Navy Deploying Its Battle Plan: SAML

Military branch launches secure single sign-on to Web services.

At the U.S. Navys Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the battle plans to gain control of an it environment with an estimated 200,000 applications center on single-sign-on capabilities and the use of saml.

By deploying a single-sign-on solution based on Security Assertion Markup Language, the Navy will not only enhance employee productivity but also simplify domain adminis-tration as well as reduce security administration, help desk support and application development costs, said Terry Howell, Navy Enterprise Portal program manager for SPAWAR, in San Diego.

Once fully deployed, the identity management solution—which will reach 720,000 users—is expected to deliver a return on investment of 300 percent over three years, Howell said. The Navy spends an estimated $1 billion per year on its intranet alone.

"The potential savings associated with this project are huge," Howell said. "Once we are able to deploy functionality like user provisioning, well really start seeing a lot of savings. Eventually, those savings could be in the millions, if not billions, because well be able to manage users and applications more efficiently."

SAML has become a central player in securing Web services at many widespread organizations such as the Navy. For enterprises struggling to authenticate users for an increasing number of online applications, the standards ability to enable single sign-on makes it an attractive and potentially cost-effective solution.

In fact, Gartner Inc., a research company in Stamford, Conn., predicts that an ROI of nearly 300 percent and savings of $3.5 million can be achieved over three years by a business of 10,000 employees that has implemented an effective automated identity management system.

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