Single sign-on (SSO) is a session/user authentication process that allows a user to enter one name and password in order to access multiple applications. The process verifies the user for all the applications that they have been given rights to. Biometrics is unique traits or behavioral characteristics that can be captured and used for individual identification through different biometric modalities such as: fingerprint, vein, iris, facial or voice recognition. Biometrics are unique to every human on the planet, even identical twins have different biometric physiological characteristics. Therefore, thanks to the high level of identification accuracy, security and usability, biometric SSO solutions are considered as the “next generation” personal identification solutions to reduce data security risks and potential loss of intellectual capital.
Biometric single sign-on (SSO) is a biometric identification management system that permits end users the ability to provide their biometric credentials in replacing of a password, token, or personal identification number (PIN) as a secure method of system or database access. While traditional passwords are known as the weakest link to information security systems, with an increasing number of data security breaches due to weak passwords and inadequate network and data encryption systems, many organizations are considering deploying biometric SSO solutions using either fingerprint, finger vein or other biometric modalities for secure password and identity management. Biometric SSO systems provide a secure access to sensitive data and bring flexibility to identity management, fully integrate with Windows Active Directory and are readily available for large enterprises, healthcare organizations, financial service institutions, and government entities. The majority of data security breaches were the result of the illegal access of employee passwords and unencrypted file sharing. Using a biometric SSO solution can prevent unethical employees from logging on using their authentication credentials when they were not present. Using a biometric SSO system for sensitive file encryption is the most effective strategy to avoid these situations.
The advantages of using biometric SSO solutions for securing enterprise information are huge. Firstly, utilizing biometric SSO authentication provides stronger authentication and security instead of relying on traditional passwords. It is nearly impossible to steal or duplicate biometric characteristics for authentication purposes. Besides, biometric characteristics are unique for every person in the world; even identical twins have different biometrics. Hence, biometric SSO achieves the highest level of identification accuracy. Secondly, implementing a biometric SSO technology is considered as a cost effective solution to reduce financial losses from being compromised by weak password management policies. Thirdly, the variety of biometric SSO modalities available such as fingerprint, iris, vein, and palm brings a huge flexibility to organizations to achieve better return on investment.
In reality, biometrics, as the highest level of authentication security, has gained popularity in recent years in many industries such as law enforcement, military. For commercial sectors like healthcare, banking, transportation, biometrics is becoming more mainstream as a powerful weapon to fight fraud. Similarly, biometric security can enhance SSO solutions. SSO can ease the problem of remembering multiple accounts and passwords, but it can increase security risks by tying accounts together and presenting a single point of vulnerability. By replacing or supplementing a SSO password with a biometric system, the increased security risks can be reduced.