Cloud Challenges: #5 Productivity


Passwords in the cloud - productivityIn previous posts we discussed the prevalent trends of cloud computing and mobility, as well as the need for vital information to be constantly available. All these are motivated by convenience and productivity and can benefit a business in many ways.

Still, logging in with a fixed password is a hassle, made worse by the growing number of cloud services. Measures such as two-factor authentication increase the level of security, but also require additional time and effort for each login.

In another example, one-time passwords are great from a security standpoint, but they can also become a nuisance. If the users have to manage a different one-time password generator for each service – a hardware token or suchlike – it might become even more of a hassle than keeping track of multiple fixed passwords.

With cloud single sign-on, one set of credentials and one login is all you need. The users can enjoy a seamless workflow in the cloud, just as they are used to when working with traditional desktop applications. The experience is consistent on every device and in every location, with a smooth transition from desktop to mobile and back. Also, if the mobile phone is used as the login device, using a mobile token app, the user is almost guaranteed to always have the login device in their pocket. Most of us turn back and get our mobile if we have forgotten it at home or at work. That is rarely the case with hardware tokens.

At the same time, sensitive resources are as well-protected as when they are stored inside company walls. User credentials are never exposed to any third party, since it is the organisation’s internal authentication system which performs verification.

Cloud single sign-on underpinned by strong, two-factor authentication is the right way to go into a brighter cloud-based future. It provides a simple and accessible answer to each of the challenges and enables a company to use today’s technological advances to maximum effect.