How to Increase Security with Single Sign On and Conditional Access

How to Increase Security with Single Sign On and Conditional Access

There are countless aspects of security that a business can focus on, but one of the most important is cybersecurity. With increasing numbers of businesses operating online, or at least having some sort of online presence, cyber criminals are having a field day causing cyber attacks and data breaches.

There are a number of things that you can do to prevent cyber attacks, and one of the new strategies is to increase security is to use Microsoft Azure’s Conditional Access and Single Sign-On.

What Is Single Sign-On?

Single sign-on (SSO) is a modern authentication system which falls under the category of Identity and Access Management (IAM) computing. It has taken technology and security a giant leap forward by altering how users sign in to and use applications. 

Put simply, single sign-on is a process in which a user doesn’t have to sign in to every application they use when working. Instead, they log in once and these credentials are used to sign in to their other apps and password protected software.

A basic web SSO service will retrieve the specific authentication credentials of the individual user from a dedicated single sign-on policy server. It will then authenticate the user against a user repository, such as a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory. 

The service will then authenticate the user for all of the applications that the user has been given the rights to access. It will also eliminate all future password prompts for individual applications during the open session.

What Is Conditional Access?

Conditional access is a process that allows an IT security team to validate and verify devices and users’ access to particular networks, files, programs, and apps that your business may use. It uses a set of automated policies to protect both your networks and your data. 

Policies can pertain to:

  • Specific context of use
  • User profile
  • The device being used
  • Time of day that access is granted
  • Geographical location where access is granted
  • Data the user is attempting to access

In order for access to be granted, the user must comply with the conditions established by the company, which may include multi-factor authentication, for example. The purpose of this entire process is to ensure that the given user is real, compliant, trusted, and authorized to access the requested files and information.

What Are the Security Benefits of Single Sign-On and Conditional Access?

An increasing number of companies are implementing Single Sign-On and Conditional Access because of the many benefits associated with them. These benefits can range from increasing productivity to reductions in help desk costs. However, the biggest benefit is increased security.

Here are some of the security benefits of single sign-on to take into consideration:

  • Reduced Password Fatigue

Remembering one password is much easier than trying to remember multiple different ones. This means that employees using SSO are more likely to use a complex and difficult password, and strong passwords are much harder to hack. 

  • Improved Identity Protection

When you implement single sign-on, you can more easily strengthen identity security with further security techniques, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA). Using MFA on your single password makes it much more difficult for a hacker to gain access to all your passwords secured by SSO.

  • Reduction of Identity Theft Risks

With SSO, you can control which apps and software your employees can use. Their single sign-on password will only work for apps and software that you have granted them access to. This can improve the security of data that isn’t shared across your whole company.

Implementing Single Sign On and Conditional Access

SSO and Conditional Access implementation is a great way to increase security for your business, and implementing these strategies doesn't have to be complicated. The easiest, most efficient, and most cost-effective way to do it is to use a professional IT services company

An IT provider such as adNET can help you navigate any complexities associated with implementing Single Sign On and Conditional Access company wide. We can also ensure that each device and system is properly managed with well-defined privacy policies to add an extra layer of security to your technology.

If you would like to know more about our SSO and Conditional Access implementation services, contact us today.

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