Single Sign-On: Current and Future Uses
Try to imagine a world where, as you browse the web, sites just know who you are. Single sign-on technology aims to make your identity provider your only provider. So if you log in once, you will be automatically logged in everywhere. A range of possibilities are offered by this technology, some of which are potentially very exciting; Single sign-on could even change the way that the internet works by allowing users to experience a more personalized and simplistic web browsing experience, without the need to keep logging in and out of individual domains. With this flexibility, users could post comments, stories and interact…all by using one true online identity.
Practically, it may be difficult to unite such a complexly distributed, multi-party system such as the internet. However, this example of how single sign on technology can be used on a grander scale in the future highlights the software potential.
Novell’s single sign-on technology currently exists primarily for use in the business sector and offers the following benefits:
• It reduces password fatigue, thus preventing passwords being overused by inputting different username and password combinations.
• It will significantly reduce the time spent by each individual re-entering passwords
• It can incorporate conventional authentication login details (i.e. Windows login)
• It can significantly reduce company costs due to lower number of password related IT help desk calls
• With 5,000 users, Secure Login (SSO) recovers your full investment in only 10.2 months
• Increased security benefits (without re-prompting) on all levels of entry/exit/access to systems.
The benefits offered by single sign-on technology in the business world have been acknowledged and well documented. Recently, the popular networking site Facebook has began to implement single sign on technology. This means that more users are automatically logged into the site, so that more logged-in, traceable page views exist, thus lowering friction for commenting, posting, and rating etc and generally improving the efficiency of the site.
The future uses of single sign-on technology are certainly exciting, and could potentially (if exploited) revolutionize the way we surf the internet and interact with others online.