166 6.4 Smart cards
The single sign-on selection process
When determining which single sign-on system may be the best for your
enterprise, the following points should be evaluated:
Will it be easy to use and administer the SSO?
Will the SSO reinforce existing security?
Is the SSO start-up/log-on integrated with that of the operating system?
Is the operation of the SSO consistent with that of the operating sys-
tem and OS platforms?
Can new applications be added without having to make changes to
the SSO?
Does the SSO tie in with the existing security infrastructure?
Does the SSO support public and private key technologies?
The defining architecture and interface set for SSO is XSSO (developed
by the Open Group). Does the SSO conform to XSSO architecture?
Can a user log on not only from his or her own machine but also
from any other machine equipped with SSO?
Does the SSO utilize computer-generated, one-time-use passwords?
The growing number of user names and passwords that users need to
memorize in order to do their jobs continues to grow. SSO allows users to
access many applications through the use of a single password log-on. The
benefits of SSO include cost reduction due to reduced user downtime and
administrative costs associated with contacting help desks to recover forgot-
ten passwords; increased productivity; and a strengthened security infra-
structure. When selecting an SSO, due consideration should be placed on
selecting a system that is easy to use and administer, is compatible with
existing operating systems, and allows for the addition of new applications
without having to make changes to the SSO. 7
Smart cards
A smart card is a device the size of a credit card containing an integrated
central processor that is capable of storing information such as the card-
holder's personal information (birth date, bank account information, medi-
cal records, etc.). Security is maintained through a combination of measures
7. Source:

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