Understanding SAML 2.0

Understanding SAML 2.0

SAML 2.0 and Visitor Management

SAML-2.0-Integrations-Visitor-Management-SystemsSAML 2.0, or “security assertion markup language”, is an XML based protocol that allows for the exchanging of authentication data between multiple security domains. This part of technology is key to streamlining visitor management processes in multi-tenant buildings, pharmaceutical environments, small businesses, and throughout global corporate enterprises in a secure, web-based environment.

One of the reasons SAML 2.0 (Single-Sign-on) is chosen as the protocol of choice is because it is designed to be flexible and integrate with multiple programs. Its use is not limited to a specific platform; in fact, it can be used across all platforms when supporting SaaS applications, including visitor management systems like Veristream’s iVisitor. The protocol identifies and authenticates the service provider, as well as the other entity or individual (as is the case in visitor management) and facilitates the sharing of information.

In visitor management systems, this is essential; it allows for a single sign-on for web-based applications. The call for increased security in the workplace has stemmed from increases incidents of workplace violence, as well increasing terrorist activity, in the U.S. and abroad. Manual visitor sign-in logs, and visitor management systems that are housed on an internal network, simply do not provide the level of security that is necessary today. For web-based or SaaS visitor management systems, securing data and ensuring an authenticated connection, is a top priority.

Benefits of transitioning to web-based visitor management system include paperless badging, access to extensive reporting features, automatic screening of visitors against building Do Not Admit list, preregistration, text message alerts to hosts of visitor arrival and departure, evacuation lists, integration with HR departments, and self-service kiosks. Unlike visitor management systems that are resident on network computers, all of the information is accessible from any mobile device connected to the Internet. This allows security personnel at parking garages and lots to check in visitors with the same degree of accuracy and efficiency, as in the lobby or other entrance of the facility.

Unlike other visitor management systems, iVisitor does not require the purchase of expensive proprietary equipment; in fact, it is designed to work across platforms (thanks in part to SAML 2.0), and on laptops, desktops, tablets, and even mobile phones. Self-service visitor kiosks can be quickly deployed with just a tablet and a stand; however, special kiosks are available if organizations desire.

Visitor badging is a hot topic. Customized badging and paperless badging of old are replacing old sticky visitor badges. A customized visitor badge may include ranges from visitor name, photo, floors or departments authorized for the visit, and the company or building’s logo, just to name a few. Paperless badging is growing in popularity not only because it is a greener option, but because it helps to facilitate quick check-in and check-out of visitors, reducing the need for staff.

While visitor management systems are surely not the only application for SAML 2.0, it central to iVisitor’s ability to increase premises security, while eliminating the need for dedicated IT professionals, and lowering onsite security personnel staffing. For more information, or to schedule a demo of iVisitor today, visit www.veristream.com.

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