Single-Sign-On: a must have technology for enhanced cybersecurity and productivity in a fast paced world

  • June 19th 2024
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Ensuring robust security measures is a continual challenge for IT enterprise specialists. Single Sign-On (SSO) technology presents a powerful solution to these operational challenges, streamlining workflows and enhancing both efficiency and security.

For an overview of how Pathcore uses SSO to improve security and user experience significantly, consider reading our article, "PathcoreFlow's integration of single sign-on (SSO)." This blog article outlines the practical enhancements brought by SSO to our platform for digital pathology workflow, emphasizing easier access to various applications, enhanced security through multi-factor authentication, and better compliance management— where efficiency and security are important.

This post explores the significant return on investment (ROI) that SSO implementations bring to organizations of all sizes. Throughout this exploration, we will examine several key areas:

 ·   What is Single Sign-On (SSO)?: Understanding the basics and importance of SSO in digital pathology.

·   Cost Savings Through SSO: Analyzing how SSO can reduce IT and administrative costs.

·   Case studies for healthcare and laboratories: Presenting data on the time savings and efficiency gains from SSO.

·   Productivity Gains from Efficient System Access: Highlighting how SSO can streamline operations.

·   Improving User Experience in High-Pressure Environments: Discussing the benefits of SSO in enhancing user satisfaction and system utilization.

·   Strategic Advantages of SSO: Exploring the enhanced security posture, scalability, and flexibility that SSO brings.

·   The Long-Term Benefits of SSO: Discussing how SSO contributes to consistency, compliance, and future-proofing operations.

By guiding you through these sections, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of how SSO transforms online safety with more efficient, secure, and compliant environments, preparing us for the future challenges of an evolving landscape.

What is single sign-on (SSO)?

Single Sign-On (SSO) is an authentication process that allows users to access multiple applications and services with one set of login credentials. This means instead of remembering multiple usernames and passwords, users can sign into a central platform once and gain access to all other connected systems without needing to log in again at each of them.

For organizations, especially those in sectors like digital pathology, SSO simplifies the management of user access to various software tools, enhancing both user convenience and security. This unified approach to access management is crucial in environments where data integrity and compliance with regulatory standards are paramount.

Cost savings through SSO

Implementing SSO can lead to substantial cost savings in several areas:

  • Reduced IT Support: SSO significantly cuts down on password-related support calls, which often consume considerable IT resources. Redirecting these resources towards more strategic initiatives can lead to better use of time and significant cost reductions.

  • Lower Administrative Costs: By centralizing user access management, SSO simplifies the management of user credentials across various systems. This centralization reduces the time and resources spent on administrative tasks, decreasing overhead costs.

Case studies for healthcare and laboratories 

Exploring the tangible benefits of Single Sign-On (SSO) systems reveals significant impacts on daily operations. To illustrate these advantages, consider the frequency with which lab technicians or researchers log in during a typical shift. Such scenarios help highlight the substantial amount of time that can be 'lost' to repetitive login procedures.

For example, a key observation in the field highlights the practical and security challenges associated with frequent authentications. Entering a password 60 times a shift is not only a burden but also leads to poor cybersecurity hygiene, opening the organization up to real risks. This underscores not only the inconvenience but also the heightened vulnerability to security breaches due to password fatigue.

Further examples come from studies that have found significant efficiencies in similar settings. For instance, research indicates that the average care provider in a hospital setting saves about 45 minutes per shift when using an SSO-enabled system¹. This significant time savings highlights how SSO can enhance productivity in environments where every minute counts, not just in patient care but also in research and operational tasks. These examples demonstrate the broad applicability and potential benefits of SSO in various high-stakes environments.

Pre-clinical advantages in SSO

Single Sign-On (SSO) significantly enhances operational efficiency and data security in pre-clinical research environments. By reducing the need for multiple logins, SSO streamlines researchers' access to various systems, crucial for workflows where precision and time are paramount.

In these settings, the protection of sensitive data and intellectual property (IP) is important. Each login instance presents a potential vulnerability; reducing these not only boosts productivity but also fortifies security defenses. The consequences of IP loss or data breaches in preclinical stages are profound—ranging from financial losses and legal challenges to severe setbacks in research progress and reputational damage.

