As more servicers look for ways to trim costs and increase productivity, they should take a closer look at Single Sign-On (SSO), which does just that as well as reduce IT costs.
What is SSO? It is an authentication process allowing employees to use the same username and password to access multiple applications. Basically, employees login one time for all applications they have access to and this eliminates further password prompts as they switch between applications. Businesses everywhere including large and small servicing shops are adopting online, web, or cloud-based tools at an increasing pace. In order to maintain some order as this happens, SSO solutions can be configured to work for a mix of both in-house and online web tools.
SSO can also help your business by increasing employee productivity. The average business employee must keep track of 20+ usernames and passwords, according to an article written by Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at McAfee. Their daily routines will become more efficient as business applications and tools are converted to SSO; there will be fewer usernames and passwords to manage for each application, which streamlines processes and workflows. Less time being locked out of applications and waiting for password resets equates to less idle time that could be spent being productive. While this may sound insignificant, employees that login to many websites, tools, or applications daily with different usernames and passwords will think otherwise.
Lowering the cost of doing business is important to most companies, especially as rates remain low and consumers consider refinancing more and more. Adopting SSO can help with that. Consider this: password resets make up 20% to 50% of average Help Desk requests, according to a 2018 white paper on the topic from Okta, a public company that provides an identity for enterprise and enables organizations to securely connect people with the technology they need when they need it.
According to the whitepaper, “The average company has over 80 apps, and even when accessed through SSO, it’s inevitable that users will occasionally forget their one password. A forgotten password usually results in a password reset process, which can create challenges and ineﬃciencies for both the end-user as well as the IT department.”
Needless to say, fewer passwords for employees to remember means fewer resets, which in turn means calls and tickets to your Helpdesk and IT staff for password resets will be reduced. Being able to free Helpdesk and IT resources enables those individuals to focus on their primary responsibilities, helping other parts of your business run smoother.
Security is also an area that can be improved by using SSO with multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication usually requires a password and a one-time token often generated by a mobile application or hardware key. According to the findings of a 2019 survey from the Ponemon Institute, few people actually take advantage of this added security.
The study also found with SSO that each application will have a smaller security footprint since the need to store usernames and passwords for users will be minimized. Employees will no longer need to write down passwords reducing the risk of their credentials being compromised. Onboarding and offboarding employee accounts will be simpler with one location to add or remove employee accounts. You and your auditors will be happy!
The road to SSO can be longer depending on how many applications your company is currently using. It is also possible some of those older applications are not compatible with SSO as of yet. However, over time applications and tools will be upgraded, and being prepared to configure them for SSO will make your employee’s lives easier, your IT staff happy and your business more secure.