With cyberattacks on the rise, each business should become more and more security-conscious. Make sure your IT security decisions are always well-informed, and that you take the right steps for protecting your company. Here is a brief comparison between the two password security solutions your company might consider to implement: password manager vs. SSO.

What is a password manager? 

A password manager is a secure way used by companies to ensure a user has strong passwords across all their apps and platforms’ accounts. The password manager is like a vault for passwords, storing all user’s usernames and passwords in one place. The user gains access to all their login credentials with one master password. Once this master password is used, it opens every application or platform the user needs to access.

Pros:

  1. While one user creates multiple accounts for all the apps and platforms, they need to remember only one master password.
  2. In theory, this system should encourage your employees to use more complex passwords for their accounts for different apps and platforms.
  3. The employees should be less likely to use the same password for each account. So, if one password is compromised, not all the systems are compromised.
  4. The password manager can cover also your employees’ personal accounts.
  5. It is easy to set up by users themselves.
  6. It is a cost-efficient solution to defend against password-related attacks as long as the passwords are strong enough and different for each account.

Cons:

  1. Even when they use a password manager, users don’t always set strong passwords or different passwords for each application or platform. Thus, the system might be vulnerable to password-related security attacks.
  2. When employees leave your company, they usually leave with the passwords. This poses a problem for your IT team to cut off their access to different platforms and apps.
  3. The password manager does not allow for monitoring and increased security in accessing the business apps and platforms. The IT control is limited given the nature of the tool which is only password-based.

What is an SSO? 

SSO (Single Sign-On) is a secure way for companies to give users access to multiple applications and platforms with a single set of login credentials. Basically, when a user is trusted by the main company system, they are also allowed to access all the other systems, which have a trusted and secured connection with the central system. It’s a very similar system that you may use for accessing different apps on your phone, for instance, by using your email or a social media account, instead of generating a new username and a new password for each app.

Pros:

  1. The user gets only one set of credentials, and they do not need to create any other accounts for the apps and platforms they use.
  2. You can integrate SSO with other company’s IT systems, such as VPN, WiFi, firewalls, on-premises resources, mobile apps, etc., as long as these systems use SAML-based authentication protocol.
  3. When combined with multi-factor authentication (MFA), SSO provides increased security against stolen credentials or password-based security attacks.
  4. It gives more control to your IT team in managing privacy and security issues. SSO can provide information on who the user is, where they login in from, what their IP is, what device they use, what they access in terms of applications and platforms.
  5. if the user, your employee leaves the company, access to your company’s system can be changed immediately and efficiently for all the systems at once.

Cons:

  1. Still, very few business applications and services support the SAML-based authentication protocol used by SSO.
  2. SSO cannot cover and protect the personal accounts of your employees.

Password Manager vs. SSO 

  1. Setup
  2. The Password Manager can be easily set up by users.
  3. SSO needs to be built and setup by IT professionals
  4. Security
  5. Both systems are efficient security solutions.
  6. However, SSO provides increased security as it can be integrated with VPN, WiFi, firewalls, MFA, and it also allows the IT team to have more control over the business apps and platforms.
  7. Compatibility with business apps and services
  8. Password Manager has no compatibility issues, as the user creates a separate account for each app or service.
  9. Fewer business applications are compatible with the SSO system.
  10. Costs
  11. The Password Manager requires fewer investments than an SSO system.
Your business should choose to implement an SSO system if you need to secure your business accounts and want more control over how the business apps and services are accessed and used. Go for a Password Manager if you have a limited budget, fewer security risks and your employees are aware of password security.
Contact us experts to help to assess your security needs and set up the password security system that fits your business!