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30 August 2016

Single sign-on myths: 5 common misconceptions busted!

Profile shot of David Guest.
Written by David Guest

Dispelling single sign-on (SSO) myths is important.

Scepticism from IT managers and security staff means businesses are missing out on a relatively simple opportunity to enhance protection and reduce costs.

It’s time to expose some misconceived ideas and opinions on a crucial identity and access technology.

Exposing the lies about SSO

Using single sign-on means that you only need to remember one password. After entering that password, you are able to access your applications and systems without having to enter any further credentials. The many benefits SSO can bring to a business include lowering IT overhead costs, increasing end-user convenience, and improving data security.

We bust five common single sign-on myths, so that you can be more confident in choosing a password solution that’s right for your business.

Myth 1: Security is reduced

This myth stems from the assumption that once your password is in the wrong hands, all of your data is at risk. However, if used correctly, SSO can build a security barrier between your data and cybercriminals with complex authentication policies.

Having strong, unique passwords that are regularly changed is crucial to protecting any business from being hacked. 31% of employees surveyed in a Software Advice report admitted to reusing passwords across their work applications. Single sign-on solves this problem by requiring users to create just one, secure password in order to access everything they need.

Myth 2: Implementing SSO is expensive

Single sign-on solutions offer flexible pricing options. The solution can be used for particular employees or departments, meaning you don’t need to spend money on SSO for the whole organisation.

Managers are able to easily control individuals’ access to business systems depending on requirements. This gives businesses the flexibility to scale up and down as needed, saving money and ensuring resources aren’t wasted.

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Myth 3: If you use complex passwords you don’t need single sign-on

False. Complex passwords can be tricky to remember off the top of your head, which often results in them being written down on pieces of paper. And what happens when these pieces of paper get into the wrong hands? You guessed it. It opens your organisation up to being hacked.

If your employees only have one password to remember to access various applications, it will help them and your business become more efficient. For a start, your service desk is no longer tied up with numerous password reset requests.

Myth 4: Implementation of SSO takes too long

SSO can seem like a long process. It’s part of a bigger security policy, and there is a time commitment in terms of preparing users for change. However, the implementation of SSO can be made easier.

By prioritising which systems and departments matter most, you can start with the most important and implement across the company department by department.

Remember, over the long-term, your employees are going to become much more efficient so don’t worry too much about the upfront time cost.

Myth 5: SSO still requires users to enter their passwords

SSO is an automated authentication process which works across your systems. This means that you’ll only need to sign in once to access your favourite Microsoft applications. It also provides a detailed audit trail, showing you who is accessing what and when. In the event of a security breach, you can even restrict access at an individual or department level on an immediate basis.


Now that we’ve busted some of these common single sign-on myths, it’s clear to see that the solution provides a simple alternative to remembering many complex passwords. Employees only need to remember one password in order to access all of their applications.

Next, watch our conditional access and MFA webinar on-demand and learn why these technologies are key to securing your organisation’s assets.

Or download the identity trends e-Guide to learn what’s driving demand for modern IAM.

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Profile shot of David Guest.

About David Guest

Solution Architect and Technology Evangelist

As ThirdSpace’s Solution Architect and Technology Evangelist (yes, he knows it’s a long title), Dave has a background in IT that goes back to installing a piece of kit called a Microsoft Softcard in...


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