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Duo Single Sign-On for Google Workspace (Google G Suite)

Last Updated: August 9th, 2021

Add two-factor authentication and flexible security policies to Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite) 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 Google Workspace (Google G Suite) with Duo Access Gateway.

These same instructions provide SAML SSO to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as well, as Google Workspace and GCP share the underlying domain's authentication configuration. Learn more about SSO and GCP.

Overview

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 Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace.

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 Google Workspace. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.

Configure Single Sign-On

Before configuring Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace application in Duo.

Note: If you are using Google as your SAML IdP for Duo Single Sign-On you cannot protect that same G-Suite account with Duo Single Sign-On.

Create the Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options. You'll need the information on the Google Workspace page under Metadata later.

Duo Universal Prompt

The new Universal Prompt provides a simplified and accessible Duo login experience for web-based applications, offering a redesigned visual interface with security and usability enhancements.

Universal Prompt Traditional Prompt
 Duo Push in Universal Prompt  Duo Push in Traditional Prompt

We've already updated the Duo Google Workspace application hosted in Duo's service to support the Universal Prompt, so there's no action required on your part to update the application itself. You can activate the Universal Prompt experience for users of new and existing Duo Google Workspace applications from the Duo Admin Panel.

Before you activate the Universal Prompt for your application, it's a good idea to read the Universal Prompt Update Guide for more information about the update process and the new login experience for users.

Activate Universal Prompt

Activation of the Universal Prompt is a per-application change. Activating it for one application does not change the login experience for your other Duo applications.

The "Universal Prompt" area of the application details page shows that this application is "New Prompt Ready", with these activation control options:

  • Show traditional prompt: (Default) Your users experience Duo's traditional prompt when logging in to this application.
  • Show new Universal Prompt: Your users experience the Universal Prompt when logging in to this application.

Universal Prompt Info - Application Ready for Universal Prompt

Enable the Universal Prompt experience by selecting Show new Universal Prompt, and then scrolling to the bottom of the page to click Save.

Once you activate the Universal Prompt, the application's Universal Prompt status shows "Update Complete" here and on the Universal Prompt Update Progress report.

Universal Prompt Info - Universal Prompt Activation Complete

Should you ever want to roll back to the traditional prompt, you can return to this setting and change it back to Show traditional 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. You can also activate the new prompt experience for multiple supported applications from the report page instead of visiting the individual details pages for each application.

Enable Google Workspace SSO

Add Duo Single Sign-On as a new single sign-on provider for Google Workspace.

  1. Log on to the Google Admin console and navigate to Security > Set up single sign-on (SSO) with a third party IdP.

  2. Check the Setup SSO with third party identity provider box.

  3. Copy the Sign-in page URL from the Duo Admin Panel Metadata section and paste it into the Google Workspace Sign-in page URL field.

    Example: https://sso-abc1def2.sso.duosecurity.com/saml2/sp/DIABC123678901234567/sso

  4. Copy the Sign-out page URL from the Duo Admin Panel Metadata section and paste it into the Google Workspace Sign-out page URL field.

    Example: https://sso-abc1def2.sso.duosecurity.com/saml2/sp/DIABC123678901234567/slo

  5. Click Download certificate next to "Verification certificate" on the Duo Admin Panel under Downloads to download the Duo Single Sign-On signing certificate. Upload the certiciate to Google Workspace in the Verification certificate section.

  6. Check the Use a domain-specific issuer box.

  7. If your organization has a web service for Active Directory password changes enter that URL into the "Change password URL" field. Otherwise, leave this field blank.

  8. After you've entered all the required information click SAVE.

    Google Workspace Single Sign-On Setting Edit

Learn more about Google Workspace SSO at the Google Workspace Help site.

Update the Google Workspace Application in Duo

  1. Return to the Duo Admin Panel with the Google Workspace application open. Find the Service Provider section.

  2. Enter your Google Workspace domain name in the Domain name field.

  3. Google Workspace 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 Google Workspacee Application Settings

  4. 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.

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

Google Workspace Session Duration

Google Workspace Business, Education, and Enterprise editions have the ability to customize how long a session remains valid after logging in with a third-party SAML IdP (like Duo Single Sign-On). Set this in the Google Admin console under SecurityGoogle session Control. Learn more about this Google Workspace option at the Google support site.

Verify SSO

You can log on to Google Workspace using your organization's domain login page e.g. https://mail.google.com/a/example.com for Gmail. This redirects you to Duo Single Sign-On to enter your primary directory logon information. For example, this is the SSO login page when your authentication source is Active Directory.

Duo Single Sign-On Login and Authentication Prompt

Successful verification of your primary credentials redirects you to Duo. Complete Duo two-factor authentication when prompted and then you'll return to Google Workspace to complete the login process.

OIDC Duo Prompt *Universal Prompt experience shown.

Users can also enter the email address on the main Google Workspace login page https://accounts.google.com) and click the Sign In button (with a blank password) to be forwarded to the Duo Single Sign-On logon page.

Google Workspace super administrators never redirect to Duo Single Sign-On from Google and always log in via the Google login page, without Duo.

You can also log into Google Workspace using Duo Central, our cloud-hosted portal which allows users to access all of their applications in one spot. Link to Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace.

Congratulations! Your Google Workspace users now authenticate using Duo Single Sign-On.

Enable Remembered Devices

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

Troubleshooting

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