When passwords first came into vogue in the early 1960s as a way to secure computers, we couldn’t envision the many ways they’re being used today.
The fact is passwords are everywhere and they’re used for just about everything. At the average 250-employee company, there are more than 47,000 total passwords in use across the organization. And each employee has a dizzying number of passwords to manage. Some industry estimates suggest that the average employee has 27 passwords to manage, while LastPass projects even higher numbers, estimating that the average employee is working with as many as 191 passwords.
Passwords are now more than just a headache at many organizations. Even, Fernando Corbato, the man behind the first known computer password, acknowledges that they’re a major problem. In a Wall Street Journal article, Mr. Corbato was quoted as saying, “I don’t think anybody can possibly remember all the passwords that are issued or set up. That leaves people with two choices: Either you maintain a crib sheet, a mild no-no, or you use some sort of program as a password manager. Either one is a nuisance.”
Now there’s single sign-on (SSO), an authentication method in which each employee has only one set of credentials to login to a workstation and access any application throughout the workplace. It’s simple: Once an employee is authenticated on a single designated platform, that same employee can use any number of other services at your organization without the need to log in and out each time.
SSO eliminates the need for passwords for computer access and can effectively help organizations stop these incessant data breaches. In fact, the simplicity of SSO can help any business reap multiple benefits:
- Strengthen security. SSO is so simple, your employees are more likely to comply with your security policies. And, with one central point for authentication, there’s less opportunity for phishing.
- Improve compliance for your organization. If you operate in an industry that must comply with regulations like HIPAA or SOX, SSO can help promote secure file sharing and ensure effective reporting.
- Improve productivity. Because less time is needed for remembering passwords, SSO helps shorten login processes, enabling employees to spend more time on high-priority projects.
- Enhance partner collaboration. If your business needs to collaborate with other business partners, establishing an SSO system for access by partner companies and vendors to your extranets can enhance cooperation and get your product or service out to the market much faster.
- Reduce the number of help desk calls. When employees don’t need to remember multiple passwords, the number of password resets is reduced dramatically. And think of the IT help desk costs it will save.
Security is an unfortunate reality in today’s data-centric world where nefarious criminals are constantly targeting enterprise networks. As part of an overall security strategy, organizations of all sizes are adopting RF IDeas readers for user authentication and validation. In addition to gaining an extra layer of security protection, the readers are helping users save time, streamlining workflows and reducing overall costs. Our credential readers easily integrate with current IT systems and support virtually every proximity and contactless card on the market – no easy task.
If you need assistance in securing your data while enabling easy user access to all of your business-critical applications, RF IDeas can help.
To learn more about how RF IDeas can help you implement an SSO solution, visit www.rfideas.com/solutions/applications/identity-access-management.