Google Extends Single Sign-On Support to More SaaS Apps

The company enhances its identity provider service with new support for SAML 2.0.

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Businesses using Google's OpenID Connect (OIDC) identity provider service to authenticate users to software-as-a-service applications in the Google Apps Marketplace now have a way to enable single sign-on support for a broader set of SaaS and custom-built applications for desktop and mobile devices.

The company on Oct. 13 announced that it has enhanced its OIDC service with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 support for more than one dozen new SaaS providers. The update will allow businesses to give employees secure single sign-on access to cloud applications and services from SaaS providers such as, Amazon Web Services, WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, Dropbox, NetSuite and Zendesk.

Google has also made it easier for administrators to enable single sign-on to custom cloud applications that are not integrated with Google's App Marketplace, said Shashank Gupta, product manager for Google Apps for Work.

Google's administrator help pages offer a step-by-step guide for developers to enable single sign-on to enterprise cloud applications listed in the apps marketplace and also separately for custom-built apps.

"These single sign-on options help us address the growing demand for a central cloud based identity service" from businesses, Gupta said in a blog post Oct. 14.

A single sign-on environment lets users enter their identity credentials just once when logging in to a service and be automatically authenticated to multiple other applications and services. A single sign-on model eliminates the need for users to authenticate their identity separately each time they log into a new application.

Identity and access management services such as those offered by Google give enterprises a way to outsource management of individual identity credentials, user provisioning and unified single sign-on services. Google's identity and access management service, for instance, lets workers use their Google App or Google for Work log-in credentials to sign into multiple enterprise cloud applications.

Google's enhanced OIDC service extends single sign-on support to SaaS and custom-built applications running on mobile devices as well. Users can sign in to multiple enterprise apps via their mobile devices by authenticating themselves to the service just once.

Businesses also have the option of using Google's mobile management controls to strengthen application access via mobile devices. The controls allow administers to implement requirements such as password strength, lock screens and app management on users with mobile access to enterprise applications. Google's identity services work in concert with hardware and software security features like fingerprint readers and multifactor authentication.

Enterprise adoption of cloud-based identity and access management services is expected to grow sharply over the next few years, with organizations increasingly looking to outsource functions such as access management, password management, user provisioning and single sign-on. A study available on Research and Markets predicts the global market for cloud identity management services will grow from around $1.1 billion this year to around $3.5 billion in 2020.

According to the report, much of the growth is being driven by the increasing integration of various applications and services in the cloud. Mobile trends like bring your own device (BYOD) are also fueling adoption of cloud-based identity and access management services. Major vendors in this space include Okta, CA Technologies, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.