Is Single Sign-On Enough to Secure Your SaaS Applications?

If you will find a person factor all great SaaS platforms share in frequent, it really is their concentrate on simplifying the lives of their conclude-consumers. Getting rid of friction for users in a harmless way is the mission of one indication-on (SSO) suppliers.

With SSO at the helm, end users never have to bear in mind individual passwords for each app or disguise the digital copies of the credentials in plain sight.

SSO also frees up the It is really bandwidth from dealing with recurring password reset requests when bettering productivity for every person in your business. Even so, there is also a degree of chance that will come with SSO ability.

How to guard in opposition to SSO fails

Real-Life Pitfalls Associated in SSO

While SSO facilitates simplicity of entry to a good extent, it also will come with some amount of imminent danger. SSO is a superior enabler of effectiveness, but not the end-all security remedy with its personal flaws that allow for bypass.

There’s a unique course of vulnerability that Adam Roberts from the NCC Group detected in a number of SSO expert services. He uncovered that the vulnerability specially impacted Stability Assertion Markup Language (SAML) implementations.

“The flaw could let an attacker to modify SAML responses generated by an identity company, and thereby attain unauthorized entry to arbitrary user accounts, or to escalate privileges inside of an application,” described security researcher Roberts.

Safety researchers from Micro Focus Fortify showcased in 2019 the potential risks connected with SSO vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s authentication mechanism. The vulnerabilities enabled poor actors to have out both a denial of services or impersonate one more person in buy to exploit their person privilege. Microsoft fastened the vulnerability in the SSO authentication in July of the identical 12 months.

There’s also the troubling rise of account takeover (ATO) attacks exactly where the undesirable actor is ready to bypass SSO. According to credit score rating huge Experian (no stranger to harming fraud assaults), 57% of corporations say they have fallen victim to ATOs around the course of 2020.


By design, SSO does not present 100% defense. Several corporations will enable multi-component authentication (MFA) in addition, and however, there are even now occasions when all these preventative steps could fall short. Here is a typical state of affairs:

Tremendous admins—the most strong users in the SaaS stability posture — will often bypass SSO and IAM parameters devoid of any hiccups. This functionality can be bypassed for a lot of reasons, stemming from strive for straightforward entry and benefit or want. In an IdP outage circumstance, for certain SaaS platforms, the super admins authenticate straight from the system to make sure connectivity. In any circumstance, there are legacy protocols that make it possible for admins to circumvent its necessary use.

Safeguard In opposition to SSO Fails

SSO resources by itself are not more than enough to defend from unauthorized entries into an organization’s SaaS estate. There are specified steps you can choose to stay away from the dangers offered by SSO.

  • Operate an audit and establish end users and platforms that can bypass SSO and deploy application-specific MFA to make sure right configured password guidelines for people.
  • Detect legacy authentication protocols that you should not aid MFA and that are in use, these kinds of as IMAP and POP3 for electronic mail clients.
  • Then, decrease the variety of end users working with these protocols and then build a next element, these types of as a certain set of units that can use this sort of legacy protocols.
  • Review one of a kind indicators of compromise, these kinds of as forwarding regulations that are configured in e mail programs, bulk actions, and so forth. This sort of indicators may possibly be various concerning SaaS platforms and as a result require personal understanding of just about every system.

A sturdy SaaS security posture management (SSPM) software, like Adaptive Protect, can automate these actions to enable prevent feasible leaks or attacks.

In addition to vetting each and every person in your SaaS ecosystem, Adaptive Defend will permit you to glance at the configuration weakness across your complete SaaS estate, SSO area involved, as a result of every environment, user role, and entry privilege.

Adaptive Defend gives your stability team the whole context of a breach and its danger to your organization and gives you the correct recommendations each and every move of the way right until the menace is fixed.

How to make the most of your SaaS safety.

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