If your business operates with cloud-based applications, chances are you have heard of SAML. Despite being around since 2002, SAML is just now becoming a buzzword in the cloud security space. As businesses look to protect their data in the cloud, many are scrambling to understand what security benefits SAML has to offer them. What is SAML and why is it vital for your compliance objectives going forward? Hopefully over the next few paragraphs we can answer these questions for you.

What Is SAML?

SAML, or Security Assertion Markup Language, is a platform-neutral standard that allows for the secure transfer of information over the cloud through the integration of disparate security systems. One of the most important features offered by SAML is single sign-on or SSO, which enables access to multiple web applications through a single user account. A good example of this is Google Apps, where Gmail, Google Calendar and other applications can be accessed through one profile.

Why Use SAML?

As businesses adopt the services of different cloud-based applications, increasing amounts of their data and confidential information are being shared with outside parties though the web. Furthermore, the use of more applications complicates identity management, as users must maintain the security of multiple accounts. With all these increased risks, one may think that utilizing cloud services spells disaster for compliance and security. Thankfully, there is the SAML standard to save the day!

By eliminating passwords and instead using digital signatures for authentication and authorization of data access, the SAML standard immensely improves security and compliance. Identities are never stored or synchronized, which leaves less vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. Furthermore, with SSO consolidation, employees only need to worry about protecting a single identity and are far more likely to develop enhanced security protocols for this account. As a result, identity management becomes not only more secure, but more straightforward as well and people are empowered to be compliant with security policies.

At Reciprocity, we have looked to further meet your compliance and efficiency needs by integrating the SAML standard into ZenGRC. We are happy to announce that ZenGRC is now OneLogin, Okta and Ping Identity compatible. Check out the latest release of our product and get compliant today!

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