It’s 9:15 in the morning. Do you know where your employees are?
Some might catching up on yesterday’s emails. Some might be Facebooking; others may be preparing their first coffee. But I bet at least one of them is beginning their daily log-in process, possibly with a sigh: opening tabs in their web browser, starting applications they’re going to need for the day, typing each password in one-by-one.
Chances are, you know the drill, too. You probably do the same thing.
Offhand, I don’t know the average number of logins an office worker has to enter on a given day. But I do know, from consulting with businesses of just about every size, that it’s a lot. And the number is only growing. With so many businesses migrating to SaaS applications (like Office 365, Salesforce, and Google Docs), many users have to enter a password of some sort for nearly every business application they use.
Anyone who’s in an ownership or management role understands the value of their team’s time. In order to complete needed tasks and goals, your team must have the tools and the time they need to get it done. This means eliminating “time leaks,” allowing your workers to focus on what they do best: their jobs.
A continuous need to enter multiple log-ins and passwords certainly falls into the “time leak” category—especially when you factor in lost passwords, passwords that have to be entered multiple times in one day because they “time out,” and password issues handed over to the IT team in your company.
Some users try to cut log-in time by “saving” login info or using the same easy-to-remember password for all of their applications. But these bad habits are likely a direct violation of your company’s password policy. Worse, they could put the business at risk of a security or phishing attack—resulting in a damaging PR nightmare.
A much smarter solution is opting for password management software. With enterprise password management software, you can easily automate password creation (ensuring that users are given complex, hard-to-guess passwords) and the resetting of expiring passwords. Administrators can also quickly see who has access to which passwords, remove all login information for terminated employees, and change user permissions as needed.
Password management software that allows for single sign-on (SSO) is perhaps the biggest password-related time-save for businesses. After validating through a two-step authentication process, the user is logged into his or her SSO portal. From there, they can sign into all of their needed applications without needing to re-enter their passwords or other credentials.
The two-step authentication process is known as multi factor authentication (MFA), and it’s a key to a SSO security. With MFA, a user has to present two security “factors” in order to complete authentication. For most MFA systems, this means the user first must enter a password (satisfying the “knowledge” factor, something you know) and then must enter a one-time access code generated by a device (satisfying the “possession” factor, something you have). Today, the most convenient MFA systems use a one-time code generated by a secure app on the user’s smartphone.
It’s nearly impossible for an outside attacker to gain access to an MFA-protected system. Even if they manage to attain the password, they won’t be able to get the needed one-time code. This enhanced security is what makes password management software with SSO the most convenient and secure password security solution for businesses looking to improve productivity and protect their reputation and data.
Not every single sign-on solutions uses multi factor authentication for security, but it is a capability you should look for as you shop around for SSO. Find out what else you should look for in our free guide, “10 Questions You Should Ask Your Single Sign-On Vendor.”