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Duo Protection for NetDocuments with Duo Access Gateway

Last Updated: May 18th, 2023

Duo offers a variety of methods for adding two-factor authentication and flexible security policies to NetDocuments SSO logins, complete with inline self-service enrollment and Duo Prompt.

Duo Access Gateway reaches Last Day of Support on October 26, 2023 for Duo Essentials, Advantage, and Premier customers. As of that date Duo Support may only assist with the migration of existing Duo Access Gateway applications to Duo Single Sign-On. Customers may not create new DAG applications after May 19, 2022. Please see the Guide to Duo Access Gateway end of life for more details.

Use the Duo Single Sign-on for NetDocuments application to protect NetDocuments with Duo Single Sign-On, our cloud-hosted identity provider featuring Duo Central and the Duo Universal Prompt.


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 and zero-trust policies.

Duo Access Gateway

Duo Access Gateway (DAG), our on-premises SSO product, layers Duo's strong authentication and flexible policy engine on top of NetDocuments 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 NetDocuments.

Duo Access Gateway is included in the Duo Premier, Duo Advantage, and Duo Essentials 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 NetDocuments. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.

Deploy or Update Duo Access Gateway

  1. Install Duo Access Gateway on a server in your DMZ. Follow our instructions for deploying the server, configuring DAG settings, and adding your primary authentication source.

  2. Add the attributes from the table below that correspond to the Duo attributes Mail attribute, First name attribute, and Last 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,givenName,sn in the "Attributes" field.

    Duo Attribute Active Directory OpenLDAP
    Mail attribute mail mail
    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.

  3. After completing the initial DAG configuration steps, click Applications on the left side of the Duo Access Gateway admin console.

  4. Scroll down the Applications page to the Metadata section. This is the information you need to provide to NetDocuments when configuring SSO.

    DAG Metadata Information

Contact NetDocuments Support

NetDocuments does not have SSO enabled by default. Please contact NetDocuments Support and ask them to enable SSO for your account.

You will also need to provide them with a list of the e-mail domains that will be logging into NetDocuments. If you do not provide a complete list of the different e-mail domains that will access your NetDocuments account SSO will not function correctly.

Continue with configuration once NetDocuments enables SSO for your account.

Configure NetDocuments SSO

Add the Duo Access Gateway as a new single sign-on provider for NetDocuments.

  1. Log into NetDocuments as an administrative user. Click Admin at the top right-hand corner of the page.

  2. On the "Repository Administration" page click Add and remove users and groups.

  3. Click Configure advanced authentication options on the "Repository Membership" page.

  4. On the "Advanced Authentication Configuration" page under "Step 1" select Other from the drop-down next to "Federated identity server type".

  5. Make note of the bolded login URL at the bottom of the page. You will need this information later.

  6. Under "Step 3" check the box next to Also allow users to log in with their NetDocuments-specific username and password.

  7. Under "Step 3a" copy the Entity ID URL from the Duo Access Gateway admin console metadata display and paste it into the NetDocuments Federation metadata document URL field.


  8. Once you've entered all required information click OK.

    NetDocuments Single Sign-On Setting Edit

Learn more about NetDocuments SSO at NetDocuments Support.

Create the NetDocuments Application in Duo

  1. Log on to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.

  2. Click Protect an Application and locate the entry for NetDocuments 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 NetDocuments. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.

  3. The NetDocuments Server is the server that your account is hosted on. Example: If your NetDocuments login URL is you would select VAULT from the drop-down.

  4. The Login URL Key is an account specific identifier included in the bolded login URL you made note of earlier. For example, if your login URL is then enter AB-1C2DE3FG.

  5. The Session Timeout is the minutes of inactivity a NetDocuments login can have before the session expires. The default is 90 minutes.

  6. NetDocuments 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 Google Azure
    Mail attribute mail mail mail email mail
    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.

  7. Click Save Configuration to generate a downloadable configuration file.

    Duo NetDocuments Application Settings
  8. 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.

  9. Click the Download your configuration file link to obtain the NetDocuments 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!

Add the NetDocuments Application to Duo Access Gateway

Before you do this, verify that you updated the "Attributes" list for your Duo Access Gateway authentication source as specified here.

  1. Return to the Applications page of the DAG admin console session.

  2. Click the Choose File button in the "Add Application" section of the page and locate the NetDocuments SAML application JSON file you downloaded from the Duo Admin Panel earlier. Click the Upload button after selecting the JSON configuration file.

  3. The NetDocuments SAML application is added.

    NetDocuments Application Added

Verify SSO

If your organization enabled the Duo Access Gateway portal, log into the portal page using the link provided by your administrator. Click NetDocuments from the dashboard to access the application.

You can also log into NetDocuments by going to the NetDocuments login URL for the server where your account is located eg: Click Need login assistance? and select I want to use my organization's login. Enter your e-mail address into the field and click Submit. 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 NetDocuments after authenticating.

DAG Login and Authentication Prompt

To log in using the NetDocuments mobile app, tap Use organization's login. Type in your e-mail address and tap Submit. You'll be redirected to the Duo Access Gateway. Complete primary and Duo authentication to login on the NetDocuments app.

To log in using the NetDocuments desktop client, click Use organization's login. Type in your e-mail address and click Submit. You'll be redirected to the Duo Access Gateway. Complete primary and Duo authentication to login on the NetDocuments desktop client.

Congratulations! Your NetDocuments users now authenticate using Duo Access Gateway.

Configure Allowed Hostnames

If you plan to permit use of WebAuthn authentication methods (security keys, U2F tokens, or Touch ID) in the traditional Duo Prompt, Duo recommends configuring allowed hostnames for this application and any others that show the inline Duo Prompt before onboarding your end-users.

The Duo Universal Prompt has built-in protection from unauthorized domains so this setting does not apply.

Enforce SSO

By default we've set NetDocuments to allow users to sign in either with their username and password or SSO. You can modify this setting to mandate SSO for logging into NetDocuments.

  1. While logged into NetDocuments as an administrative user click Admin at the top right-hand corner of the page.

  2. On the "Repository Administration" page click Add and remove users and groups.

  3. Click Configure advanced authentication options on the "Repository Membership" page.

  4. Uncheck the box next to Also allow users to log in with their NetDocuments-specific username and password.

  5. Click OK.

Microsoft AD FS

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 NetDocuments. Learn more about configuring NetDocuments SSO with AD FS at the NetDocuments Support site.

After you have successfully configured and tested AD FS SSO login to NetDocuments 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 NetDocuments.

Other Identity Partners

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.

You can also use Duo two-factor authentication with CAS and Shibboleth on-premises IdPs.


Need some help? Try searching our Knowledge Base articles or Community discussions. For further assistance, contact Support.