Skip navigation

Duo Single Sign-On for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Last Updated: January 7th, 2021

Add two-factor authentication and flexible security policies to Amazon Web Services (AWS) SSO logins with Duo Single-Sign On, our cloud-hosted SAML 2.0 identity provider, complete with inline self-service enrollment and Duo Prompt.

Duo Federal customers or those looking for an on-premises SSO solution: try Duo Protection for Amazon Web Services (AWS) with Duo Access Gateway.


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.

About Duo Single Sign-On

Duo Single Sign-On is our cloud-hosted SSO product which layers Duo's strong authentication and flexible policy engine on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS) logins using the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 authentication standard. Duo Single Sign-On acts as an identity provider (IdP), authenticating your users using existing on-premises Active Directory (AD) or any SAML 2.0 IdP and prompting for two-factor authentication before permitting access to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Duo Single Sign-On is available in 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 Amazon Web Services (AWS). Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.

Configure Single Sign-On

Before configuring Amazon Web Services (AWS) you'll first need to enable Duo Single Sign-On for your Duo account and configure a working authentication source.

Once you have your SSO authentication source working, continue to the next step of creating the Amazon Web Services (AWS) application in Duo.

Create the AWS 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 Amazon Web Services with a protection type of "2FA with SSO hosted by Duo (Single Sign-On)" in the applications list. Click Protect to the far-right to start configuring Amazon Web Services. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options. You'll need the information on the Amazon Web Services page under Metadata later.

Duo Universal Prompt

Duo's next-generation authentication experience, the Universal Prompt, is coming to web-based applications that display the current Duo Prompt in browsers.

Migration to Universal Prompt for your Amazon Web Services (AWS) application is a two-step process:

  • Duo updates the Amazon Web Services (AWS) application to support the Universal Prompt.
  • You activate the Universal Prompt experience for users of that Duo Amazon Web Services (AWS) application (when the Universal Prompt becomes available).

We've already updated the Duo Amazon Web Services (AWS) application hosted in Duo's service to support the Universal Prompt when it's ready, so there's no action required on your part to update the application. The "Universal Prompt" section of this application's details page in the Admin Panel reflects this status today as "Waiting on Duo".

Universal Prompt Info - Application Updated

Activate Universal Prompt

When the Universal Prompt becomes available, you'll return here to activate it for users of this application. The status will change to "New Prompt Ready", and you'll see the control here for turning it on or off. Until then, your users continue to experience the current Duo prompt.

Universal Update Progress

Click the See Update Progress link to view the Universal Prompt Update Progress report. This report shows the update availability and migration progress for all your Duo applications in-scope for Universal Prompt support.

Read the Universal Prompt Update Guide for more information about the update process to support the new prompt, and watch the Duo Blog for future updates about the Duo Universal Prompt.

Universal Prompt Private Preview

If you're interested in participating in a private preview of the Universal Prompt experience, please apply using this form.

Enable AWS SSO

Add SAML Provider

You'll first configure the AWS Single Sign-On settings in the Security Admin Console to enable SAML 2.0 federation and add the SSO information from Duo Single Sign-On.

  1. Log in to the AWS console and click IAM.

  2. Click Identity providers; then click the Create Provider button.

  3. Choose the Provider Type SAML from the drop-down.

  4. Enter sso in lowercase as the "Provider Name".

  5. Click Download XML next to "Metadata Document" button on the Amazon Web Services application's page in the Duo Admin Panel under Downloads to download the Duo Single Sign-On XML file.

  6. Return to the AWS console. Click the Choose File button, select the XML file to upload, and click Next Step.

    AWS SAML Provider

  7. Verify the provider information and click the Create button.

Create IAM Role for SAML

Next, create a role in AWS that uses the SAML provider you just created and grant AWS service and resource access to that role.

  1. In the AWS IAM console, click Roles.

  2. Click the Create role button.

  3. Under "Select type of trusted entity" click SAML 2.0 federation.

  4. Select the sso SAML provider you created earlier from the drop-down for "SAML provider".

  5. Select Allow programmatic and AWS Management Console access. Values should automatically populate for "Attribute" and "Value".

    AWS New Role Type

  6. Click Next: Permissions.

  7. Select the policies you want attached to the IAM role. In this example the AWS "AdministratorAccess" policy is attached to the role. Click Next: Tags after selecting the policies.

    AWS New Role Policy

  8. On the "Add tags" page you can optionally add key-value pair tags with information about the role. Click Next: Review.

  9. On the "Review" page enter a name into Role name. You may also enter Role description.

    AWS New Role

  10. Click Create role. You'll be returned to the "Roles" page upon successful creation of the role.

Update the AWS Application in Duo

  1. Return to the Duo Admin Panel with the Amazon Web Services application open. Find the Service Provider section.

  2. Enter your AWS account ID in the Account Number field. If you don't know your AWS account ID you can find it in the AWS console on the "My Account" page.

  3. Enter sso into the Provider Name field. If you used a different provider name earlier than enter that name.

  4. Select the type of AWS account type that you have from the Account Type dropdown. If you're unsure, leave "AWS Regions" selected.

  5. Under Role attributes you can type the name of the AWS role you defined earlier in the AWS Role field and which users should have access to that role by selecting Duo groups in the Duo Groups field. The members of those groups will be given access to that role in AWS.

  6. If you have additional AWS roles you can click the + button next to the "Duo Groups" field to add additional rows.

  7. AWS uses the Mail attribute when authenticating. We've mapped the <Email Address> bridge attribute to Duo Single Sign-On supported authentication source attributes as follows:

    Bridge Attribute Active Directory SAML IdP
    <Email Address> mail Email

    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.

    Duo AWS 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.

  9. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button.

Verify SSO

You can log into AWS using Duo Central, our cloud-hosted portal which allows users to access all of their applications in one spot. Link to AWS in Duo Central by adding it as an application tile. Once the tile has been added, log into Duo Central and click the tile for AWS.

You can also log on to AWS using the Login URL provided by under the "Metadata" section of the AWS application in the Duo Admin Panel (

Enter your primary directory logon information and approve Duo two-factor authentication.

Duo Single Sign-On Login and Authentication Prompt

After authenticating you'll be forwarded to the AWS site with the appropriate IAM role access. If you are a member of multiple AWS IAM role groups, you have the opportunity to select the role to assume for your session.

Congratulations! Your AWS console users now authenticate using Duo Single Sign-On.

AWS does not support SP-initiated SSO login at this time.

Enable Remembered Devices

To minimize additional Duo two-factor prompts when switching between AWS and your other Duo Single Sign-On SAML applications, be sure to apply a shared "Remembered Devices" policy to your SAML applications.


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