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March 2015

How to make single sign-on simple and secure

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Single sign-on (SSO) has a complicated history filled with frustration and failure. Look at it just from a protocol point of view: OpenID, Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), OAUTH, YAML, Shibboleth and so on. Of course some enterprises took a simpler route and connected everything to Active Directory (AD). Now, however, there appears to be life after on-premises AD and a narrowing field of SSO protocol options, with OpenID Connect and SAML the main contenders.

This three-part guide brings you up to date on how OpenID and SAML compare and how they can be connected to the pieces you already have. While SAML seems to be winning the field, OpenID has been recently revitalized and shouldn't be ruled out.

But what do all the latest SSO developments mean for your enterprise? And if you've tried and failed to implement SSO before, does that mean SSO is not for you? The answer is no. But there are some key considerations to make and some preliminary preparation to do. This technical guide lays out the state of the single sign-on landscape today and how to navigate it to allow an easier, but still secure logon experience in your enterprise.

Table Of Contents

  • OpenID or SAML? Size and other factors drive the answer
  • Is OpenID getting great again?
  • Enterprise SSO is tough, but worth another try

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