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If you're like me, when companies tout their products and solutions as the best in the business and superior to none, etc., you can't help but be skeptical and say: "OK prove it." As smart consumers, we should ask for the proof. And so it is with Ping Identity and what we offer. That said, what makes our single sign-on (SSO) the best and superior when compared to other SSO offerings out there? Good question!
In a word, the difference-maker for superior SSO is federation. Unlike many SSO solutions, Ping Identity SSO is, in actuality, federated SSO. Wondering what 'federation' and 'federated SSO' mean? The word 'federation' is derived from the Latin word 'foederātus', meaning 'leagued together' or 'allied'.
Federation in IT is based on the notion that a user can authenticate (prove their identity with a username and password) once within their organization and that one authentication is then good for all the applications that the user is authorized to access. In other words, with federation in place, a user proves that they are 'allied' with an organization once and then they don't have to prove their "I'm-on-your-team" status again. Federated SSO also supports a trust relationship between an organization and external third party, such as an application vendor or partner.
Federated SSO has one major advantage over most SSO products: the user's identity and password is stored in a single place that is controlled by the user's organization. Rather than uploading many usernames and passwords (like most cloud-based SSO products), federated SSO uses standard encrypted tokens to share the users' authentication status and identity attributes to facilitate access to applications. When a user accesses an application, the user's identity (via token) is transparently and securely passed to the application vendor.
With federated SSO, you get next generation identity security that truly supports our business collaborative and app-happy world now and in the future. Power on!
Have more questions about federated SSO and how the latest solutions on the market stack up? Check out the latest analyst report from IDC on federated SSO and identity and access management vendors.
John Fitzgerald is Product Marketing Manager at Ping Identity. Follow him @fitzgeraldjohnf.