SSO Logs vs. SaaS Usage Data - Misconceptions.

SSO Logs vs. SaaS Usage Data - Misconceptions.
  • Browser usage data is the superior way to track usage of SaaS apps vs. SSO logs from identity providers like Okta
  • SSO Logs cannot tell you historical usage trends of SaaS this is why browser usage is better
  • The setup time of all tools with SSO is quite time consuming and has the chance of missing certain tools that don’t have SSO enabled or aren’t on the right tier.
  • Browser works across all tools regardless of having SSO as well as covers browser based tools which is a majority of SaaS spend issues are.
  • Browser can also detect tools not approved by IT or finance that are free and being used throughout the company.

Unlocking the Power of Browser Usage Data for Effective B2B SaaS Spend Management

In the realm of B2B SaaS spend management, having accurate insights into the usage of software applications is critical for optimizing costs and ensuring that your organization gets the most value out of its software investments. While Single Sign-On (SSO) logs from identity providers like Okta have traditionally been used for this purpose, there's a more superior way to track and manage your SaaS usage – browser usage data.

Here are some compelling reasons why browser usage data stands out as the preferred choice for monitoring and optimizing your B2B SaaS spend:

1. Uncovering Historical Usage Trends:

One of the key limitations of SSO logs is their inability to provide historical usage trends of SaaS applications. In contrast, browser usage data offers a comprehensive historical perspective, allowing you to identify trends, spikes, and changes in usage over time. This historical context is invaluable for making informed decisions about your SaaS investments.

2. Streamlined Setup and Coverage:

Setting up SSO for all your software tools can be a time-consuming and complex endeavor. There's also the risk of missing certain tools that either don't have SSO enabled or aren't on the right subscription tier. Browser usage data, on the other hand, works seamlessly across all tools, irrespective of whether they have SSO capabilities. This ensures you get comprehensive coverage without the hassles of intricate setup procedures.

3. Inclusion of Browser-Based Tools:

In today's digital landscape, a significant portion of SaaS spend issues stems from browser-based tools. Browser usage data doesn't discriminate; it covers both traditional software applications and browser-based tools, which are increasingly prevalent in modern work environments. This means you can gain insights into the complete spectrum of software usage within your organization.

4. Detecting Unapproved and Free Tools:

Effective SaaS spend management isn't just about monitoring approved tools. It's also about identifying unapproved or free tools that employees might be using without IT or finance's knowledge. Browser usage data has the capability to uncover such instances, helping you maintain control over your software ecosystem and ensuring compliance with company policies.

In conclusion, when it comes to managing B2B SaaS spend effectively, browser usage data emerges as the superior choice. Its ability to provide historical usage trends, streamlined setup, coverage across all tools (including browser-based ones), and detection of unauthorized software makes it an indispensable tool for businesses looking to optimize their software investments.

By harnessing the power of browser usage data, your organization can gain deeper insights into software usage patterns, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately, maximize the value of your SaaS investments while ensuring compliance and cost efficiency.

Here’s what SSO & Identity Provides Are Great For

  1. User Authentication: When a user attempts to access an application or service that is integrated with SSO, they are redirected to the SSO provider, such as Okta, for authentication. The user provides their username and password.
  2. Authentication Request Logging: Okta logs the authentication request, including the user's identity and the application they are trying to access. This information is recorded for security and auditing purposes.
  3. Authentication Verification: Okta verifies the user's credentials against its user directory or the configured identity source, such as Active Directory, LDAP, or other authentication systems. If the credentials are valid, the user is authenticated.
  4. Access Grant: Once the user's identity is verified, Okta generates a security token that includes information about the user's identity and permissions. This token is securely sent to the user's browser or device.
  5. Access to Applications: The user's browser or device presents the security token to the application they are trying to access. The application trusts the token because it comes from a trusted identity provider (Okta). The application then grants the user access without requiring them to enter credentials again.
  6. Logging Access and Activity: As the user accesses various applications, Okta continues to log these activities. This includes when and which applications were accessed, from which device or location, and other relevant metadata.
  7. User Session Management: Okta also manages user sessions, ensuring that users are authenticated for a specified period. Users may need to re-authenticate if their session expires or if additional security measures are required.
  8. Logging Logout and Session Termination: When a user logs out or their session expires, Okta logs this event. This is important for tracking user activity and ensuring that unauthorized access is prevented.
  9. Auditing and Reporting: Okta provides comprehensive auditing and reporting features. Admins can review logs to monitor user activity, detect anomalies, and investigate security incidents. This information is crucial for compliance, security, and troubleshooting.
  10. Integration with SIEM Tools: Okta and similar SSO providers often allow organizations to integrate their logs with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools. This enables real-time monitoring, alerting, and correlation of SSO events with other security data sources.
  11. Compliance and Security: SSO logs play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and security standards. Organizations can demonstrate that they have proper control over user access and can track who accessed what information.

In summary, SSO logs, as managed by services like Okta, provide a comprehensive record of user authentication and access activity. These logs are essential for security, compliance, and troubleshooting purposes, allowing organizations to maintain control over user access to their systems and applications while streamlining the user experience.