Configure Okta for SSO in your CrashPlan cloud environment

This article applies to CrashPlan Professional, Enterprise, and MSPs.png


This tutorial explains how to configure your CrashPlan cloud environment to use single sign-on (SSO) with Okta. 

For instructions about how to use Okta with CrashPlan's provisioning provider feature, see How to provision users to CrashPlan from Okta.

This article assumes you are already familiar with SSO and the SAML standard. For more information about how CrashPlan implements SSO, see our Introduction to single sign-on.

Compatible CrashPlan components

Compatible with SSO

  • CrashPlan app for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • CrashPlan console


 External authentication systems

Our technical support team can help with authentication issues caused by interaction with CrashPlan products. However, troubleshooting authentication issues outside your CrashPlan environment is beyond the scope of our technical support team. For assistance with external authentication systems, contact your authentication vendor.

  • To use this functionality, you must be assigned the Identity Management Administrator role. 
  • CrashPlan usernames must match SSO usernames. How you accomplish this depends on how you deploy CrashPlan apps.
  • CrashPlan supports service provider-initiated SSO but does not support identity provider-initiated SSO. Therefore, users cannot sign in to your CrashPlan environment from the identity provider's website or application, but instead must log in using a browser bookmark. 
  • SSO provides user authentication but does not provide user management. Set up SCIM provisioning or use the CrashPlan console to manage users
  • CrashPlan does not support Single Logout (SLO). Users must sign out of the identity provider to end their single sign-on session.
  • The CrashPlan console expects SAML assertions to be signed. To configure CrashPlan to support advanced SAML request configurations, see Set SAML attributes for SSO in CrashPlan.
  • Okta uses SHA-256 for the SAML signature algorithm, and CrashPlan also uses SHA-256 by default. If you need to change CrashPlan to use another algorithm, employ the CrashPlan API to set the requestAuthnSignatureMethod and requestAuthnDigestMethod attributes. For directions, see Set SAML attributes for SSO in CrashPlan.

Before you begin

Verify network connectivity

Configure your private network, Internet, and VPN settings to allow client devices to communicate with your identity provider on ports 80 and 443. Test client connectivity to the identity provider before you proceed.

Step 1: Determine the server URL for your CrashPlan environment

When you configure Okta to connect to CrashPlan, you must provide the CrashPlan server URL. Do the following to obtain the server URL:

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console.
  2. Navigate to Administration > Integrations > Identity Management.
  3. Locate the CrashPlan service provider metadata URL:
    • When setting up an authentication provider for the first time, the URL appears on the main screen:
      identity management service provider metadata.png
    • If you previously set up an authentication provider, the URL appears in the authentication provider details:
      Identity Management Already Configured Metadata.png
  4. Record your CrashPlan server URL for later use. The first portion of the URL is your CrashPlan server URL, for example, in the image above. 
  5. Copy the CrashPlan service provider metadata URL and paste it in the address bar of a new browser window. 
    Your CrashPlan environment's metadata details appear. 

 Metadata displays incorrectly in Safari

The Crashplan service provider metadata page will not load correctly in Apple's Safari browser. Paste the metadata URL into the address bar of an alternative browser to view the correct output before you continue.

Step 2: Add the Okta application for CrashPlan

  1. Sign in to your Okta dashboard.
  2. Add the CrashPlan application.
    okta app catalog CrashPlan highlighted.png
  3. Configure the general settings, making sure to enter your domain URL, and click Next

Step 3: Configure Okta's sign on tab

  1. In the Okta Dashboard, go to Applications and select the CrashPlan app.
  2. On the Sign On tab of the CrashPlan app, click Edit.
  3. Copy the Okta identity provider metadata URL and paste it in a text editing application. You will use this URL in Step 4.
    Click edit and copy Okta Identity Provider metadata URL.png
  4. Return to the tab where you pasted the CrashPlan service provider metadata URL in Step 1 and copy the EntityID - it will look like
  5. Paste in the EntityID field under Advanced Sign-on Settings.
  6. Under Credential Details, select Email in the Application username format field
  7. Click Save.

Configure EntityID and save.png


Step 4: Add Okta as an authentication provider

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console.
  2. Navigate to Administration > Integrations > Identity Management.
  3. Click Add Authentication Provider.
  4. In Display name, enter an identity provider name to display to users that sign in with SSO.
    If your CrashPlan environment provides more than one SSO identity provider, users see a list of providers to choose from. They must select the provider configured for their CrashPlan organization.
  5. In Provider's Metadata, ensure that Enter URL is selected and paste the URL for the Okta identity provider metadata URL.

