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G Suite Admins Can Now Manage SAML Certificates

Google on Wednesday announced that G Suite administrators are now able to directly manage X.509 certificates associated with their Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) applications.

Google on Wednesday announced that G Suite administrators are now able to directly manage X.509 certificates associated with their Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) applications.

SAML allows users to use G Suite credentials to sign into enterprise cloud apps via Single Sign-On (SSO). Admins are provided with an identity and access management (IAM) service to manage all users and cloud applications, but don’t have to manage individual user IDs and passwords for each cloud application, for each user, as IAM features a unified sign-on across all enterprise cloud software.

With the help of X.509 certificates, SAML can ensure the authenticity and integrity of messages shared between an Identity Provider (IdP) and Service Provider (SP), Google explains. These certificates are automatically associated with a SAML application when it is first installed via the Amin console.

The certificates come with a five-year lifetime. Previously, admins had to contact Google Support to change or rotate an application’s existing certificate, regardless of whether it was about to expire or was compromised.

As soon as a certificate expires, however, users can no longer sign into the associated application using SAML-based SSO.

With the new change, admins can manage X.509 certificates on their own, without having to ask for additional support from Google.

“Today, we’re giving you the ability to do so on your own in the Admin console, where you can easily view certificates in use, identify those about to expire, create new ones, and assign them to applications,” Google notes.

However, only super admins are provided with visibility into the expiration status of SAML certificates and only they can take action on these certificates, the Internet giant also explains.

The new feature is launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release and impacts all G Suite editions. Because it will see a gradual rollout, the feature could take up to 15 days to become visible in some cases.

Admins interested in learning more on how to set up custom SAML applications should head to this support article. Information on SAML certificate rotation and how admins can manage certificates is available here.

Related: Google Announces New Accounts Sign-in Rules

Related: Google Stops Scanning Gmail Content for Ad Targeting

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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