Is SSO Enough to Secure My SaaS Environment?

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The Single Sign-On (SSO) feature lets you access multiple SaaS apps with just one login. That is, you can just use one password instead of accessing each app with a different login detail. This makes life easier for an end user since they don’t have to remember different login details for each app. Some popular SSO Solutions are:

  • Microsoft Entra AD (Azure Active Directory): Microsoft Entra AD integrates smoothly with many Microsoft products and third-party apps. It offers conditional access, adjusting authentication based on user risk.

  • Okta: Okta uses adaptive multi-factor authentication that helps organizations manage identities across cloud, mobile, and legacy applications. It focuses on strong security and user experience.


Strengths of SSO in SaaS Environments

The implementation of SSO in SaaS environments brings significant advantages:

  • Streamlined Authentication: SSO makes access easier while maintaining a high security level. Logging in becomes more accessible and faster, enhancing users’ experience and productivity.

  • Enhanced Security Measures: SSO lowers the risk of phishing and credential exposure by reducing the number of logins needed. It also supports multi-factor authentication, adding extra security by requiring additional verification to access ay app, significantly strengthening system security.


Limitations of SSO

While SSO offers significant benefits, it is limited in some capacities. These include:

  • Shadow IT Challenges: While SSO enhances convenience and security, it can’t track and manage the usage of unapproved SaaS apps (Shadow IT). These unauthorized apps can pose security risks like data breaches and compliance issues.

  • Cost and License Management Issues: SSO systems manage access, not software licenses. So when offboarding a user, blocking their access with the SSO provider doesn’t automatically recover the associated software license. This can lead to financial leakage if SaaS subscriptions stay active but unused. IT managers would have to cancel or deprovision the licenses, reassign them if possible, and keep track of license inventory.

  • Gaps in App Integrations:  SSO providers only have select apps that they integrate with. If you want to track an app not in their existing app catalog, you will have to track  those apps in a spreadsheet or manage access controls within each app, leaving potential gaps in your security framework, budget, and operations. 


How Josys Complements SSO for Enhanced Security and Efficiency

Josys enhances the capabilities of SSO by addressing its limitations through additional security, cost management, and comprehensive app integrations. Josys offers:

  • Shadow IT Detection: Josys detects and manages unauthorized SaaS applications across the organization. It provides visibility into all software used, helping mitigate risks and ensuring that only approved apps are accessed under company security protocols.

  • Cost Optimization and License Management: Josys tracks renewal dates, license types, and user utilization to identify and optimize SaaS expenses. It identifies unused licenses, eliminates wasteful spending, and ensures licenses are de-provisioned and reallocated during employee offboarding, preventing cost leakage.

  • Comprehensive SaaS Integrations: If you are using Microsoft Entra AD or Okta SSO solutions, but are experiencing gaps in the integrations they provide, Josys can provide a 360° visibility of your SaaS ecosystem with its centralized platform. Josys has over 250+ existing apps in its catalog (and growing), but also  provides the ability to track unintegrated apps, licenses and subscriptions within the Josys platform so you never have to manage apps or access rights in multiple locations. This thorough tracking gives IT managers complete visibility and control of all their SaaS, helping improve security, compliance, and overall efficiency.


Conclusion

Although single sign-on solutions streamline user access and help enforce security policies, they can be limiting in gaining total SaaS control. However, Josys can complement your SSO provider and fill these gaps together. 

Josys’ holistic SaaS management offering ensures a secure, cost-effective IT infrastructure. If you want to bolster your organization’s SaaS security and streamline its management in a way SSO alone cannot, consider Josys. Contact us for a demo today to see how Josys can transform your IT operations.

 

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