5 ways SSO improves agency security in Joomla

Published by Vic Drover on

Balancing the access to and security of online resources is a critical feature of any successful web development agency.

However, many agencies struggle to make and enforce security policies that protect their own resources and that of third-party clients.

Both individual and group-based password managers have significantly enhanced web server and website security by addressing these issues effectively.

However, one area that continues to cause trouble and reduce productivity is managing secure access to websites by agency staff and contractors.

Utilizing Single Sign-On (SSO) offers a significant opportunity for improving site access management by providing a centralized authentication hub.

Below you’ll find 5 ways that SSO can improve the productivity of your agency and keep your websites more secure.

1. Easily reset passwords across all sites at once.

One of the most tedious tasks of any web agency is resetting passwords across tens or hundreds of websites.

SSO manages website passwords in one location. Updating the password centrally propagates the change to all the SSO-enabled websites automatically.

2. Update email addresses everywhere.

While email addresses change less frequently than passwords, agencies relying on role-based user credentials may experience more frequent changes.

Changing email addresses might also be necessary when migrating to modern help desks and project management services that prefer unique email accounts to monitor.

Updating email addresses is similarly tedious when you are managing more than a couple of websites. Again, SSO trivializes this task.

3. Reduce password fatigue.

Despite the availability of browser extensions for generating and managing numerous unique passwords, password fatigue can still become an issue.

SSO simplifies this by managing one common set of credentials for accessing all of your websites.

4. Ban group passwords from your agency.

It is distressingly common to come across agencies that use a single user account for all their staff.

Not only does this greatly increase the chance of a password falling into the wrong hands accidentally, it prevents any level of accountability for what happens on the site.

And if a team member leaves your agency suddenly, you must urgently disable or modify the shared credentials which reduces productivity as new credentials are generated and re-shared.

By using SSO, it is trivial to add a user account with the appropriate privileges for each member of your team.

Now if a person leaves your agency, it is quick and easy to reset the password for a single SSO user account without affecting the other users in your organization.

5. Develop and maintain a strong security policy.

Let’s face it: if you build websites for a living, eventually one will be hacked. And if you are an agency with many clients, you’ll likely have to explain to a client what went wrong.

Unfortunately, it’s not always clear what caused a security lapse. In these cases, it is very important to be able to walk your client through your security policy to illustrate how careful you are when accessing their resources and sharing their website passwords.

All good security policies will clearly outline how sites are accessed and how often passwords are changed. How minimum password strengths are enforced and how site activity is logged on a per-user basis are also common.

Not only does such a security policy lead to more secure websites, but it can also help retain a customer if disaster strikes.

Including SSO-based workflows in your security policy that schedule password resets and obsolete user removal — to delete former team members and contractors for example — is the professional and responsible choice for all web agencies.

SSO to improve Joomla website security

The Joomla content management system is not unique in its need for central user management. Thus, SSO can improve Joomla website security for all the reason described above.

If you’d like to implement SSO at your Joomla agency, have a look at our SSO plugin where the Watchful dashboard can manage users directly.

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