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Imprivata OneSign 2.0 shows promise

May 12, 20042 mins
Access ControlEnterprise Applications

* Improved single sign-on from Imprivata

Last year I gave you my impressions of then start-up Imprivata’s attempt at a single sign-on appliance called OneSign (see link below). While I wasn’t keen on some of the company’s marketing literature, the device itself did show promise. Now that Version 2.0 is shipping, that promise is being delivered upon.

OneSign is an appliance that simply plugs into your network. You will need to install an agent on all client platforms, but that process can most likely be automated (or semi-automated) through tools you already have. After that, there’s no need to visit the desktop to do anything. Updates, for example, are automatically installed with no inconvenience to the users.

And “users” is a key word when talking about OneSign 2.0. This version supports multiple users on a single workstation. Think about situations such as in a retail store, or at a nurse’s station in an intensive care unit. People may have to access multiple applications and services, on multiple platforms requiring multiple passwords yet still keep their data, sessions and activity as secure as possible. In the case of the nurse’s station, for example, the privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act severely limit what can be done without very strict user controls – the sort of controls OneSign provides.

Version 2.0 also allows you to track application usage by user, workstation, time and more. Some of this information is needed to comply with regulations but the data is also useful when software-license renewal time comes around. If you have software licensed by concurrent usage then knowing how many users are accessing it at any one time is the exact knowledge you need in order to stay legal without overspending.

Now this isn’t a revolutionary concept. Single sign-on has been around for a few years. In essence, OneSign is a hardened, secure, password-proxy machine. But for most companies a working, secure single sign-on device will improve the bottom line. Imprivata is so sure of that fact that it even provides you with an ROI calculator ( Plug in your numbers; you may be surprised at the result.

If you don’t already have a working single sign-on service, then OneSign deserves a look. Even if you do have such as service installed, OneSign might be a better choice so do take a look.