IT security departments have a problem and it’s not the one you hear about very often. It has nothing to do with hacking, phishing or managing your attack surface. Instead, it is an image problem. In their desire to keep company data safe, IT security professionals sometimes hurt employee productivity. Forcing employees to follow strict security measures and questioning innovative technologies creates frustration.
If your IT security department wants to win support from the rest of the company, there is a way. You need to develop solutions that emphasize employee productivity. There are a few ways you can respond to criticism about the impact of IT security on the company.
Ways To Solve IT Security’s Image Problem
Depending on your company’s philosophy and resources, there are a few ways to solve this challenge.
- The Status Quo Approach. You could ignore complaints about IT security and mandate whatever security measures you believe are required. This relatively harsh approach may be acceptable in some circumstances (e.g., military contractors or organizations recovering from a cybersecurity incident). This approach would also require support from the organization’s leadership to reinforce demanding IT security protections.
- Relax IT Security Requirements. You might also decide to relax some IT security requirements, such as making your password complexity requirements more straightforward. This solution may please employees but may come at the cost of security protections.
- Use Technology To Improve Employee Experience. The third and best option is to leverage a single sign-on solution and other solutions to make life easier for employees.
Explaining “What Is SSO Login” To Your Stakeholders
If you’re wondering what SSO login is, let’s define the idea with two contrasting examples.
Example 1: Your Company Does Not Have SSO Login
You come into work in the morning. You enter a username and password to start your computer. Then you enter a second username and password to access your email. When you have an expense claim to file, there is a third username and password to enter. By the time you get to the end of the day, you have entered over a dozen different passwords.
Example 2: Your Company Has A SSO Login
You start your day’s work by logging into your PC or workstation. After you successfully log in, the single sign-on (SSO) system communicates with other companies’ software. The SSO system finds out which applications you have access to and stands ready to grant you access. When you open your email, expense claim system, and other company software, the SSO system handles the login for you. Ultimately, you only have to enter one or two passwords over a day.
Advantages of Using A SSO Login
There are several benefits to using an SSO login system. If you are getting questions like “What is SSO login?” from your managers and stakeholders, that question may not be what it appears. Your stakeholders, especially outside the IT department, probably don’t want a detailed explanation of an SSO login system. Instead, they want to know why an SSO login will benefit them and the company.
To prepare you for those conversations, keep these SSO benefits in mind:
- Improved Employee Productivity. When you lack an SSO login, employees will have to create, memorize, and keep track of multiple passwords. On the other hand, when employees have an SSO system, they only have to remember one or two passwords. That means employees will have more time and energy to focus on their priorities.
- More Secure Passwords. When you use an SSO login, it allows your organization to revisit your password policy. After all, if employees only have to use one password at work, that password better be highly secure and difficult to hack! Therefore, you can use the SSO implementation to combat password reuse disease.
- Reduced IT Security Administration. Each month, your IT security department or help desk probably receives a steady stream of password reset requests. These routine requests take up a lot of time. By using an SSO system, employees will have fewer passwords to manage. Therefore, they are probably not going to struggle with keeping their one password memorized as much. By increasing your help desk’s free time, employees will have more value-added projects like creating user guides and job aids.
Critical Questions To Answer Before Choosing an SSO Solution
There are multiple software products on the market you can use to implement a single sign-on. Of course, Avatier Single Sign-On is an excellent choice in many situations. To evaluate the different vendors on your single sign-on shortlist, use these questions:
- Technical Compatibility. Does the SSO platform work with all of our core technology and applications? Make sure you think broadly about this question, such as including cloud services.
- Monitoring Capability. Does the SSO platform gather user login activity so we can easily detect suspicious login activity?
- Cost Optimization Features. Some SSO products go beyond security. In the case of Avatier single sign-on, you receive data on cloud usage. That is valuable because you can easily find out how many employees are using which cloud apps. You might just find out that you’re paying for 1,000 licenses and your employees are only using half that number.
What To Do After You Implement SSO Login
As your organization further develops its IT security capabilities, you may find a staff shortage. That’s a familiar roadblock. You could solve that problem by requesting more budget so you can hire more employees or consultants. Or you could find a software solution to ease the burden on your overworked IT security staff. If you choose the software path, take a look at Apollo. This IT security chatbot is built to handle the most common administrative tasks, such as managing password reset requests. Find out more about how Apollo can save you time in our article: 5 Ways Apollo Saves Time for IT Security Operations.