An Authentication Architecture Based on the Concept of Single Sign-On (KNUST as a case study)

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Most enterprises and institutions today have many applications available to its users across a local area network (LAN). In order to increase productivity, more users rely more on such applications. This translates into user and administrative problems. The most common problems are associated with multiple password retention, password complexities and multiple user account management. Users, who access multiple applications in institutions such as the case study institution (KNUST), require multiple passwords. Single Sign-On has been hailed as a solution to deal with the usability and security problems associated with multiple user authentications. The goal of this thesis is to determine an authentication architecture that would be suitable for the environment of KNUST and other similar institutions. This has entailed a review of existing single sign-on architectures and operating mechanisms, a study of the case study institution’s ICT setup, the design of the proposed authentication architecture and its concept of operations. The driving factors of the design are functionality and security. Other factors include availability and feasibility of integration. The results will serve as a blueprint for a more detailed design and the future development of such architecture in KNUST and similar institutions.
A Dissertation Presented to the Institute in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Advanced ICT Studies (Management Option,