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Technology Advantage: Ease of Use with Single Sign-On (and 2-Factor Authentication)

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Online transaction security is a must for today's businesses to gain a technology advantage. Learn how single sign-on and 2FA can keep your business safe.

We all know what a hassle juggling multiple passwords can be. Today, when users have to remember sign-in information for every little thing, it seems, it’s too easy to forget or mix up credentials. Or worse, those with password fatigue end up just using the same credentials across platforms, making them even less protected—and passwords are hardly the safest form of credential these days. Thankfully, thanks to newer technology, we have measures like single sign-on (SSO) and 2-factor authentication (2FA) to manage log-in issues nowadays.

Single sign-on (SSO) provides users the means to log in once using a single set of credentials. This one-time log-in unlocks the entire environment for the user, including access to apps, websites, and other data within the system.

Meanwhile, 2-factor authentication offers additional layers of security by requiring more than just a password for proof of entry. The process requires two different forms of authentication—usually something knowledge-based, like a password, and then something possession-based, like an outside device. The most common iteration of 2FA is messaging an additional security code to one’s phone. Without that device, unauthorized users won’t have all the credentials needed for entry.

Typical enterprise systems are comprised of hundreds (if not thousands) of different apps and tools. Imagine having to manage passwords for each app for each employee. In a large corporation, your employee base could easily number in the thousands! Instead, single sign-on and 2-factor authentication can enhance security for accounts and protect digital financial transactions better.

SSO for Easier Password Management

For many users, password management is a bit of a catch-22.

If you use a weak password, hackers can find it easy to hack. However, once you use a complicated password, it becomes harder for you to remember. If you write the password down, you’re opening yourself to even greater chances of getting hacked. The more apps that require individual log-ins, the more confusing the situation—plus, there are systems that require constant re-logs at regular intervals. These can be quite frustrating, especially when working on a deadline.

Single sign-on systems help declutter work. Users only need to log in to the main application once in a sitting. This automatically authorizes access across all apps and other information that usually requires individual log-ins.

In addition, an SSO system offers the following advantages:

  • Consolidates control over system resources
  • Helps users avoid password fatigue while increasing better password awareness
  • Reduces calls to IT help desks regarding password problems or requests for password resets
  • Increases productivity and security due to reduced need for users to log in or continually re-enter passwords
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SSO Improves the Security of ACH Transactions

Requiring separate accounts and passwords for individual apps might be a good idea on paper; however, many users will forego using different passwords in fear of forgetting them. This defeats the purpose of multiple logins. Unfortunately, in this case, user convenience means bigger vulnerabilities for the enterprise. Once hackers succeed in unlocking one account, they get instant access to the other accounts with the same password.

However, the circumstances change with SSO. With only a single login credential necessary, users now only need to memorize one password. Consequently, they can come up with more elaborate passwords, which are harder to crack. These practices can help mitigate the risk of stolen accounts.

Additionally, SSO reduces the instances of separate logins. This, in turn, reduces opportunities for hackers to break into the system. As a result, financial transactions such as those using ACH systems can remain secure even with a single login. In addition, SSO helps with compliance with regulatory requirements on documentation. Single sign-on centralizes activities, which makes for a clearer audit trail.

SSO Allows Seamless Access to Applications

Having a single sign-on login that grants access to the entire enterprise system also improves productivity. Multiple logins can add up to a significant amount of time spent accessing a system. This helps users avoid technology failure, where the frustration from repeated attempts to log in or register leads some to abandon the entire process.

The secure sign-on system also prevents password fatigue. If you’re dealing with a single login, changing passwords regularly shouldn’t be a problem. However, when dealing with a dozen or more accounts, good luck assigning a dozen or more new passwords every month.

2-Factor Authentication Strengthens SSO

Adding 2-factor authentication to an SSO system further strengthens security measures for digital financial transactions. Requiring a secondary device to provide a second code can help ensure that the registered user is actually the one logging in.

It’s not uncommon for unscrupulous individuals to steal passwords from careless users or through sophisticated hacking efforts. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection by requesting additional information from a secondary device. As such, this makes any hacker’s possession of usernames and passwords irrelevant.

technology advantage for security
Source: Shutterstock

Security is NatPay’s Number One Priority, With Single Sign-On and 2-Factor Authentication

NatPay, a leading provider of ACH and document distribution systems since 1991, offers third-party payment solutions that emphasize security. With over 228,000 satisfied ACH clients which total more than $115 billion in transactions, NatPay takes security seriously. Single sign-on and 2-factor authentication are just two facets of a multi-tiered approach ensuring that transactions remain fast, accurate, and secure.

Learn more about how NatPay can provide your company with payroll, HR, and financial solutions that suit your unique requirements—contact a representative today.