Simple Sign-On with Single Sign-On

Jim Frider
By Jim Frider | April 25, 2022
Senior Product Marketing Manager

Fact checked by Stephen O'Reilly

It’s Saturday night, a few old friends are in town, and the three of you decide to go out to a restaurant for a few hours and catch up on old times. Now imagine you’ve been there for a little while (you’ve already been admitted to the establishment) yet are asked to provide your credit card each time you attempt to order something. Most people would quickly become frustrated with the incessant payments.
 
However, in the real world, establishments only need a customer's credit card once, at the end of their visit. This is my very enjoyable and entertaining (well…) metaphor for a Single Sign-On (SSO) system: instead of paying over and over, you pay once at the end and can try different services along the way. You can buy additional beverages, order an appetizer, your meal, maybe even spring for dessert at the end. Can you imagine finally convincing everyone in your party to order a chocolate treat, only to be thwarted by a large doorman, insisting that you provide your credit card yet again before you destroy your diet with yummy chocolate? Outrageous!
Chocolate!

SSO Provides Many Benefits & Capabilities

InfinityQS quality management solutions, powered by our industry-leading Statistical Process Control (SPC) engine, deliver unparalleled visibility and intelligence into your manufacturing processes. Manufacturers gain strategic insight to make data-driven decisions that improve product quality, decrease costs and risk, and meet compliance requirements. InfinityQS enables manufacturers to convert quality from a problem into a competitive advantage.
 
Enact® is InfinityQS’ cloud-native real-time SPC solution. It provides manufacturers with unified visibility, knowledge, and understanding of their quality data. Enact users can now log into the award-winning quality management platform using their existing corporate login credentials via Single Sign-On. SSO is favored by corporate IT departments around the globe as a way to standardize login processes and make employees lives just a little bit easier.
Logging In

What is Single Sign-On?

Single Sign-On is an authentication method that enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by using just one set of credentials.
 
The user signs in only one time (hence the name of the feature). For example, if you log in to a Google service such as Gmail, you automatically gain access to other Google services, including YouTube, Google Drive, and Google Photos. Easy breezy!
 

Benefits and Capabilities of SSO

Streamlines Password Management & Login Activities
Because only one set of credentials is needed by users, SSO reduces the workload associated with managing passwords. Once fully implemented, SSO reduces the number of IT help desk requests—complaints or trouble with passwords—saving manhours.

Enhances IT Control
SSO provides IT administrators with greater visibility into software usage across the company, keeping IT better aware of suspicious behavior.

Reduces Cybersecurity Risks
Cybersecurity is a major concern for manufacturers today. SSO eliminates the need for additional user credentials, including Enact. This reduces the number of attack vectors, or “surfaces,” available to cyber criminals—strengthening your overall system security. Let’s face it, when employees have to use separate passwords for each app, they usually don't. And that creates obvious problems.

Supports Multiple Identity Provider Systems
Enact supports Microsoft Azure AD (Active Directory) and Okta as identity provider systems. These systems enable centralized management of user credentials at the corporate level, so Enact software level user credentials are no longer needed.

Convenient & Efficient User Access
The new SSO functionality in Enact means users don’t have to remember another username and password—reducing password “fatigue.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve got way too many different usernames and passwords as it is; I’m always happy to eliminate the need to create and remember another set.
 
And SSO reduces the amount of time users spend each week logging into software applications. For larger companies, this can add up to a lot of manhours.

Plant Floor Quality Control

What are the Disadvantages of Authentication without SSO?

An immediate impact of not having SSO is the need for each user to maintain several passwords for different applications. The implications here are pretty obvious:
 
Due to the complexity of passwords, users may keep their login information in unsecured places, choose only simple, easily guessed passwords or reuse passwords multiple times. (Uncle Frank, you’re seriously using your birthday as your password on everything? Oy.)
 
All of these practices increase the risk of password theft and cyberattacks, not to mention the need for password resets. Users must also ensure they manually log out of each app once they are done. Been there; tired of that…
 

Is SSO Encrypted?

In a typical SSO flow, “assertions” are passed between the identity provider and the service providers, and these assertions can be encrypted. An assertion is an XML document that the identity provider sends to the service provider that contains the user authorization. Additionally, the identity provider typically checks a user’s credentials against the encrypted identity data stored in a highly secure directory.
Quality on the Shop Floor

So, How Does Enact SSO Work?

When an operator, quality manager, or supervisor opens Enact, a login screen from their identity provider site displays. When the user successfully logs in, they are redirected to Enact—and can begin their Enact session.
 
If the identity provider server retains recent users, the client simply chooses his name from a user list and proceeds to the password entry process.
 
With SSO, Enact functions in its typical manner, but the global security settings are now controlled primarily through the client’s identity provider (rather than by Enact).
 

A Few Last Things to Think About

When you set up SSO within Enact, you work with your InfinityQS account manager, who assists you with enabling and configuring SSO to be used with Enact.
 
Your IT team needs to do a few minor things before everything is up and working:
  • Set up your Identity Provider System (IPS) prior to implementing SSO to be used with Enact
  • Provide InfinityQS with the proper settings to connect to your IPS
 
And that’s it! Your employees’ lives are made just a tad easier. Your IT department can rest easy, knowing that they can easily monitor software usage. Cyber security risks are lessened. And you can go order that chocolate treat you were eyeing without worrying about the hassle of providing your credit card yet again…
 
 
I encourage you to take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website) for more information about SSO and our quality management software solutions.
 

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