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Single sign-on moves to the cloud

Okta and OneLogin score high in test of eight SSO solutions that cut help desk calls and boost password security

By David Strom, Network World
December 17, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Page 10 of 10

3. Third is the ability to manage roles of each user and their respective access permissions to various apps. Each product has varying ways of accomplishing this, typically through particulars in their Web-based management consoles. Some also use the Active Directory group identities as the basis of how they configure their SSO roles and policies. McAfee has the most flexible configuration rules, and can setup individual apps with a particular identity provider and choose whether each app needs to have two-factor authentication.

4. Finally there is how each product handles reports and compliance actions. Some products have more graphical or summary reports than others. These products offer the opportunity for you to track exactly how many users are using particular applications, so if you are paying for site licenses, they could save you money if you can reduce your license counts.

How we tested single sign-on products

We set up each product with two sample user accounts and tried to automate logins to a series of hosted services and on-premises servers, including Google Mail and Apps,, Paypal, Microsoft Active Directory, SharePoint and Office 365 (for testing WS-FED),, LinkedIn, Twitter, Windows login and an online banking site. Each product supported a different collection of applications for SSO activities. We also connected to a variety of cloud-based services along with a test Windows Server from We connected via different desktops, browsers, and mobile clients (if supported) to see how each would handle the various site logins. We also looked at what it would take to automatically provision new users on a number of SaaS vendors, and how they interacted with other identity providers.

We used two desktops: a MacBook running OS 10.6.8 and a Dell running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. In addition, we also used both an iPad and an iPhone 4 running iOS v5.1 for testing the mobile features. The tests were conducted during November 2012.

Strom is a veteran technology journalist, speaker and former IT manager. He has written two books on computing and thousands of articles. His blog can be found at

Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.

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