Single sign-on

By Pete Loshin, Computer World |  Security, Network access control

Logging on is hard to do, especially if you need to remember a different user ID and password (or pass- phrase) for each different system or resource. If you use passwords that are easy to remember or a single password for all of your accounts, security specialists wag their fingers: "Easy to remember" also means "easy to guess." The experts warn against reusing passwords and writing those passwords down anywhere that an attacker might find them. Oh, yes, they add that you should change each of your passwords frequently.

Thus, it's little wonder that IT managers have been embracing the idea of single sign-on (SSO) services in recent years: Administrative and support costs can be significantly reduced when users have only one password to forget, and the overall environment can be made more secure.

What Log-on Entails

Although the process of logging on to a system seems simple -

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