Lastly, SSO plays a pivotal role in safeguarding proprietary data, which is foundational for securing patents and driving forward drug discovery innovations. By ensuring that sensitive information is accessible only to authorized personnel, SSO effectively prevents unauthorized access and potential leaks. This strategic integration of SSO into pre-clinical workflows does more than enhance security; it also ensures compliance with regulatory standards.

Productivity gains from efficient system access

SSO not only simplifies access management but also enhances productivity through a key improvement:

  • Efficient System Access: Staff can easily access systems such as PathcoreFlow through a single authentication point, reducing the time spent logging into multiple systems, enhancing overall productivity.

Improving user experience in high-pressure environments

The introduction of SSO can significantly enhance the user experience, a critical factor in high-pressure environments:

  • Smoother System Interaction: Minimizing the number of logins and reducing password fatigue, SSO enhances user satisfaction. Fewer login barriers mean quicker access to necessary tools, leading to less frustration and more focus on core responsibilities.

  • Increased System Utilization: With easier access, staff members are more likely to fully utilize the range of digital tools available at their disposal. This not only leads to better resource utilization but also fosters an environment conducive to innovation. 

Enhanced security posture: robust security features and compliance standards

SSO solutions at Pathcore not only simplify access management but also significantly enhance the security framework of digital pathology environments. These solutions often come equipped with security features like multi-factor authentication (MFA), crucial for protecting sensitive data and ensuring that even if a password is compromised, unauthorized access is prevented.

To further ensure the integrity and security of data, Pathcore incorporates technical controls within a compliance framework that meets both 21 CFR Part 11 and GLP standards. This framework includes detailed activity logs, reason for change tracking, and exportable audit trails, all designed to support regulatory compliance requirements for accountability and traceability in research and testing environments.

Furthermore, Pathcore's commitment to security is underscored by our recent achievement of ISO/IEC 27001 compliance certification. This certification is an internationally recognized standard that demonstrates our dedication to managing information security. The ISO/IEC 27001 standard helps organizations secure information assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details, or information entrusted by third parties.

By integrating SSO with compliance to rigorous security standards like ISO/IEC 27001, Pathcore ensures that digital pathology labs not only benefit from streamlined operations but also adhere to the highest standards of data protection and compliance. This dual focus on operational efficiency and uncompromising security offers labs the confidence they need.

Strategic advantages of SSO

The strategic implementation of SSO provides several advantages that extend beyond mere convenience:

  • Enhanced Security Posture: SSO solutions often come with robust security features, such as multi-factor authentication, which strengthen the overall security framework of the digital pathology environment.

  • Scalability and Flexibility: SSO provides a scalable framework that accommodates growing users and services without compromising performance or security. This adaptability is crucial for experiencing growth or anticipating future expansion.

The long-term benefits of SSO

Over time, the strategic advantages of implementing SSO extend to broader organizational goals:

  • Consistency and Compliance: With centralized access management, SSO helps ensure that security policies are consistently applied across all systems, aiding compliance with various regulatory requirements.

  • Future-Proofing Operations: As digital technologies evolve, SSO frameworks are designed to integrate with new systems and technologies, ensuring that organizations remain at the cutting edge of digital practices.

Dive deeper into our latest updates

If you are interested in the detailed specifics of our latest Single Sign-On (SSO) enhancements and other recent updates to PathcoreFlow, we encourage you to visit our release notes. These notes provide comprehensive insights into each update, ensuring you are fully informed about the new capabilities and improvements we've integrated into our platform.

Please visit PathcoreFlow Release Notes v3.4 to explore all the details of our newest version. Stay informed about the latest advancements that are designed to enhance your experience and streamline your digital pathology operations.

Get started with SSO at Pathcore

Implementing SSO-enabled solutions in digital pathology labs offers substantial benefits, notably enhancing operational efficiency and user experience in both non-clinical areas. By adopting SSO, labs can effectively address operational challenges and position themselves for future success.

Embrace the change towards a more streamlined, secure, and efficient operation. Contact Pathcore today to learn how our SSO-enabled solutions can transform your laboratory operations and help you stay ahead in the fast-evolving world of digital pathology.

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