Is Single Signal-On Sufficient to Safe Your SaaS Functions?

Single Sign-On

If there’s one factor all nice SaaS platforms share in frequent, it is their give attention to simplifying the lives of their end-users. Eradicating friction for customers in a secure means is the mission of single sign-on (SSO) suppliers.

With SSO on the helm, customers do not have to recollect separate passwords for every app or conceal the digital copies of the credentials in plain sight.

SSO additionally frees up the IT’s bandwidth from dealing with recurring password reset requests whereas bettering productiveness for everybody in your group. Nonetheless, there’s additionally a stage of threat that comes with SSO functionality.

How to protect against SSO fails

Actual-Life Dangers Concerned in SSO

Whereas SSO facilitates ease of entry to an incredible extent, it additionally comes with some quantity of imminent threat. SSO is an efficient enabler of effectivity, however not the end-all safety answer with its personal flaws that permit for bypass.

There is a particular class of vulnerability that Adam Roberts from the NCC Group detected in a number of SSO companies. He discovered that the vulnerability particularly affected Safety Assertion Markup Language (SAML) implementations.

“The flaw may permit an attacker to switch SAML responses generated by an id supplier, and thereby acquire unauthorized entry to arbitrary person accounts, or to escalate privileges inside an software,” described safety researcher Roberts.

Security researchers from Micro Focus Fortify showcased in 2019 the risks related to SSO vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s authentication mechanism. The vulnerabilities enabled unhealthy actors to hold out both a denial of service or impersonate one other person with a view to exploit their person privilege. Microsoft fastened the vulnerability within the SSO authentication in July of the identical yr.

There’s additionally the troubling rise of account takeover (ATO) attacks the place the unhealthy actor is ready to bypass SSO. In keeping with credit standing large Experian (no stranger to damaging fraud assaults), 57% of organizations say they’ve fallen sufferer to ATOs over the course of 2020.


By design, SSO doesn’t provide 100% safety. Many organizations will allow multi-factor authentication (MFA) as well as, and but, there are nonetheless cases when all these preventative measures may fail. This is a standard state of affairs:

Tremendous admins—probably the most highly effective customers within the SaaS safety posture — will usually bypass SSO and IAM parameters with none hiccups. This functionality might be bypassed for a lot of causes, stemming from attempt for straightforward entry and comfort or want. In an IdP outage state of affairs, for sure SaaS platforms, the tremendous admins authenticate straight in opposition to the platform to make sure connectivity. In any case, there are legacy protocols that permit admins to bypass its obligatory use.

Defend In opposition to SSO Fails

SSO instruments alone usually are not sufficient to guard in opposition to unauthorized entries into a corporation’s SaaS property. There are specific steps you’ll be able to take to keep away from the dangers introduced by SSO.

  • Run an audit and establish customers and platforms that may bypass SSO and deploy app-specific MFA to make sure correct configured password insurance policies for customers.
  • Determine legacy authentication protocols that do not help MFA and which are in use, equivalent to IMAP and POP3 for e mail shoppers.
  • Then, cut back the variety of customers utilizing these protocols after which create a second issue, equivalent to a particular set of units that may use such legacy protocols.
  • Evaluate distinctive indicators of compromise, equivalent to forwarding guidelines which are configured in e mail purposes, bulk actions, and so on. Such indicators could also be totally different between SaaS platforms and subsequently require intimate data of every platform.

A sturdy SaaS security posture management (SSPM) tool, like Adaptive Protect, can automate these steps to assist stop potential leaks or assaults.

Along with vetting every person in your SaaS ecosystem, Adaptive Protect will allow you to take a look at the configuration weak point throughout your entire SaaS property, SSO area included, by means of each setting, person function, and entry privilege.

Adaptive Protect provides your safety workforce the total context of a breach and its threat to your group and provides you the proper directions each step of the best way till the risk is resolved.

How to make the most of your SaaS security.

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