What is SAML Authentication?
SAML Authentication is a method of identity verification that leverages an identity provider to authenticate users centrally to a broad range of unaffiliated websites. By relaying the authentication process to a single trusted identity provider, organizations realize numerous security, administration and cost savings benefits, and above all, relieve users of the need to maintain dozens of different usernames and passwords.
Created by the OASIS non-profit consortium, SAML, or the security assertion markup language, is an open-source XML standard, or protocol, for exchanging authentication and authorization information between an identity provider, such as SafeNet Trusted Access, and a relying party or service provider, meaning a cloud or web app, such as such as Office 365, Salesforce, AWS, Zendesk, DropBox etc.
Token-based authentication, security token services, federated authentication and identity federation are all terms that describe the capabilities that a SAML identity provider offers.