is time taken away from patient care. That’s why rf IDEAS collaborated with Lenovo to develop the ThinkPad T14 Gen 2 Healthcare Edition laptop, which features a WAVE ID® embedded OEM reader. This enables clinicians to access both their devices and patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) with a tap of a smart badge or other credential.

Working with our ISV partner Imprivata, we deployed this solution with a major educational healthcare institution with over 1,800 providers. By reducing resets and eliminating the need to type in complex passwords, the new system freed up more time for patient care while also ensuring compliance with strict data privacy regulations. Laptops are just one device that rf IDEAS' solutions can be embedded into to improve workflows. Our readers can also be embedded into IV pumps, dialysis machines, nurses’ stations, all-in-one computers, patient monitoring devices, HMI/PLC/SCADA machines, mobile computers and more.

 

Access to applications

 

Passwordless SSO is a secure and effective way to manage employee access to software applications. In a manufacturing context, for example, shifting to passwordless SSO with ConvergeIDTM plugs a common security gap. At plants and production facilities, employees often access multiple interconnected applications from shared workstations. If an employee leaves their workstation without logging out of even one of these applications, it creates an opportunity for unauthorized access — which could compromise sensitive information such as proprietary formulas or compliance data. Passwordless SSO makes these hazards less likely thanks to centralized credential management and a streamlined login and logout process.

 

Access to data

 

In 2023, the average data breach cost $4.5 million, according to IBM. But the consequences of a breach extend beyond the bottom line. A breach breaks trust with customers whose sensitive data was compromised, leading to reputational damage that can follow a brand for years. Using passwordless SSO can protect your organization from these outcomes by safeguarding sensitive data.

 

Identifying the right partner for SSO implementation

 

Effective implementation of a passwordless SSO system requires careful consideration of your organization’s unique needs, as well as the right expert partners. rf IDEAS has a solution to fit every usage model, whether your SSO strategy incorporates proximity badges, digital wallets or biometric authentication. Our WAVE ID® Readers work with multiple types of SSO credentials from a wide range of providers, including WaveLynx, LEGIC, NXP MIFARE DESFire and HID Proximity, Seos and iCLASS.

To ensure we can offer fully tailored solutions to organizations, rf IDEAS has cultivated an extensive network of ISV and integrator partners with experience across different industries. For example, Imprivata and Certify Health focus on healthcare implementation, while ForgeRock has extensive manufacturing expertise. Our other partners include AuthX, OpenText, IDmelon, CDW, Alert Enterprise, Levata and OLOID. These implementation experts use rf IDEAS’ development tools and other resources to facilitate smooth integration with third-party software, multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions or any other systems needed in your security strategy.

 

Incorporate SSO into your access management strategy

 

Passwordless SSO is an efficient, secure and compliant option for identity access management. By freeing employees from the need to manage multiple passwords and PINs, SSO eliminates password fatigue, streamlines workflows and supports compliance with data privacy and security regulations.

With a diverse product lineup compatible with a wide range of credential types, rf IDEAS is an ideal partner in creating SSO solutions tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Our extensive network of ISV and integrator partners streamlines SSO implementation so your organization can begin reaping the benefits as soon as possible.

Ready to dive deeper on the value of passwordless SSO? Read our SSO factsheet.

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