Improve Your Tech IQ: What is Single Sign-On?

IMPROVE YOUR TECH IQ - IMAGEQUESTSingle Sign-On (SSO) is an authentication method that gives users access to multiple applications after a single login.

The multiple services must be related to gain access. A well-known example is when you sign in to Google. Once you sign in to Google, you can access your Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and other accounts.

With Microsoft services, Single Sign-On relies on the Azure Active Directory service behind many Microsoft products. Typically, you sign in to Azure Active Directory to use Outlook, Teams, and other MS accounts.

The login window isn’t labeled as Active Directory but instead as Microsoft services.

For cybersecurity reasons, you then must prove your identity using the Microsoft Authenticator app.   This app on your phone gives you a message when an attempt is made to log into your account. You must approve the login (and Authenticator may ask for a biometric such as a fingerprint) for extra security reasons.

You remain signed in through this method until you log out or quit work for the day.

Microsoft and Google are just two examples of single sign-on. Other examples rely on Social Media accounts (when it asks you if you want to log in to your Facebook account.)  We don’t recommend using that approach due to tracking and privacy concerns.

Single Sign-On aids employees who must log in to use multiple programs and services at their companies. When Multi-Factor verification is part of Single Sign-On, users don’t need as many passwords – and that means there are fewer passwords for crooks to steal.


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