Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) ESCS Profile

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Title: Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) ESCS Profile

Standards Profile

ISB STATUS =  RECOMMENDED.   Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML) is an XML standard for exchanging authentication (e.g. identity provider) and authorisation (e.g. service provider) data between security domains.

ISB Decision


Through the Identity Management SIG and TSS the ISB is leading work to develop an ESCS profile that will meet the business needs whilst reducing variety. OASIS SAML 2.0 is the existing, widely recognised standard underlying many web-based Single Sign-On solutions but it has many options and as a result there is a high probability that compliant implementations will not interwork. A single ESCS profile will promote interoperability.

A standard in this area will make it easier for practitioners and citizens to access information, as they will only have to log in once to gain access to multiple systems. It also significantly reduces the cost of higher levels of security that is increasingly recognised as needed to protect sensitive personal information by allowing expensive two-factor authentication systems to be shared across many applications. In the initial business case for this standard it was estimated that it could generate around £50m in cost avoidance and cost savings primarily from the bulk purchase of shared use authentication tokens.


Standards Links

Click here to download the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0 standard document

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