According to a 2020 Verizon Investigations Report, it was shown that one of the most common causes of data breaches is weak or stolen credentials. This is because many employees were once required to create several identities to access various IT platforms used by their company, resulting in an excessive number of passwords. In order to remember passwords more easily, many employees often use the same few passwords or even just one password for all their credentials. As a result, hackers could gain access to critical information using stolen credentials quite easily. That’s why many businesses are switching to federated authentication. A software solution that allows users to log into multiple IT networks using a single authentication token, federated authentication enables companies to enhance their IT security and their identity management system.
To understand how federated authentication works, businesses need to understand the role of the Identity Provider (IdP) and Service Provider (SP). An IdP is an entity, such as Google, Facebook, or even SingPass, that creates and manages the user profiles and authenticates the user whenever they log in to a certain application - the SP. For example, an employee logging into their payroll platform (SP) with their SingPass account (IdP). The SP and IdP communicate with each other so that the user can be authenticated and granted access to the application/service. This means that if a company uses several SPs, only one IdP is needed to authenticate a user across all of them. Essentially, federated authentication lets businesses outsource the authentication of their user identities to a trusted external party.
Federated authentication, also known as federated identity management (FIM), not only streamlines a business’ access protocols but also makes it easier for users to log into the service providers. As such, for businesses looking for a secure identity management system, FIM is the ideal software solution.
1. Increase business productivity
As organisations can offload their identity management responsibility to the IdP, this cuts down on the number of administrative tasks that employees have to perform as they only need one set of credentials to log into any number of service providers. Therefore, freeing up more time to focus on activities that move the business forward. For example, The SP application project team can securely integrate with IdP using standards like OIDC/ SAML for authentication & identity management, freeing up more time to focus on building business values.
2. Ensure more secure authentication
As previously noted, having several accounts for a single user can expose an organisation to data breaches, especially if users employ passwords that are easy to guess. FIM enables users to create a single set of credentials that adhere to strict password policies, and the IdP can be configured to enforce 2FA to further secure application access. Thus, reducing the amount of login information available online. Secure authentication by the IdP also leaves a visible digital paper trail of login data, allowing businesses to quickly pinpoint the source of suspicious activity. As a result, FIM’s secure authentication feature provides many benefits for companies in a time when cybersecurity is becoming an increasing concern for many.
3. Experience cost savings
With one federated identity for each user for different service providers, organisations no longer need to spend resources on individual login pages, authentication, identity management, data storage, and access. They only have to invest in one IdP and one identity management system to manage their user-profiles and access protocols rather than multiple ones - therefore experiencing cost savings.
SingPass Integration For Your Business
As the world becomes more digital, governments around the world have begun to provide their own identity providers, which corporations can use by incorporating them into their IT infrastructure. In Singapore, it is SingPass/CorpPass (SPCP) and AdNovum can assist companies with the process of integrating SPCP into their identity management system. Contact us today to find out more.