Does single sign-on have a future?

Single sign-on has been for a while now lodged into many IT minds as a potential ideal solution for the issue of the forever-piling sign-in credentials.

As people are conducting an ever increasing portion of their lives online, using more and more services, applications, and social networks, the problem of keeping tabs on all that information and of simplifying the access to all those things is starting to become an issue.

Some providers have already introduced a single sign-in that encompasses the access to all of their offerings – Google and Yahoo come to mind. And, even though many enterprises today have a SSO solution deployed within their environments, the advent of the cloud and the incredible success of social networks has again given rise to speculation about how and when a workable universal log-in solution could be available.

The usual issues of security and trust are – as always – what stands in the way of potential adoption.

“We do see the possibilities and emergences of cloud software and services bringing that trusted common authentication platform to users in the future but not in the near term,” Patrick Chan, chief technology advisor for emerging technologies at IDC Asia-Pacific’s practice group, says for ZDNet Asia.

Joel Sider, Microsoft’s senior product manager, is more skeptical and doubts there will ever be a single digital credential. “Different credentials, identity providers and verifying parties will play a role, depending on the situation and need,” he says. Ensuring that the various platforms work together well is where the challenge will lay.

I happen to agree with Mr. Sider. In today’s online world, one of the biggest problems is that cybercriminals are trying to put their hands on as much potentially exploitable information as they can.

Is having one key that keeps all your information safe really the answer? It seems to me that a lot of people simply choose not to see that if something is simpler for us, it is bound to be simple for the attackers.




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