In today's digital landscape, businesses of all sizes increasingly rely on Software as a Service (SaaS) to streamline their operations and improve overall efficiency. However, as the adoption of SaaS applications continues to rise, so too do the security risks associated with these platforms. This has led to a growing demand for robust enterprise security features and Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions that can effectively safeguard sensitive data and protect businesses from cyber threats. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies of enterprise security, explore the benefits of SSO for businesses of all sizes, and examine the role of automation in ensuring robust security. We'll also discuss the importance of building SaaS apps with scalability in mind and highlight Authentik Security’s solution, authentik, as a unified authentication tool to help secure your organization.
Even though JWTs (JSON Web Tokens, pronounced “jots”) have been around since 2010, it’s worth examining their more recent rise to become the dominant standard for managing authentication requests for application access.
When JWTs were first introduced, it was immediately clear that they were already an improvement on using a single string to represent the user information needed for authentication. The single string credential method was simple, but not as secure. There was no way to provide additional data or internal checks about the validity of the string or its issuer. With JWTs, there are expanded capabilities with more parts; there is a header, JSON-encoded payloads (called “claims”, which hold data about the user and about the token itself, such as an expiration date), and a signature (either a private key or a private/public key combination).
Let’s look a bit more closely at what a JWT is, review a short history of JWT evolutions and adoption, then discuss how JWTs are used in authentik.