Let’s admit it: schools and universities today are not what they used to be back when we were growing up. Digitization has swept over almost every aspect of educational institutions. Classrooms have become “smart”, with blackboards being replaced or supplemented by LED screens. Students can simply log in to portals from where they can access information about grades, access lessons from learning apps, and more. Teachers don’t use physical attendance registers today; they mark the daily attendance of their students on tablets – data from which triggers automatic, customized messages to the parents of students who are absent from class.
With such revolutionary change taking over educational institutions, they are also under the rising threat of becoming the target of hackers. Therefore, it is important to ensure enhanced security across the network to prevent student and parent information from being exploited. What’s more, there are cases of students themselves becoming hackers these days – attempting to manipulate grades, using their fellow students’ information to bully them online, and engaging in other malicious activities.
Here are some ways in which a single sign-on solution can not only enhance security but also improve the efficiency of administrators in your educational institution.
Easy Provisioning and Deprovisioning
Every year, a set of students graduate and a new set of students are enrolled. This means that creating accounts and providing access to student portals is a never-ending process. More importantly, denying access to a student who no longer studies at the institution must not be overlooked.
With an SSO, administrators can view – in a single dashboard – all of the apps related to a particular user account and take action quickly and effectively without having to provision/deprovision accounts individually across apps or portals.
Instant Access to all Apps
A survey conducted in the USA showed that 25% of class-time is spent in troubleshooting and teachers trying to help students log in to their respective learning applications. In most cases, the use of multiple applications, and therefore multiple credentials, is the main problem here.
A single sign-on solution, as the name suggests, eliminates the need for multiple credentials, and with it, reduces the time taken to remember and correctly enter them. This also reduces the number of stray passwords, prevents users from writing down passwords and using other methods to remember credentials that are prone to compromise, and also reduces the time taken in resetting forgotten passwords.
Secure Password Policy Enforcement
Students of today may be sharp, but technology is sharper and acts as a double-edged sword. This is why, when it comes to protecting your network from brute-force attacks and other modern security threats, a strong password policy is essential. After all, a compromised password of a student could compromise the security of the entire network in more ways than one.
An SSO typically acts as the identity provider (IdP) to all the applications or portals used within the institution and, therefore, can be used to set up and enforce a strong password policy. This will ensure that passwords created by users of the institution’s applications meet a certain set of requirements with regard to length and complexity.
SSO and Beyond – Akku
Akku, by CloudNow, is an identity and access management solution that includes a powerful SSO functionality. But SSO is only one of many in a slew of features packed into this IAM solution.
Akku can also help you ensure safer interactions on the internet with filters, harness the power of YouTube for teaching/learning, use multi-factor authentication to restrict access to confidential data and more.
For more information on what Akku can do for your institution, get in touch today!