Secure Your HR System with SSO (Microsoft Azure & Okta)

Secure Your HR System with SSO (Microsoft Azure & Okta)

Chapter catalogue

  1. What is SSO?
  2. Why SSO?
  3. How to integrate SSO into the HR system?
  4. Benefits of SSO

In the early stage of a business, enterprises might use a few servers and applications. However, with the growth of the business and the corresponding increase in employees, the number of business tools used will also increase. At present, most enterprises have already abandoned large-scale traditional servers and switched to cloud-based systems, such as cloud human resource system, cloud accounting system, etc. It allows end users to access these systems anytime and anywhere.

When using multiple systems at the same time, as long as users login to one identity system first, they do not need to log in repeatedly to other systems. This is called the Single Sign On (SSO) solution.

What is SSO?

SSO (Single Sign On) allows a user to log in to any trusted application with a single ID and password.

A real life representation of this is if you work in a company that has three floors. You can use your staff ID card to enter and exit these three floors without using three different cards for each floor.


Why SSO?

As mentioned above, if employees use one card instead of three cards, they can enter different floors, which is very convenient for daily work. If the employee needs three cards to enter three different floors, there’s a chance of taking the wrong cards or losing them.

In that example, “using the wrong cards” is equivalent to constantly entering the wrong password when you log in to a web page – which may cause your account to get frozen. Also in that case, “losing the card” means when you forget your password, you need to verify your identity through a series of steps and create a new password.

SSO simplifies a user’s repeated steps in logging in to different systems. For those who use weak passwords or easily forget their passwords, the SSO solution is very easy and convenient. There is no need to remember different passwords for different systems any more. For a company’s IT team, this will also reduce their workload in resetting passwords and managing various accounts for various platforms. They can focus their time and attention on dealing with more complex technical issues.

How to integrate SSO into the HR system?

A cloud-based HR system is one that can store data and activities of employees from when they onboard all the way to them offboarding. If the HR system you’re currently using supports logging in via SSO, then all it takes is for your IT team to set it up via a few clicks so you can securely log in via SSO.

Take “work from home” as an example, this term has become the new normal for modern office work. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people cannot go back to the office, so they result to working from home, coffee shop, or even in the library, etc. You can use the email address that has been set up to log in to the system with just one-click, no matter where you’re working from.

Workstem, Hong Kong’s cloud-based HR system, is the first local payroll and HR system that supports SSO via Okta and Microsoft Azure. One one hand, Workstem helps employers better manage the company and employees; while on the other hand, this SSO solution guarantees that users can log in with just one click, anytime, anywhere.

SSO in Workstem

Workstem not only helps alleviate daily HR tasks for employers and HRs such as rostering & attendance and compensation & benefits, but also hopes to improve employee convenience by allowing them to log in to company business tools using SSO.

Benefits of SSO

  • Seamless access to all their applications and improved user experience

For ordinary office employees, a regular day would be to use Outlook to view and send emails, use Dropbox to search and save company information, and sometimes use Zoom to hold a video conference meeting with clients. If employees need to log in to every application repeatedly every day, it will be quite troublesome.

But with SSO, one Microsoft account is all that’s needed to log in to all Azure AD supported SSO apps. As mentioned before, with SSO, repeated logins and account switching are no longer required, users can use one account to access Workstem or other 3rd party applications.

  • Reduce cyber risks and improves security capabilities

If there are 500 employees in your company, the login username name of each employee is different when using various systems, and the company should be responsible for ensuring the password security of each employee’s account. However, via SSO, the security of the account is entrusted to a third-party organization (Microsoft) with top-notch technical capabilities. This can effectively reduce the chance of being attacked by hackers.

  • Enhanced centralized management

When employees join a company, they will have email accounts to access work-related information as well as access to 3rd party software. The IT department is in charge of creating those accounts and logging out those accounts after employees leave the company. Workstem’s SSO solution brings together all trusted systems to make it easy for companies to manage employee information in a centralized way without worrying about maintaining multiple accounts. Companies can also give employees access to systems according to their job responsibilities, reducing the repeated steps of authorization one by one.

Different access rights are also provided for users in Workstem. For example, an admin can use all the functions in the system or assign a supervisor to manage attendance and rostering / leave management or payroll. Based on the job responsibilities of the employee, you can choose different access rights and make a clear division of work and make the company’s human resources management process more standardised and orderly.


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