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 Freshdesk 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 Freshdesk.
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 Freshdesk. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.
Add the attributes from the table below that correspond to the Duo attributes Mail attribute, Last name attribute, and First name attribute in the "Attributes" field when configuring your Active Directory or OpenLDAP authentication source in the DAG admin console, separated by a comma. For example, if Active Directory is your authentication source, enter mail,sn,givenName in the "Attributes" field.
|Duo Attribute||Active Directory||OpenLDAP|
|First name attribute||givenName||gn|
|Last name attribute||sn||sn|
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 the additional attributes not already present to the list, separated by a comma.
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 Freshdesk when configuring SSO.
Add the Duo Access Gateway as a new single sign-on provider for Freshdesk.
Log on to Freshdesk as an administrative user and navigate to Admin → Security.
Set the Single Sign On (SSO) setting to ON. The page will expand with more options. Choose the SAML SSO option.
Copy the SSO URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Freshdesk SAML Login URL field.
Copy the Logout URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Freshdesk Logout URL field.
Copy the SHA-256 Fingerprint from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Freshdesk Security Certificate Fingerprint field.
Enter a Freshdesk username into the Send notifications to field to be notified when users are added or deleted.
After you've entered all the required information click Save.
Learn more about Freshdesk SSO at Freshdesk Support.
Log on to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.
Click Protect an Application and locate the entry for Freshdesk 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 Freshdesk. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.
Enter the subdomain used when logging into your company's Freshdesk portal as the Domain name. For example, if your Freshdesk login URL is https://yourdomain.freshdesk.com then enter yourdomain.
Freshdesk uses the Mail attribute, First name attribute, and Last name attribute when authenticating. We've mapped those to DAG supported authentication source attributes as follows:
|Duo Attribute||Active Directory||OpenLDAP||SAML IdP||Azure|
|First name attribute||givenName||gn||givenName||given_name||givenName|
|Last name attribute||sn||sn||sn||family_name||surname|
If you are using non-standard attributes for your authentication source, check the Custom attributes box and enter the names of the attributes 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 Freshdesk 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 Freshdesk SAML application JSON file you downloaded from the Duo Admin Panel earlier. Click the Upload button after selecting the JSON configuration file.
The Freshdesk SAML application is added.
You can log on to Freshdesk using your organization’s domain login page e.g. https://yourdomain.freshdesk.com. Click the Login button. 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 Freshdesk site after authenticating.
Congratulations! Your Freshdesk 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 configuring allowed hostnames 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 Freshdesk. Learn more about configuring Freshdesk SSO with AD FS at the Freshdesk Support site.
After you have successfully configured and tested AD FS SSO login to Freshdesk 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 Freshdesk.
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.