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 Box 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 Box.
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 Box. 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 Box when configuring SSO. Click the Download XML metadata link to obtain the DAG metadata file (the downloaded file is named "dag.xml"); then click the Download Certificate link to obtain the token signing certificate (the downloaded file is named "dag.crt").
Box SSO cannot be configured from the administrator interface. Contact Box support or your Box Customer Success Manager to have your account enabled for SSO, sending in the DAG metadata and token signing certificate files previously downloaded from the DAG admin console.
You will be asked to provide attribute names for Email, First name, and Last name. Please provide the following Duo attributes:
|Box Attribute||Duo Attribute|
|First name attribute||User.FirstName|
|Last name attribute||User.LastName|
Continue with configuration once Box enables SSO for your account.
More information about Box's SSO support is available at the Box Help Site.
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 Box in the applications list. Click Protect to the far-right to start configuring Box. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.
Box 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 Box 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 Box SAML application JSON file you downloaded from the Duo Admin Panel earlier. Click the Upload button after selecting the JSON configuration file.
The Box SAML application is added.
You can log on to Box via Duo Access Gateway using your organization's SSO login page e.g. https://yourorg.app.box.com/login. Clicking the Continue button on the login page will redirect you to the Duo Access Gateway login page, prompt for Duo two-factor authentication, and then redirect back to the Box site after authenticating. Users can also enter the email address that is mapped to name ID on the main Box login page https://app.box.com/login/ and click the Log In button (with a blank password) to be forwarded to the DAG logon site.
If using the Box mobile app, tap the "Use Single Sign On (SSO)" link at the bottom of the login screen, enter your federated e-mail address, and then authenticate to Duo Access Gateway. In the Box Sync desktop app, click "Use company credentials" and proceed as for the mobile app. In the Box Drive desktop app, enter your federated email address and click Next, then proceed as for the mobile and Sync apps.
Congratulations! Your Box 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.
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 Box. Learn more about configuring Box SSO with AD FS at the Box Support Site.
After you have successfully configured and tested AD FS SSO login to Box 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 Box.
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.