Looking for a cloud-hosted SSO solution? Learn more about Duo Single Sign-On.
As business applications move from on-premises to cloud hosted solutions, users experience password fatigue due to disparate logons for different applications. Single sign-on (SSO) technologies seek to unify identities across systems and reduce the number of different credentials a user has to remember or input to gain access to resources.
While SSO is convenient for users, it presents new security challenges. If a user's primary password is compromised, attackers may be able to gain access to multiple resources. In addition, as sensitive information makes its way to cloud-hosted services it is even more important to secure access by implementing two-factor authentication.
Duo Access Gateway (DAG), our on-premises SSO product, layers Duo's strong authentication and flexible policy engine on top of Canvas logins using the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 authentication standard. Duo Access Gateway acts as an identity provider (IdP), authenticating your users using existing on-premises or cloud-based directory credentials and prompting for two-factor authentication before permitting access to Canvas.
Duo Access Gateway is included in the Duo Beyond, Duo Access, and Duo MFA plans, which also include the ability to define policies that enforce unique controls for each individual SSO application. For example, you can require that Salesforce users complete two-factor authentication at every login, but only once every seven days when accessing Canvas. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.
Add the attribute from the table below that correspond to the Duo attribute Mail attribute in the "Attributes" field when configuring your Active Directory or OpenLDAP authentication source in the DAG admin console. For example, if Active Directory is your authentication source, enter mail in the "Attributes" field.
|Duo Attribute||Active Directory||OpenLDAP|
If your organization uses other directory attributes than the ones listed here then enter those attribute names instead. If you've already configured the attributes list for another cloud service provider, append this additional attribute to the list.
After completing the initial DAG configuration steps, click Applications on the left side of the Duo Access Gateway admin console.
Scroll down the Applications page to the Metadata section. This is the information you need to provide to Canvas when configuring SSO.
Log on to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.
Click Protect an Application and locate the entry for Canvas with a protection type of "2FA with SSO self-hosted (Duo Access Gateway)" in the applications list. Click Protect to the far-right to start configuring Canvas. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.
The Domain is the domain used when logging into your organization's Canvas account. For example, if your Canvas login URL is yourdomain.instructure.com then enter yourdomain.instructure.com as the domain name in Duo.
Canvas uses the Mail attribute when authenticating. We've mapped Mail attribute to DAG supported authentication source attributes as follows:
|Duo Attribute||Active Directory||OpenLDAP||SAML IdP||Azure|
If you are using a non-standard email attribute for your authentication source, check the Custom attributes box and enter the name of the attribute you wish to use instead.
Click Save Configuration to generate a downloadable configuration file.
You can adjust additional settings for your new SAML application at this time — like changing the application's name from the default value, enabling self-service, or assigning a group policy — or come back and change the application's policies and settings after you finish SSO setup. If you do update any settings, click the Save Changes button when done.
Click the Download your configuration file link to obtain the Canvas application settings (as a JSON file).
Important: This file contains information that uniquely identifies this application to Duo. Secure this file as you would any other sensitive or password information. Don't share it with unauthorized individuals or email it to anyone under any circumstances!
Before you do this, verify that you updated the "Attributes" list for your Duo Access Gateway authentication source as specified here.
Return to the Applications page of the DAG admin console session.
Click the Choose File button in the "Add Application" section of the page and locate the Canvas SAML application JSON file you downloaded from the Duo Admin Panel earlier. Click the Upload button after selecting the JSON configuration file.
The Canvas SAML application is added.
Make note of the Login URL for Canvas. You will need this later.
Add the Duo Access Gateway as a new single sign-on provider for Canvas.
Log on to Canvas as an administrative user and switch to Admin View. Click on Courses in the top left of the screen and then click on the name of your institution under Managed Accounts.
Click on Authentication on the left-hand side navigation menu.
On the "Authentication Settings" screen click on the dropdown under Add an identity provider to this account and click SAML. The page will reload with new options.
Under "SSO Settings" copy the Canvas Login URL from the Duo Access Gateway admin console and paste it into the Discovery URL field. Leave all other fields blank.
Click Save. The page will reload.
Once the page has reloaded, scroll down to Current Provider.
Copy the Entity ID information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Canvas IdP Entity ID field.
Copy the SSO URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Canvas Log On URL field.
Copy the Logout URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Canvas Log Out URL field.
Copy the SHA-1 Fingerprint from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Canvas Certificate Fingerprint field.
Select NameID from the dropdown for Login Attribute.
Select urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.1:nameid-format:emailAddress from the dropdown for Identifier Format.
Select urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:PasswordProtectedTransport from the dropdown for Authentication Context.
After you've entered all the required information click Save.
Learn more about Canvas SSO at the Canvas support site.
You can log on to Canvas by navigating to your Canvas page e.g. https://yourdomain.instructure.com. This redirects to the Duo Access Gateway login page. Enter your primary directory logon information, approve Duo two-factor authentication, and get redirected back to the Canvas site after authenticating.
If you're using the Canvas mobile app, enter your organization's name or your Canvas URL. You'll be redirected to the Duo Access Gateway to authenticate.
Congratulations! Your Canvas users now authenticate using Duo Access Gateway.
If you plan to permit use of WebAuthn authentication methods (security keys, U2F tokens, or Touch ID), Duo recommends enabling hostname whitelisting for this application and any others that show the inline Duo Prompt before onboarding your end-users.
Microsoft's Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) is a popular choice for SSO because it easily integrates with the AD identity store many organizations already have deployed. Duo's support for cloud applications and SSO drops in to an existing AD FS installation to provide secondary authentication after a user passes primary authentication (successful Active Directory logon).
If you don't already have AD federation running the first step is to install and configure Microsoft AD FS in your organization. Deployment Guides for AD FS versions 2.1, and 3.0/4.0 are available from Microsoft.
Once your AD FS services are up and running, the second step is to configure the SSO partnership between your AD FS service and the external cloud resource, in this case Canvas. Learn more about configuring Canvas SSO with AD FS at the Canvas Support site.
After you have successfully configured and tested AD FS SSO login to Canvas using your AD domain credentials, you can then install the Duo AD FS integration. AD FS protection is included with Duo's paid plans.
With the Duo integration for AD FS installed, users pass primary authentication to the AD FS service as usual. Once primary authentication succeeds, users are forwarded to the Duo service for secondary authentication. After approving logon using one of Duo's authentication methods, the user is fully logged in to Canvas.
Using a third-party SSO provider for cloud application access? Duo partners with leading cloud SSO providers like Okta and OneLogin to secure access with our strong and flexible authentication platform.