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January 31, 2013

Federated single sign-on will dominate by 2016: Gartner

Mobile devices can pose further challenges to authentication and SSO, analyst says

By CBR Staff Writer

According to Gartner, federated single sign-on (SSO) will be the dominant SSO technology by 2016 with about 80% of enterprises prefering it.

Gartner analysts said that a well-executed SSO strategy reduces password-related support incidents and provides users with improved convenience and more efficient authentication processes.

According to the research firm, a sound SSO strategy will give users fewer reasons to write down passwords while one password providing access to all in-scope systems can compromise access to those systems.

Gartner research vice president Gregg Kreizman said organisations implementing SSO, particularly to systems that hold sensitive data, should implement risk-appropriate authentication methods with the SSO system.

"Solutions are not ‘one size fits all,’ and solutions that provide SSO to all target systems may be deemed too expensive. Therefore, a best practice is to identify the tactical and strategic approaches that reduce enough of the problem space over time and within budget," Kreizman said.

Gartner finds that mobile devices can pose further challenges to authentication and SSO.

Kreizman said: "The proliferation of mobile phones and tablets with a variety of operating systems has created the latest and greatest challenges to authentication and SSO."

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"Web-architected applications can often be supported with existing access management tools, such as Web access management (WAM) and federation, because smartphones and tablets have Web browsers.

"Native mobile resident applications can create a gap in SSO support, and market offerings to resolve the issues are currently immature, proprietary, or not comprehensive enough to support multiple device and operating system variants," said Kreizman.

Gartner said that assessing the current environment and pain points, evaluating expected changes to in scope applications, leveraging currently owned services or solutions to reduce the in-scope applications and selecting solutions to resolve the remaining requirements will be used to appropriately scope the target solution set.

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