     Custom domains are not supported

    When entering the URL for the XML metadata file, custom domains are not supported. You must use the standard domain of your identity provider. 

  6. Click Create Provider.
    Authentication provider settings appear.
    identity management authentication provider.png

Provider information message

Note the following message on the dialog:
This provider will not be applied to an organization until you update the organization security settings.

Do not apply this authentication provider to organizations yet. You will apply this provider to a test organization and to production organizations in later steps.

  1. If you choose not to use the default mapping settings, you can use Attribute Mapping to customize mappings between CrashPlan platform user attributes and authentication provider SSO assertion attributes.
    1. Click the Edit icon. 7.0_console_edit_icon.png
    2. Deselect Use default mapping.
    3. Configure mapping settings for each CrashPlan platform user attribute.
      Each field supports up to 128 characters. 
      • Username: Specify the identity provider's name ID or attribute that maps to the CrashPlan username.
        • Select Use nameid to use the identity provider's name ID.
        • Select Use attribute tag to enter a custom identity provider attribute.
      • Email (Use nameid only): Enter the identity provider attribute that contains user email addresses.
      • First Name: Enter the identity provider attribute that contains user first names.
      • Last Name: Enter the identity provider attribute that contains user last names.
    4. Click Save.
  2. (Optional) Local Users displays the current user. If there are any other users you want to exempt from using this authentication provider to log in, enter them here. 

Step 5: Test SSO authentication

To avoid impacting your production environment, use a test organization to verify that SSO is working properly. 

  1. Create a test user in your identity provider. 
  2. Sign in to the CrashPlan console
  3. Create a test organization.
  4. Create a user in the test organization who matches the identity provider test user. 
  5. Configure the test organization to use SSO:
    1. Navigate to Administration > Integrations > Identity Management.
    2. Select the authentication provider.
    3. Click Edit 7.0_console_edit_icon.png next to Organizations in use.
    4. Select the test organization. 
      Note that you can also use an organization's settings to select an authentication provider to use for SSO.
    5. Click Save.
  6. In the upper-right of the CrashPlan console, select Account Account_top_nav.png > Sign Out
  7. Sign back in to the CrashPlan console as the test user to verify that SSO is working. 

okta sign in.png

Step 6: Apply this provider to production organizations

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console
  2. Navigate to Administration > Integrations > Identity Management.
  3. Select the authentication provider.
  4. Click Edit 7.0_console_edit_icon.png next to Organizations in use.
  5. Select organizations to use the authentication provider for SSO.
    If applicable, select Inherits settings to identify whether an organization inherits the setting from its parent organization. To enable SSO for all organizations, select the top-most organization. (Note that you can also use an organization's settings to select an authentication provider to use for SSO.)
  6. Click Save.

Step 7: Add new users who sign in with SSO

  1. Assign the CrashPlan app to users or groups in the Okta dashboard. See Okta's documentation for more information.
  2. Ensure users are set up in CrashPlan. You can add users manually with the CrashPlan console to an organization that uses SSO, or deploy CrashPlan apps to users in an organization that uses SSO. The users in CrashPlan must have first name, last name, and user name (email address) values that match the users' values in Okta. 

 Add users through provisioning

You can also add new users to your CrashPlan environment using Okta's provisioning. See How to provision users to CrashPlan from Okta

What to expect

Reduced authentication prompts

When users sign in with SSO, they do not need to re-enter credentials for subsequent authentication attempts until the SAML authentication token expires. A SAML token applies to an application rather than a device, which means that a user might need to enter credentials again when signing into a different app. 

For example, the single sign-in process differs whether users sign in to the CrashPlan console or the CrashPlan app:

  • CrashPlan console: When users sign in to the CrashPlan console, they are redirected in the web browser to sign in to their SSO identity provider. As soon as they sign in to their identity provider, the CrashPlan console launches. 
  • CrashPlan app: When users sign in to the CrashPlan app, following message appears: "To complete the sign in process, go to your web browser. This screen updates automatically once login is successful." A web browser window is automatically opened so they can complete the sign-in process in their SSO identity provider.  As soon as they sign in to their SSO identity provider in the provided web browser window, the CrashPlan app launches.

Lost access to an identity provider

If a user loses access to the identity provider, the CrashPlan app continues to back up, uninterrupted.

External resources

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