Understanding Single-Sign On (SSO) and Why It’s a Must Have in HR

If you have come across the term ‘single sign-on’ (SSO) before but are not sure what it is, fret not, because we are here to break it down for you. In this concise guide to single sign-on, we will also look at why it is a must have in your human resource management (HRM) – Take Workday as an example, which cannot natively process payroll in Asia. In instances like these, using a platform that use SSO to integrate Workday and your payroll experiences can connect all your HR functions together will be a boon for your business.

What is single sign-on and how does it work?

Single sign-on is an authentication method which allows you to securely sign into multiple accounts, applications, or systems by just using a single set of login credentials. These applications are usually related but remain independent of each other.

There are several types of SSO such as cookie-based SSO, form-filling SSO and reduced SSO. Each of these vary in how they work, but in general, SSOs are based on a trusted relationship that is set up between a service provider and an identity provider.

When a user logs onto the service provider, it will send a token to the identity provider. This token will contain some information on the user which will help identify and authenticate them. Once the identity provider verifies the user, it will send a token back to the service provider confirming successful authentication. If there are multiple accounts linked, it will authenticate all of them. This cuts down on the number of times sensitive information such as passwords are sent across servers.

How can an HR system facilitate single sign-on?

Integrating the link between an existing HCM and a cloud-based HR software supports employees logging in via an SSO. A single sign-on facility gives employees the satisfaction of only having to remember a single password, for multiple platforms at the workplace. Employers, at any time, are given the chance to widen or reduce the number of applications employees are using – all with a single sign-on feature. Take Links One for example, a single HR support provider across the Asia Pacific Region giving employees the convenience of accessing everything with a single sign in – whether it is clocking in annual leave or checking on their payslip.

Why is single sign-on important in HR?

  • Stronger data protection & security

    Any HR system would have a great deal of data stored – and when there is data, there is always a risk of a breach. Single sign-on can reduce this risk, as it will only transfer information between servers it has a built a trusted relationship with.

    Having to log in to multiple accounts also increases the likelihood of cyber-attacks, but this is not an issue when it comes to SSO as users will only have to sign in once. SSOs come with strong authentication features as well, thereby reducing the chances of your account getting hacked.

  • Better usability for employees

    Throughout the course of their employment, your staff would be using multiple accounts and software. The general advice that is often given is to never repeat a password – and this means that they would have to remember several passwords at any given time. As we now know, using single sign-on eliminates the need for this.

A 2019 study by HYPR looked at how frequently employees had to change their passwords. The results showed 78% of the participants had to reset their passwords for at least one personal account in the last 90 days and 57% had to reset a work account password in that same period.

Having lesser passwords would be more time and cost effective for the company, as employees would not have to frequently raise IT tickets for forgotten passwords. The IT team would also not be burdened with a backlog of hundreds of similar requests. What is better is that even if someone were to forget the one SSO password they have, they can simply reset it on their own without IT interference.

How do you pick the right SSO for your business?

When looking for a suitable SSO solution, three main things to consider are your employee, business, and IT needs. The right solution will be able to cover all of these, giving you the complete SSO experience.

Some things to look out for when choosing an SSO provider are:

  • Security – Ensure that the SSO you use can be trusted with sensitive information. Go for reputed providers and look for options that have an uptime approaching 100% – which means that your employees will be able to access their apps at any time. A secure SSO will also offer real-time security reporting tools.
  • Integration and accessibility – the primary function of SSO is to enable seamless sign ins between multiple related platforms, so it is crucial to have one that can integrate all your applications. Links One – an all-in-one HR platform – for example, uses SSO to link all your HR systems together so you do not face a hassle with multiple accounts.
  • Scalability – the SSO you choose should have the capacity to expand as your business needs grow. An SSO that is scalable will allow both the HR and IT departments to handle large numbers of hires at the same time.

To sum up, SSOs are highly beneficial for any business’ HR needs because of how convenient and secure they are. Since there are plenty of different SSO types, consider all your options and take your time when deciding which SSO to go for.

Got a query on one of our products or how we can help with your business needs? Be in touch with us today – we would love to have a chat with you!