Single Sign-On Vs. Multi-Factor Authentication

Dear Readers,

This week’s blog is about Single Sign-On Vs. Multi-Factor Authentication; Passwords have always been considered a security measure to verify user identity, however, in the world of growing cyber threats, they are no longer considered secure enough to prevent data theft or exposure. To overcome this, organizations are shifting towards single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). Both SSO and MFA have the capability to strengthen security without compromising on user experience.

Ambimat Electronics, with its experience of over forty years, desires to draw the attention of its readers and potential customers towards this blog post about their new product called AmbiSecure key and how it will benefit us.

What is Single Sign-On (SSO)?

The use of single credentials to log in to multiple accounts and applications is known as SSO. The benefit of single sign-on is that users can access accounts and applications without having to enter new credentials each time.

An example of SSO is Google and its set of applications. Users can access all of Google’s applications with only one login credential. Many websites and online transaction sites have enabled users to log in to their applications using their Google credentials.

Single sign-on does have its advantages. When used externally it can improve overall user experience and while using it within an organization it can boost productivity. It removes the hassle of remembering complex passwords for each application, making it convenient for users to access multiple devices.

With SSO, IT departments find it easy to monitor user activity. It removes the regime of weak passwords across organizational networks, reducing potential entry points for hackers to infiltrate and allowing IT teams to quickly respond to any threats.

There are certain pitfalls that organizations should be aware of regarding SSO and should consider when implementing it into their security framework. Single sign-on allows users to access the system with just one credential, which can turn risky if an attacker gains access to the SSO system. They will gain access to all applications and devices associated with that login credentials. Additionally, if one system is compromised users won’t be able to access any associated application tied to that system. Even with such pitfalls, organizations should implement SSO to strengthen authentication controls, as it has fewer passwords to remember. They can strengthen to structure of a single password by introducing characters and complexity. Moreover, organizations can implement policies relating to account lockout and password reuse.

This is where multi-factor authentication steps in.

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Password guessing is the topmost form of cyber-attacks. To stop them additional layer pr protection is crucial. With MFA, users are required to enter two or more factors to prove their identity to access the system or resources. Such factors are challenging to guess or duplicate, as they are unique to the user. The multi-factor authentication approach makes it impossible for hackers and pernicious beings to get hold of sensitive information.

MFA relies on three categories

    • What you know: – this is usually users’ password, security question, or PIN
    • What you have: – this is what users have such as a smartphone, USB device, keycard over and above their password.
    • Who you are: – it is based on the user’s biometrics. It includes fingerprints, facial recognition, voice, or iris scan. Biometrics are considered the highest level of security for system access.

With MFA organizations can choose two or more factors, depending upon the level of security needed for user verification. Usually, the most common form is password and short message service (SMS) code. However, with SMS becoming vulnerable to phishing attacks, organizations are shifting toward the use of an external device such as a hardware security key. Based on the system or device, users may require MFA to prove their identity each time they log in. These additional layers of protection make it challenging for hackers to infiltrate systems and networks.

Although the use of SMS, PIN and security question is common factors in MFA, they can be more complex if needed. Privileged users with access to highly sensitive information may require additional factors for authenticating them. This is where security tokens, facial recognition, and fingerprint authenticating factors are introduced to prevent unauthorized access. Biometric authentication provides exclusive access and is next to impossible for hackers to gain personal identification information.

Which is the Best Cybersecurity?

What we see from above is that SSO and MFA are both exclusive. Organizations can increase their security structure by implementing both of them. Not only will it improve user experience, but it will also allow IT teams to monitor network activity, and improve overall security posture.

Combining single sign-on with MFA will strengthen security and stop hackers in their path. Even with a compromised password, they would not be able to access user accounts and systems while only the authorized will get to experience streamlined security.

SSO and multi-factor authentication should be implemented to meet organizational needs. Organizations should not hesitate to take the help of experienced cybersecurity vendors to add data loss prevention solutions to their cybersecurity framework. They will also help guide the organization on when and where MFA and SSO are needed. With a proper approach, companies can balance security with user experience.

Secure Sign-In with AmbiSecure

FIDO2 is a standard that simplifies and secures user authentication. It uses public-key cryptography to protect from phishing attacks and is the only phishing-proof factor available. Corporations around the world and across many sectors can benefit from Fast Identity Online or Fast ID Online (FIDO) authentication, which their employees and users can use to minimize security risks and improve the user experience. We use FIDO for our AmbiSecure key and card which offers superior security by combining hardware-based authentication and public key cryptography to effectively defend against phishing attacks and eliminate account takeovers.

AmbiSecure helps organizations accelerate to a password-less future by providing support for the FIDO2 protocol. FIDO2 supports not only today’s two-factor authentication but also paves the way for eliminating weak password authentication, with strong single-factor hardware-based authentication. The AmbiSecure provides a simple and intuitive authentication experience that users find easy to use, ensuring rapid adoption and organizational security. Ambisecure key or card does not require a battery or network connectivity, making authentication always accessible.

About Ambimat Electronics:

With design experience of close to 4 decades of excellence, world-class talent, and innovative breakthroughs, Ambimat Electronics is a single-stop solution enabler to Leading PSUs, private sector companies, and start-ups to deliver design capabilities and develop manufacturing capabilities in various industries and markets. AmbiIoT design services have helped develop Smartwatches, Smart homes, Medicals, Robotics, Retail, Pubs and brewery, Security.

Ambimat Electronics has come a long way to become one of India’s leading IoT(Internet of things) product designers and manufacturers today. We present below some of our solutions that can be implemented and parameterized according to specific business needs. AmbiPay, AmbiPower, AmbiCon, AmbiSecure, AmbiSense, AmbiAutomation.

To know more about us or what Ambimat does, we invite you to follow us on LinkedIn or visit our website.


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