A malicious user gaining access to your apps can be catastrophic. Here’s how a secure SSO could help.

In any enterprise, it is a given that employees will come and go, and many will switch roles within the organization as well. At the same time, the same is true for the applications that the company uses – new apps will be deployed, old ones will be retired, and changes are constant.

What this means is a continuous churn – in identity management for users, and service providers, by means of the SaaS applications in use. Ensuring data and app security across the organization depends heavily on ensuring secure communication between your identity provider and service providers.

Deploying a robust Single Sign-On (SSO) solution represents the best answer to this challenge. An SSO allows an enterprise to manage the identities of employees in one place, and delegate access and privileges from there.

Most SaaS providers support SSO integration as it is the most efficient route to centralized identity and access management. The SSO authentication method also enables users to securely access multiple apps and websites with a single set of credentials, which reduces issues like password fatigue, which boosts security, lowers IT help desk load, and increases organizational efficiency.

How SSO works

To get your SSO in place, you need to find the right identity provider. The identity provider is essentially a service that securely stores and manages digital identities. An SSO works based on a trust relationship between the app and the identity provider.

Organizations establish a trust relationship between an identity provider and their service providers to allow their employees or users to then connect with the resources they need. Such a trust relationship is established by exchanging digital certificates and metadata. The certificate carries secure tokens which contain identity information like email address and password, to authenticate that the request has come from a trusted source and to verify identity. 

Although SSO can work with as many apps as the organization wants, each must be configured with a unique trust relationship.

How the Service Provider-Identity Provider relationship works

Once an identity provider is onboarded, every time a user tries to connect to a service provider, the sign-in request is sent to the central server where the identity provider is hosted. The identity provider validates the credentials and sends back a token. If their identity cannot be verified, the user will be prompted to log into the SSO or verify credentials using other methods like a TOTP. Once the identity provider validates the credentials it sends the user a token.

The token confirming the successful authentication is validated by the service provider against the certificate initially configured and shared between service provider and identity provider, after which the user can access the application.

The identity provider verifies the user credentials and sends back an ‘authentication token’ (almost like a temporary ID card) to the service provider. And, of course, all this happens in a fraction of a second.

Advantages of using SSO

  • Simplifies credentials management for users and admin
  • Improves speed of app access
  • Reduces time spent by IT support on recovering passwords
  • Offers central control of password complexity and MFA
  • Simplifies provisioning and de-provisioning
  • Secures the system as information moves encrypted across the network
  • Completely seamless/transparent to the user
  • Easy to add on new service providers

Akku is a powerful identity and access management solution that can enhance data security, efficiency, and productivity across your corporate network through its robust SSO feature. If you would like assistance on ensuring secure access for all your users to your organization’s applications, do get in touch with us.

Overcoming the Challenges of the Media Industry With Identity

When the digital revolution started, media companies were among the first ones to embrace it. Today, most media companies create content targeted exclusively at online subscribers on digital platforms, pivoting their efforts to become more user-friendly for a digital audience. 

In order to convert free digital users into paid users, it is also important to effectively profile them and target the right ads to the right users. Therefore, it becomes crucial to learn more about the users logging in to view media content – whether on an online magazine or a video streaming platform. At the same time, user information that is collected online needs to be safeguarded and the methods used for data handling must adhere to strict regulations. Continue reading Overcoming the Challenges of the Media Industry With Identity

Akku Vs. Okta – Understand Before you Choose

Akku and Okta are both highly efficient cloud security solutions that strive to help companies manage and secure user authentication on applications in their network, and to transform their customer experiences. Here are a few key differences between the features of Akku and Okta.  Continue reading Akku Vs. Okta – Understand Before you Choose

The What, Why and How of Two-factor Authentication (2FA): Decoded

Whether or not you know what it is called, you have likely used 2FA at least once in your life online.

Remember the time you tried logging into your email account from a new device and your email service provider sent you an SMS with a PIN (OTP), to re-validate that it was actually you attempting to login? You would have been allowed access to your inbox only after you entered the correct OTP.

Or the time you tried to transfer money to someone through internet banking. Even though you already entered your customer ID and password, your bank’s application would want to make sure that someone else hadn’t stolen your credentials. They do this by sending you an email with a PIN or a link to click on, for additional validation.

Continue reading The What, Why and How of Two-factor Authentication (2FA): Decoded

Protecting Your Vault: Safeguard your Data Center with an IAM Solution

At most enterprises, data centers are a repository of information contained within a network of servers from where data is transmitted to other touch points for processing. While these data centers could be cloud-based or on-premise, the security of such business-critical data is of paramount importance.

There could be several vulnerabilities in your network in the form of entry points that seem like they can be ignored. While there are several measures you can implement to physically secure your data center, it takes a lot more to secure remote or even on-premise servers from virtual attacks. An effective data center security solution will allow you to intuitively monitor all the entry points for possible attacks and ensure that you are protected against any breach.

Continue reading Protecting Your Vault: Safeguard your Data Center with an IAM Solution

Secure and Easy User Management: SCIM through the Fundamentals

What is SCIM?

The System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) is an open standard specification, designed to make user management easy. It essentially allows admins of cloud and on-premise networks to move users in and out of their systems quickly and easily. The system builds on inputs from existing user management schemas and allows the integration of powerful authentication models. It uses a common user schema in coordination with an extension model which allows for seamless migration of user data between different nodes of the system.

Continue reading Secure and Easy User Management: SCIM through the Fundamentals