Single Sign-On in Higher Education

Students and professors are relying on online resources more and more every day – and this trend is not going away anytime soon. The more popular it becomes, the more cumbersome it is for organizations to efficiently and effectively manage different accounts, user names & passwords necessary to access all of these online tools.

Many users cope with multiple credentials by littering their desks with sticky notes, saving them in their phone (this is very common among students) or creating a word documents with all the various entry details listed. It goes without saying that these methods are an information security nightmare.

Aside from the obvious security risks, it is simply not efficient, and can be very aggravating for both students and staff.  Different password rules and security questions for different applications. Even worse is the inevitable loss of said sticky note, word document and/or phone.  When the loss occurs, the end user will likely have to call the helpdesk, costing themselves, and the IT department valuable time not to mention the threat of information falling into the wrong hands.  The same will happen when a password is changed, but the end user forgets to update it on their sticky note.

Enter today’s hero – Cloud Based SSO (Single Sign-On).

What if students and staff only had to remember one set of credentials?  What if this set of credentials was secure enough to prevent hacks?

What if after they entered that one set of credentials, they are brought to a portal, with a dashboard that shows all of their applications?

What if all of the unsightly, unsecure sticky notes disappeared?

What if system administrators had the ability to grant and revoke permissions immediately upon hire/acceptance and termination/graduation?

What if students and staff never had to change their own passwords to any application?  What if it was all done automatically by the Information Technology Gods?

Luckily, you do not have to be a God in order to administer Web SSO.  These products have come so far in such a short amount of time and have become extremely efficient to implement.  It literally takes seconds to add a new application, set the password rules, and have them change in accordance with said app (every 60 days, 90 days etc.)  This all may sound too good to be true, but it is not.  Web SSO is out there, and it’s out there right now in abundance. Do not be late to this party.

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