Network Manager’s guide to
single-sign-on

Network Manager’s guide to single-sign-on

CSE’s Magellan is an advanced single-sign-on software solution for schools, colleges and universities. Since the launch of Magellan, we’ve found that single-sign-on is a real hot topic with our customers, so we have put together a short guide to bring you up to speed.

Identity Management and single-sign-on are set to be a priority in the world of school IT networks over the coming years as the use of online tools and resources, each requiring their own set of login credentials, becomes the norm.

 


What is single-sign-on?
Single-sign-on (SSO) basically allows teachers and students to login to a ‘session’ instead of individual applications and resources. Once authenticated, they have access to all of the resources they need without having to login to any of them individually. So one user name, one password, multiple applications.
The administration team can determine which resources are available to different groups of users, and more can be added as required, but the user continues to only need one set of credentials.

 

 


Why is single-sign-on important for schools?
The question of Identity Management is a hot topic in school networking – add in migration to the Cloud and the growth of mobile devices and BYOD, and it’s easy to see why everyone is talking about single-sign-on.

The benefits of cloud computing and the abundance of apps, tools and resources that come with it are well publicised in education circles. But while access to these resources is widening the ways teachers can bring their subject to life, multiple logins can become a barrier to learning, and forgotten passwords can waste precious classroom time. Single-sign-on undoubtably has the ability to be the unsung hero of this eduction revolution – whilst flashy apps take the limelight, it’s single-sign-on that is the enabler, making them truly usable.

Benefits of single-sign-on for schools include:

  • Getting lessons started quickly and easily with single click access to apps and data.
  • Freedom to access apps and resources, removing restraints that some teachers face.
  • Reduced support calls to IT help desk for forgotten passwords.
  • Improved user experience for students and teachers.
  • Improved security as users don’t need to keep multiple passwords written down.

 

 

 


Why is single-sign-on so complicated?

There are two major factors that make achieving true SSO complicated:

1) There are many different protocols used to define login requirements, and true SSO needs to be able to handle them all. Federation Services, Forms, NTLM, Kerebos, Basic… they all work in different ways, which is why many commercially available SSO solutions can’t handle all of them.
2) The stakes are high when it comes to security and data protection. As a school Network Manager, you must have total confidence in the robustness of the software and systems you put in place.

 

 

NOTE: don’t confuse SSO with shared authentication schemes such as OAuth, OpenID, OpenID Connect and Facebook Connect. These services unify user credentials across a number of services, but still require the user to login to each independently.


Why is Magellan a good single-sign-on solution
for schools?

Magellan is CSE’s highly advanced single-sign-on software solution. As you’d expect, it provides quick, secure and seamless access to all resources with just a single password, but it has many other benefits, some of which are completely unique in the marketplace:

  • Magellan’s sophisticated technology works with any protocol and can even interpret websites that do not have established SSO credentials, making it a unique offering adept at navigating the complexities of SSO. Using Magellan for identity management means that no resource is off limits.
  • Sophisticated Self Service Password reset functionality means users do not need IT support to change forgotten passwords.
  • Works independently, or integrates with existing networks.
  • Simple set-up, integrates with Active Directory, includes SSO authentications.

  • Easy central management of user groups.
  • Fully customisable for cloud, local or hybrid networks, securely managing the transition to BYOD.
  • Gives confidence in data security and online safety.
  • Allows access to locally hosted networks even if users are offsite (an ideal solution for BYOD initiatives)

Magellan is much more than just single-sign-on, it’s a complete identity management solution – the glue that binds user accounts together, with Auto Account Provisioning to reinforce this. Having pupil enrolment into MIS systems is a necessity; Magellan is the link between the MIS system and the school’s Active Directory, Office 365 and other third party systems.

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Safely navigating the world of Single-Sign-On with Magellan.

Magellan gives schools and colleges advanced Single-Sign-On (SSO) capabilities, providing a secure and seamless experience across all platforms and resources.