Configure and manage user authentication

After you set up authentication, configure and maintain single sign-on (SSO) and security authentication for the Web Help Desk browser interface.

Web Help Desk does not support Windows Authentication for connections to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

The following table provides a list of authentication methods and related terms.

Term Description
Single Sign On
(SSO)

A single point of access that links applications to one sign-on point.

Log in once and gain access to all linked systems without logging in to each system. For example, when you log in to your Microsoft Windows system, your user login provides SSO functionality to your corporate network and email.

SSO uses SAML with Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to authenticate a user for multiple Web applications over the life of a single online session.

Web Help Desk supports Security Assertion Markup Language 2.0 (SAML 2.0), Central Authentication Service 2.0 (CAS 2.0), and Application Servlet SSO authentication.

See Deploy SSO with SAML using AD FS and Deploy SSO with CAS 2.0 for information about how to apply SSO in Web Help Desk.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
(HTTPS)

A secure encrypted communication channel between Web browsers and servers.

HTTPS is also known as HTTP Secure and HTTP over SSL.

See Enable HTTPS and Configure the server options for information about setting up HTTPS.

Secure Socket Layer
(SSL)

A cryptographic protocol that secures communications over a computer network.

SSL encrypts segments of network connections using a system that requires two keys:

  • Symmetric encryption (for privacy)
  • Message authentication codes (for message integrity)

The HTTPS channel is built by layering SSL security on top of HTTP. When a web browser submits an HTTPS request to Web Help Desk, the SSL protocol requires Web Help Desk to respond with a certificate to prove the authenticity of the server.

The certificate contains a public key used for encryption and a digital signature from a Certification Authority (CA). The digital signature indicates which CA verified the authenticity of the server.

SSL certificates

A data file that contains a cryptographic key that verifies the owner.

SSL certificates contain information about the owner, such as their name, Website address, email address, length of time the certificate is valid, and the digital signature of the person or entity who owns the certificate.

For more information about using certificates in Web Help Desk, see Manage keys and certificates.

Public and private keys

Cryptographic keys that provide a secure method to transmit data over computer networks.

SSL certificates contain a public and private key pair. The private key contains the code and the public key decodes the private key. The private key is installed on your server and kept secret. The public key is incorporated into the SSL certificate and shared with web browsers. The certificates included with your browser and application contain the keys that can decrypt the application root certificates.

See Manage keys and certificates for additional information about using keys in Web Help Desk.

See the following sections for information about configuring and managing Web Help Desk SSO and security authentication: