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 Meraki 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 Active Directory (AD) credentials and prompting for two-factor authentication before permitting access to Meraki.
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 Meraki. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.
Include the AD attributes mail,distinguishedName in the “Attributes” field when configuring the Active Directory authentication source in the DAG admin console. You must use Active Directory as your authentication source; other DAG authentication sources do not support Meraki logins.
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 Meraki when configuring SSO.
Add the Duo Access Gateway as a new single sign-on provider for Meraki.
Log on to the Meraki as an administrative user and navigate to Organization → Configure → Settings.
Scroll down until you find SAML Configuration.
In the SAML SSO dropdown select SAML SSO enabled the setting will automatically expand.
Make note of the Consumer URL — you will need this information later.
Copy the SHA-1 Fingerprint from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Meraki X509 cert SHA1 fingerprint field.
Copy the Logout URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Meraki SLO logout URL (optional) field.
After you've entered all the required information scroll down and click Save Changes.
Next, create a SAML role in Meraki that uses the SAML provider you just created, and grant Meraki service and resource access to that role.
Important: The Meraki SAML role names must begin with the Group Prefix you'll define below, and you must also create Active Directory groups named to match the Meraki SAML roles. For example, if your Group Prefix is DAG-Meraki- create a DAG-Meraki-Admins role in Meraki, also create a DAG-Meraki-Admins group in AD, and add any AD users who need that Meraki role to the domain group.
In the Meraki console navigate to Organization → Configure → Administrators.
Click the Add SAML role button.
Enter a role name in the Role field. This role name must begin with the Group Prefix you'll define below and have a corresponding, identically named group in Active Directory. Add organization access and permissions to this role as needed. Click the Create admin button when finished.
Click Save changes on the "Administrators" page.
Important: E-mail addresses used for users in your SAML role group cannot exist in Meraki. If an e-mail address already exists, the user will receive an error when attempting to log in via SSO.
Learn more about Meraki SSO at Meraki Support.
Log on to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.
Click Protect an Application and locate the "Duo Access Gateway (self-hosted)" entry for Meraki in the applications list. Click Protect to the far-right to start configuring Meraki. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.
Enter the Consumer URL from Meraki SAML Configuration settings page.
Group Prefix allows you to define a custom prefix that all Active Directory groups and Meraki roles will need to match.
Example: If you use the default prefix DAG-Meraki- your groups in Active Directory and roles in Meraki should be named something similar to DAG-Meraki-Admins.
Meraki uses the Mail attribute when authenticating. We've mapped Mail attribute to DAG supported authentication source attributes as follows:
|Duo Attribute||Active Directory|
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 Meraki 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 Meraki SAML application JSON file you downloaded from the Duo Admin Panel earlier. Click the Upload button after selecting the JSON configuration file.
The Meraki SAML application is added. Copy the Login URL for the Meraki application (it looks like https://yourserver.example.com/dag/saml2/idp/SSOService.php?spentityid=https://dashboard.meraki.com). That is the URL you will use to log into the Meraki dashboard via DAG.
You can log on to Meraki with IdP-initiated SSO using the Login URL provided by the DAG server when you created the Meraki application in the DAG admin console (https://yourserver.example.com/dag/saml2/idp/SSOService.php?spentityid=https://dashboard.meraki.com).
Enter your primary directory username and password on the Duo Access Gateway login page, approve Duo two-factor authentication, and get redirected to the Meraki site after authenticating.
Congratulations! Your Meraki 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.
Meraki does not support SP-initiated SSO login at this time.
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 Meraki. Learn more about configuring Meraki SSO with AD FS at the Meraki Support site.
After you have successfully configured and tested AD FS SSO login to Meraki 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 Meraki.
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.